The Trinity Silver Project is located 25 miles northwest of Lovelock, in Pershing County, Nevada. Lovelock is located on US Interstate 80 approximately 85 miles northeast of Reno, the largest population center of northern Nevada. Access to the property is by all-weather highway to within 4 mi of the mine site and thereafter by graded gravel road. Mining and agriculture are the principal economic activities in Pershing County and throughout northern Nevada and, as a result, an experienced work force and a large number of mining service companies are available.
The Trinity Silver Project, comprising the Trinity mining district and situated on the western flank of the Trinity Mountains, lies within a geographic region richly endowed with gold, silver, and base metal deposits. A dozen past and present silver and gold-silver production sites are located 20 to 25 miles east of the Trinity district in the Humboldt Range, including one of the largest silver mines in the U.S., the Coeur Rochester deposit, located about 26 miles east and operated by Coeur d’Alene Mines. The Rochester district produced approximately 134 million ounces of silver between 1912 to present and 125 million ounces of silver from 1986 to 2010. Rochester has a reported proven and probable reserve of 29.6 million ounces of silver and 247,000 ounces of gold.
Strong silver (Ag) anomalies were discovered in altered rhyolite rocks in the Trinity mining district in 1982 by U.S. Borax and Chemical Corporation (USB). The anomalous areas occurred on railroad fee land owned by the Southern Pacific Land Company (subsequently Santa Fe Pacific Mining Inc.). Geologic mapping, geochemical sampling, and subsequent drilling began in 1982 and confirmed the presence of potentially-economic Ag mineralization. Exploration and delineation of the mineralization continued through 1986.
Metallurgical testing, detailed mineralogy, and engineering were conducted in-house by USB and through contracted laboratories to determine economic viability of the mineralization identified by drilling. By mid 1986 USB recognized a relatively small area of high-grade oxidized silver mineralization could support a heap leach operation.
An initial mine plan and resource estimate were completed by USB in 1987-88. The resource estimate used then was 1.17 Mt at 5.12 opt Ag at a cutoff grade of 1.5 opt Ag (Reim et al, 1988)1 and the reported silver production resulting from mining this resource, described below, was 5 million ounces. (The preceding resource estimate, circa 1988, is a historic, non-43-101- compliant resource developed by competent technical personnel, known to the writer, under the auspices of a known reputable, technically competent company, also known as such by the writer. Abundant USB records of the results of work to calculate the resource, design the mine,
and recover the silver are in hand for review. This historic data pertains only to the mined-out ore body and has no technical relevance to any current resource estimation addressed elsewhere in this report.)
1) Reim, K.M., et al, 1988, Review of initial ore reserve estimate versus actual and update ore grade and tonnage estimate: Trinity Silver Project, Nevada, U.S. Borax & Chemical Corp., unpublished report, 21 p. with appendices.
The deposit was mined by open pit method at a 2.5:1 strip ratio with silver extraction from the oxidized ore by cyanide heap-leach metallurgy. U.S. Borax was operator and mining occurred from September, 1987, through August, 1988, while the heap leach operation continued through 1989. Mining ceased when the price of silver began to fall and sulfide mineralization was increasing in the open pit floor. Silver spot price from 1985 through 1989 shows steady decline after production begun in 1987 as shown by the graph below. The property was subsequently reclaimed and formally closed to the satisfaction of the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.
Based on historic drilling, oxide silver mineralization remains below the pit floor, and surrounding area. Except for limited drilling in 1991-92, exploration activity did not occur in the district again until 2006 in response to rising silver prices.
U.S. Borax, and subsequent companies, drilled approximately 395 holes in the district from 1983 through the end of 2007 and total over 155,000 ft. Early drilling was generally relatively shallow, with depths at 250-500 ft. Some of the more recent drilling was completed to depths of 500 to over 1000 ft. The majority of historic drill holes plus the 20 holes drilled by Liberty Silver (the Company) in 2012 are located within an approximate 0.5 square-mile area centered on the Trinity mine. Approximately 50 of the historic drill holes are situated at widely spaced locations throughout the 19 square mile joint venture area. Many of these historic holes report anomalous oxide and sulfide Ag intercepts and need further evaluation and warrant follow-up offset drilling in the future.
