WestMountain Gold, Inc. Terra Project October 7, 2013 Update
Through the efforts of WestMountain Gold, the 2013 season at the Terra Project met and exceeded milestones that are significant for the future advancement of the project and the success of the company. January through April was devoted to logistics for the construction of a C-130 airstrip at Terra and the purchase, shipping and cross country, winter trail transport of two bulldozers 60 miles across the Alaska Range to the project site. During May, MSHA training and support logistics were completed. The months of June and July were focused on construction and the startup of surface mining. In August and September, production commenced at the mill, core drilling for infill and adit location were carried out and adit, road and runway construction continued. The strategic development and activities included:
1. The construction of the expansion of the mill to accommodate new equipment.
2. The construction of a 4 mile road network connecting the mill site to mine site.
3. The mining and level benching of the Ben Vein and Fish Vein.
4. The near completion of a 5,000 foot airstrip to accommodate C-130 aircraft.
5. Drilled water well at mill site for year round water supply for mill operation.
6. Core drilled-one exploration drill hole and four infill drill holes.
7. Surface sampled Camp Creek Midway porphyry target.
8. Multiple deliveries of equipment, fuel andsupplies.
9. Gold production from Terra
During 2013, approximately $2.2 million has been spent to date at Terra. Of this amount, approximately $7.2 million was attributed to the JV earn-in expenditures.
Heavy Equipment Transport Cross Country Winter Trail
During February, 2013, Lynden Transport personnel were flown to Terra for a site visit in order to determine if C-130 aircraft could land at the Terra Project to move heavy equipment to the site,. It was confirmed by the Lynden personnel that C-130 aircraft would, indeed, be able to successfully land at the Terra Project. A Cross Country Winter Travel Permit was obtained from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and two bulldozers were purchased and shipped from Portland, Oregon to Anchorage, Alaska in March 2013. Timing was essential as the bulldozers needed to be disassembled, loaded into Lynden C130 aircraft, flown to the remote Farewell airstrip, reassembled and driven across the Alaska Range to Terra prior to April 15. Efficiency was crucial as early spring breakup or warm weather would have been detrimental to this process. The two bulldozers arrived safely at Terra on April 13 positioning WMTN for accelerated development.
TThe mill area, runway and road network comprised the primary infrastructure construction projects at Terra during the 2013 season. Runway construction allowing large aircraft to land at site is imperative for the success of the project. The runway construction commenced with the survey layout of the new runway and grade control over the 150 foot by 5,000 foot (48 by 1500 meter) length of the runway. During June, once spring flood control was completed using the heavy equipment, the bulldozers were then dedicated to the runway construction. In June and July, the ground was cleared of all brush, trees and vegetation, and the dips and swales were filled in or cut down to get a general grade. Once clearing was complete, in July and August, the finish grade was done incrementally. The equipment was used intermittently on and off the runway project and put in service for other construction projects.
Road construction between the mill and mine site was aother major milestone reached in 2013. The road layout was completed during the latter half of June with two possible routes selected. Construction commenced in early July. The first route was deemed impassable; therefore, the second route was selected to build the road and ascend through the glacial moraine into the Ben Creek Valley. Construction to the Ben Vein mine site was completed by the middle of July. It took an additional two weeks to obtain reasonable grade, construct drill pads and build a spur road to the Fish Vein mine site.
Mill construction included the addition of a 17 foot (5 meter) gold table, spirals, flotation cells and gold presses. The size of the Mill building was increased by 2 ½ times the original plan and required over 100 yards of concrete poured by hand. The mill construction and mill operation puts WMTN and Terra in a cash-flow positive position.
The final construction project of 2013 was a three bay, 50 foot by 20 foot equipment storage shed to house equipment during the winter.
Mining commenced at the Ben Vein in late June with ground control and safety fence installation on the high wall. The Ben Vein was then mined with the small Cat 303 excavator and a three-man crew. Ore was placed in super sacks and transported to the mill site by helicopter. This method of mining was employed until the road construction reached the Ben Vein Mine site in the latter half of July. Once the road was complete, the Cat D-7 Bulldozer benched down levels at the Ben Vein to facilitate mining with the small excavator and the ore was hauled from the Ben Vein with the helicopter, as well as one small track dump truck using the new road system. There were three bench levels mined in 2013. Mining occurred on the Ben Vein from the 1338m elevation bench level down to the 1331m elevation bench level for a total of 9 meters (30 ft) of vertical extent on the vein. The lateral extent of mining was 27 (90 ft) meters along the surface strike exposure of the vein. The total number of estimated tons mined is 360 tons.