During the mining phase, low grade oxide and sulfide stockpiles and waste dumps were created. This material and the now reclaimed heap leach pad contain varying amounts of silver and are currently being evaluated for silver content. U.S. Borax also conducted metallurgical testing of sulfide mineralization in the late 1980’s. Although this work indicated that metallurgical recovery of silver and accompanying lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) were possible using conventional milling procedures, economic recovery was reportedly not a viable option because of weak metal prices at that time.
Santa Fe Pacific Mining conducted further exploration on the property between 1990 and 1992. In 2005 AuEx Inc. leased the property from Newmont Gold Co. (now Newmont Mining Corp.) which had acquired the Santa Fe Pacific Minerals Corp. holdings in Nevada. AuEx drilled the property with a joint venture partner in 2006 and alone in 2007 resulting in 25 new drill holes, including 10 core holes, in an attempt to better define the Ag mineralization below and around the Trinity open pit. Neither AuEx nor its successor Renaissance Gold Inc. conducted further exploration after the 2007 drilling program.
Recent Resource Estimate
Under terms of the agreement between the Company and Renaissance Gold, Inc., Reno, Nevada, the Company is earning a 70 % leasehold interest in the minerals contained in the Trinity property and will become vested after spending $5M earn-in on the property. Renaissance holds a 100% leasehold interest on the Trinity property from underlying owner Newmont Mining Corporation. The land package consists of approximately 10, 948 acres, including 253 unpatented mining claims and leases on fee land from Newmont Mining which holds a 4 % NSR on future production. Recently the Company acquired the adjoining Hi Ho Silver property (approximately 100 acres) from Primus Resources, LLC, for cash, stock, and a 2% NSR on future production from the Hi Ho claims. Since filing its NI 43-101-compliant technical report the Company has continued to review the very large data base of historic geochemical, geological, and geophysical information and integrate with new geophysical and geological data generated in the district during 2011 and 2012. This work is being compiled into a GIS database which will be used to further define future drilling and development of the current resource and exploration targets. The Company has identified multiple silver exploration targets, all of which are independent of the inferred resource defined in the NI 43-101. The NI 43-101 evaluated only the previously well-drilled ground closely adjacent to and within the open pit mine area.
Geology and Mineralization
Silver mineralization in the Trinity district was discovered in outcrops of hydrothermally-altered rhyolite occurring along the contact with underlying metasedimentary rocks exposed on the west flank of the Trinity Range. Further exploration revealed that the mineralization extended under pediment gravels to the west into the Sage Valley graben. The Trinity silver deposit is hosted by an Oligocene-age rhyolite volcanic center and underlying Jurassic-age Auld Lang Syne Formation metasedimentary basement rocks composed of sandstone, siltstone, and argillite. The rhyolite stratigraphy includes tuffs, flows, and quartz porphyry sub-volcanic intrusive dikes and irregular masses that comprise a volcanic dome complex. Several structural sets dissect and down-drop stratigraphy to the west. Mineralization in the Trinity pit appears to be controlled by a northeast-aligned, northwest-dipping set of normal faults and associated fracture and breccia zones, the Trinity Fault zone. The Trinity fault zone is a principal mineralization control and is also comprised of several northeast-trending structures; the previously mined mineralization occurred in the hanging wall blocks of several parallel structures in this fault zone. Silver, lead, and zinc mineralization are structurally and stratigraphically controlled and occur preferentially as disseminations in altered Tertiary rhyolite and lesser intense disseminated mineralization in underlying Triassic metasedimentary rocks. The mineralized structures and resulting mineralization are offset by northwest- and northerly-trending normal faults that juxtapose the stratigraphy into complex relationships and down-drop the stratigraphy to the west.