The Fish Vein was mined starting in late July after the purchase, breakdown, transport and reassembly of a second excavator at the Terra Project. The road-cut to the vein was constructed by the bulldozer and the excavator was used to dislodge and remove the vein material, which was then loaded into the track dump truck and hauled to the mill site. With reduction in labor in late July at the project, the mining crew rotated shifts between the Ben Vein and the Fish Vein.
The road network to the mine site and the use of the track dump trucks reduced the haul cost from approximately $275/ton with the helicopter to $55/ton with the track dump truck.
Mine Tunnel Entrance
In late August and early September, the adit location or mine tunnel entrance was finalized. The entrance is situated below the main Ben Vein ore shoots where the highest density of drill data is found and the lowest cost of development to intersect the vein/ore and produce material for the mill to create positive cash flow. The site was prepared, unearthed as near to bedrock as was possible and a large lay down landing area was built. This preliminary construction positions WestMountain to commence construction of the underground tunnel next year.
A water well was drilled adjacent to the Mill Building to provide year-round water supply for mill operation. The first well, drilled to 80 feet depth, went dry when put to use in late August. A second deeper well was then drilledwhich consistently yields 20+ gallons per minute and adequately fulfills the water needs for the project.
Surface exploration at the porphyry Camp Creek Midway target was conducted by systematic sampling of rock every 30 meters in the vicinity of the previous year’s sampling with anomalous result. A total of approximately 300 samples were collected and were submitted to the lab for analysis. There were surface samples taken along the new exposures created by the road cuts between the Ben and Fish Veins.
Five drill holes, 875 meters (2,870 ft) in total, were completedat the Terra project in 2013. One exploration drill hole was located along the extension of the vein system and four infill drill holes, situated between previous years’ drill sites, were completed to upgrade the level of the resource and to provide information in proximity to the location where the underground tunnel entrance construction is planned. The drill core indicated the presence of the gold bearing veins and were logged and sampled. The drill hole sample data results are pending.
Mill & Production
During the 2013 field season, June and July were devoted to construction of the Gravity Circuit Gold Mill Site. There were over 100 yds3 of concrete poured by hand and the Mill Building foot print was increased 2 ½ times in size. Concrete slab foundations were hand-poured beneath all the crushers and conveyors. Additionally, a concrete landing pad with retaining walls was constructed to stock pile the ore. These projects were all completed at the mill site to provide a clean and modern work place and minimize loss of ore and gold.
Mill building construction was completed by August 1, 2013. The first material run during the testing of the mill were the Porterfield and Courtney tailings. During mill testing, the various circuits, including grind size, screen size, slurry suspension, Krebs Cyclone, material classification and gold tables, all required adjustments and fine tuning to achieve optimization of the circuits. The processing of material was initially projected at a rate of two tons per hour, but during test runs, and through sieve analysis, it was recognized that the ore needed to be ground to a finer mesh size to optimally liberate the gold from the ore. To improve gold recovery rates, , the screen size was reduced in the ball mill, pulverizing the rock to 100 to 200 mesh size. This change in the ball mill screen size resulted in a reduced rate of mill through-put from the anticipated two tons per hour to between 0.75 to one ton per hour. From August 15 through September 5, the Ben Vein ore was processed. From September 6 to 7, the Fish Vein ore was processed. From September 8 to 13, the concentrate were processed to obtain gold to melt into ore.
A total of 65 tons of ore from the Ben Vein and 10 tons of ore from the Fish Vein was processed through the ball mill. In addition, 18 tons of material from the Ben Porterfield and Gary Courtney tailings were processed. The average grade from the Fish and Ben Vein ore material was determined to range between3 to 5 ounces gold per ton (X to Y g/t). Assay results for the tailings have yet to arrive. The daily production records will be presented in the WestMountain Gold Terra Project Annual Report.