The Trinity deposit is believed to be an epithermal, low sulfidation Ag-Pb-Zn mineralized system. Mineralization, especially the higher silver grades, is hosted primarily by the altered rhyolite comprised of several distinct rock units. The underlying metasedimentary siliceous clastic rocks also contain thick intervals of anomalous disseminated base metal mineralization although containing typically lower silver grades. Hydrothermal alteration consists of strong to moderate sericitic-illite type clays that generally accompany the mineralization. Silicification is locally variable as typically weak replacements, locally as breccia matrix cement, and as veinlets and/or micro-veinlets. Distinct, but narrow, quartz veins with or without sulfides occur but are typically very sparse. Silver mineralization occurs primarily as freibergite (Ag-bearing tetrahedrite), Ag-sulfides, sulfosalt, and secondary oxidation minerals typically in the form of disseminations, mineralized breccias, fracture fillings, localized veinlet stockworks, and rare quartz-sulfide or sulfide-only veins. Lead and zinc in the form of galena and sphalerite, respectively occur in the multi-percent range below the oxidation front and are typically associated with ubiquitous pyrite. Minor amounts of other base metal-silver sulfosalts, stannite, and chalcopyrite occur in the unoxidized ores. Oxidation of the Ag-sulfides resulted in formation of silver sulfates, carbonates, chlorides, and native silver which are particularly amenable to recovery by the cyanide heap leach process. Mineralization extends throughout the project area as a very irregularly-shaped, pervasively developed, three-dimensional cloud of varying mineral intensity. Based on historic and recent drill-hole assays, many of the drill holes contain anomalous silver throughout the entire length of the hole and some of the holes are greater than 1000 ft deep. The mineralized zones do not generally exhibit sharp grade boundaries and the silver grade generally gradually decreases from the higher-grade multi-ounce cores to distal zones of less than 1 opt Ag. This type of mineralization is favorable for an open-pit mining operation because with improved silver spot prices the mining cutoff grades decrease and tonnages of potentially economic mineralized zones increase in size.
Silver grades reported in this report reflect total metal content by laboratory analysis and not potential metallurgical recovery. All intercepts are reported as apparent thickness and true thickness may be less. Silver grades are reported as troy ounces (opt) per short ton (2000 lbs) and 1 troy ounce per short ton = 34.28 parts per million (ppm).
SYNOPSIS OF RESULTS OF RECENT EXPLORATION
The Company completed a 20 hole reverse circulation drilling program, holes A12-1 through A12-20, in the Trinity district in April, 2012. Drilling was designed to (1) explore selected areas adjacent-to the south half of the resource documented in the Company’s NI 43-101 report; (2) explore the southern extension of this resource; (3) confirm the interior of part of that resource area; and (4) verify stratigraphy of a selected geophysical anomaly. The drilling program did not test the recently acquired Hi Ho property. The 20-hole drilling program totaled 22,530 feet, with individual holes completed to depths of up to 1500 ft. Drill-hole samples were collected on five-foot intervals for geochemical analysis. Drilling on the periphery and within the NI 43-101 resource area (south half of the open pit) consisted of sixteen holes that intersected 5 ft to >100 ft-thick sample intervals containing ≥1 opt Ag; with grades as high as 15 opt Ag (see summary Tables 2-3). Mineralization is hosted principally in rhyolite and as generally shorter intercepts of lower grade in the underlying metasedimentary rocks. Some of the 5 ft-thick sample intervals contain 0.1 to1.7 % Pb and 0.1 to 1.6 % Zn. Base metals are especially abundant in the metasedimentary rocks.
In addition to the resource area drilling, by two reverse circulation holes, A12-19 through A12-20, were completed to test a newly defined gravity low situated southeast of the Trinity pit and outside the resource area. The low was believed to represent an altered rhyolite-filled graben structure similar to, or possibly an extension of, the graben that hosts the Trinity resource area. The two holes were drilled approximately 0.4 miles from the edge of the pit and established the low does indeed represent a deep rhyolite-filled graben-type feature. Underlying basement metasedimentary rocks were not encountered. Weak to moderately intense epigenetic silver mineralization of <1.0 to 49.1 ppm Ag was intersected along with anomalous lead and zinc. Approximately 7% of the analyzed samples contain >10 ppm Ag and these holes will be followed-up with additional exploration drilling. QAQC Drill hole chip samples were collected at the drill site and analyzed by American Assay Laboratories, Sparks, Nevada. All samples were analyzed by ICP-MS method for Ag and 43 other elements. Analytical precision and accuracy were monitored by Minerals Exploration and Environmental Quality, Reno, Nevada. Reverse circulation drilling and sample collection by Boart Longyear, Elko, Nevada, was supervised at the drill site by a senior Company geologist, who is a Professional Geologist, and chain of custody throughout the program is unbroken. Down-hole deviation surveys were done by IDS of Elko, Nevada. 2012
DRILLING PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
Some of the 2012 drill-holes contain strong silver mineralization and confirm the presence of the historically-defined mineralization located adjacent to the calculated resource reported in the NI 43-101 report. Some of the best holes are shown below, are summarized in the sections following, and are tabulated in Tables 2-3. These holes verify that significant silver mineralization (oxidized and sulfide) occurs outside of the documented resource area, that additional exploration potential exists, and warrants follow-up drilling. Hole A12-17: 0-665 ft @ 0.51 opt Ag oxide and sulfide including; 0-165’ @ 1.5 opt Ag oxide. Hole A12-11: 0-65 ft @ 0.89 opt Ag oxide. Hole A12-7: 0-65 ft @ 0.68 opt Ag oxide. Hole A12-13: 0-475 ft @ 0.45 opt Ag oxide and sulfide. Hole A12-14: 0-230 ft @ 0.51 opt Ag oxide.
Resource Confirmation Drilling
Holes A12-4 and A12-5 were drilled to confirm previously reported silver mineralization within the area of the NI 43-101 resource and are located in the southwest extension area of the Trinity pit. This area was chosen because it contains reported historic un-mined oxidized silver mineralization. Hole A12-4 contains five foot intervals ranging from <1 to 133 ppm (3.88 opt) Ag and averages 0.37 opt Ag from surface to its total depth of 1275 ft. (Table 2). Importantly, the Ag mineralization found in this hole at 0 to120 ft depth approximates and/or is greater than the reported mineralization for the adjacent surrounding historic drill holes. Below the oxidized zone, at depths of 120-570 ft in hole A12-4, silver mineralization averages 0.64 opt Ag, and is associated with anomalous lead and zinc mineralization. A 150 ft-thick interval at 295-445 ft depth averages 0.99 opt Ag (33.8 ppm) and approximately 1500 ppm each for Pb and for Zn (Tables 2 and 3). Hole A12-5 contains five foot intervals ranging from <1 to 90.6 ppm (2.64 opt Ag) and the entire 1500 foot hole averages 0.24 opt Ag (Table 2). A comparison with the surrounding historic drill holes of the oxidized mineralized zone that extends from the surface to a depth of 95 ft in hole A12-5 (all within a 125 ft radius) indicates the silver grade of A12-5 either approximates and/or is greater then that of surrounding historic drill holes. In the sulfide zone, beginning at 95 ft depth, base metal mineralization averages 0.60% Pb and Zn, and 0.36 opt Ag in a rhyolite-host extending down to a depth of 490 ft (Tables 2 and 3). Mineralization continues at similar grades from 490-805 ft in the siliceous clastic rocks of underlying metasedimentary basement. While these relative comparisons are very encouraging, they are considered preliminary because additional infill drilling is needed to thoroughly quantify the silver grades in the resource area.
Hanging Wall of Trinity Fault Zone Drilling
Holes A12-1, -2, -3, -4, -7, -8, -9, -10, -11 and -17 are located on the hanging wall side of the Trinity Fault Zone, thought to be a primary conduit for hydrothermal fluids for mineralization mined from the Trinity pit. The holes are distributed along the northwest and southwest sides of the open pit boundary. Some of the holes fill large gaps in the historic drilling and a few holes along the northwest side of the pit are in areas with little historic drilling. Hole A12-17 is located southeast of the Trinity open pit and resource zone and intersected high-grade silver in the oxidized zone with up to 14.2 opt Ag in individual 5 foot intercepts. The host rhyolite contains anomalous silver mineralization from the surface to a depth of 665 ft; averaging 0.51 opt Ag in both the oxidized and sulfide zones. Holes A12-11 and A12-7 are situated up to 250 ft south of A12-17. Drill hole A12-11 averages ~0.89 opt Ag from the surface to a depth of 65 ft and nearby hole A12-7, over the same footage interval, averages 0.67 opt Ag. Holes A12-8, -9, and -10 were drilled approximately 100-150 ft northwest of the northern pit boundary. While none of the holes intersected long intercepts of significant silver mineralization, each hole encountered multiple structural zones occurring at depths ranging from 635 to 700 ft. These structural zones are possibly the down-dip projections of the Trinity pit fault zone and contain anomalous silver that ranges from <1 to 370 ppm (10.8 opt) Ag (Table 2). Holes A12-1, -2, and -3 are located immediately southwest of the southern Trinity pit boundary and did not intersect significant (>1.0 opt) oxide silver contents between the surface and 175 ft, the approximate depth of the oxidation boundary.
Footwall of the Trinity Fault Zone Drilling
Holes A12-5, -6, -7, -11, -12, -17, and -18 are located on the footwall side of the Trinity Fault Zone, approximately 75 to 250 ft from the pit boundary. Drill hole A12-5 is discussed above. Hole A12-7 intersected 75 ft @ 0.75 opt Ag oxidized mineralization from 10 to 85 ft in depth. Oxidized mineralization in holes A12-11 and -12 was also encountered and included 70 ft @ 0.79 opt Ag and 140 ft @ 0.51 opt Ag, respectively (Table 2). Hole A12-17 intersected 155 ft @ 1.59 opt Ag (10-165 ft) and hole A12-18 intersected 80 ft @ 0.39 opt Ag from 15 to 95 ft (Table 2). Hole A12-6 did not intersect any oxidized silver mineralization >0.5 opt Ag. Tables 2 and 3 tabulate significant mineralization contained in the sulfide zones for these drill holes. South Trinity Pit
Extension Zone Drilling
Holes A12-13, -14, -15, and -16 are step-outs from the south end of the Trinity pit and are sited outside the NI 43-101 resource area on the eastern and southern borders of the resource area. Hole A12-13 contains scattered multi-ounce per ton silver intervals throughout its length. Mineralized rhyolite containing 0.45 opt Ag occurs from the surface to a depth of 475 ft. Hole A12-14 is mineralized from the surface to 165 ft deep and averages 0.54 opt Ag with individual intercepts as high as 1.76 opt Ag. The entire oxide zone in A12-14 from surface to a depth of 230 ft averages 0.51 opt Ag. A12-15 averages 0.26 opt Ag throughout its 1060 ft total depth and the entire rhyolite section from surface to 800 ft contains 0.31 opt Ag. Hole A12-16 averages 0.23 opt Ag throughout its 920 foot depth.
OPPORTUNITY FOR DISCOVERY
The next phase of drilling will step out further from the documented resource area and continue testing various identified geophysical and geochemical targets. Thus far, the Induced Polarization, Magnetotelluric, and gravity surveys have identified 10 targets situated up to a mile south, west, and north of the Trinity open pit mine on the joint venture’s land holdings. The targets are zones of high conductivity, high resistivity, gravity lows, and structural features. Holes A12-19 and 20 were drilled approximately 0.40 miles southeast of the Trinity pit and verified the geophysical data modeling of a large gravity low to be a significant graben zone located southeast of the Trinity pit as discussed above. This apparent graben structure contains a much thicker rhyolite section than the historic mine area and is a future exploration target.
Some of the historic holes contain reported strong concentrations of silver, lead and zinc, and in view of present-day metal prices, constitute new drill targets. These holes are distributed around the pit, located from 200 to >5000 ft from the footprint of the pit, and have not yet been followed-up by close spaced drilling to determine the quality of the anomalies. For example, historic drill hole S-148 is located about 1 mile south of the Trinity pit mine and contains 0.76 opt Ag from surface to 230 ft deep and averages 0.49 opt Ag from surface to a total depth of 400 ft. The hole also contains intercepts of both Pb and Zn in the 1% range. Historic hole S-21, located about 2300 ft south of the pit, averages 0.40 opt Ag from surface to a depth of 405 ft.
A note regarding confidence in quality of historical drilling
While the Company believes the historical drilling overseen by USB and succeeding company’s geologists was well undertaken by industry standards at that time, because that work was not conducted under the supervision of a Qualified Person in accordance with NI 43-101 protocol, which was initiated in 2001, the results of drilling may not be assumed reliable. Drilling completed in 2006 and 2007 by AuEx Ventures, Reno, was done, however, under the auspices of a Qualified Person, geologist Ron Parratt, CPG. Quantity and grade of mineralization outside the current NI 43-101 resource area is conceptual in nature. There has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in delineation of a resource. Geologist Tim Percival, CPG, Reno, Nevada, consultant to the Company and the Company’s Qualified Person as defined in Canadian National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects guidelines, has reviewed the existing published and unpublished documentation pertaining to the Trinity Project and has approved the technical information contained on this website.