2014 Field Season Summary
December 4, diagnosis 2014
During the 2014 season, generic WMTN reached milestones that were significant for the future advancement of the Terra Project and the success of the company. 2014 was a struggle for raising capital; however thanks to our largest lender, Bohemian Investment Co, the company was provided enough working capital to start the field season in June of 2014 allowing for the project to generate cash flow to run field operations through October 2014. WMTN appreciates them for all their support. January through April was devoted to logistics for construction and underground development and evaluating the metallurgy to improve mill efficiency at the Terra Project. During May and early June, MSHA training and support logistics were completed. Project activity during the month of June was focused on the opening of camp and repair and maintenance from winter damage of equipment and the mill facility as well as repair and rebuild of worn out mill equipment. In late June, the ore stockpile from 2013 was processed through the mill and gold production commenced for the bulk mine sample. The months of July through October were focused on bulk sample mining and milling at the Terra Project. Milling of 2013 ore stock pile continued through July with the additional repair and rebuild of mill equipment. In mid to late July bulk surface mining of the Fish Vein and Ben vein began. The Ben vein was surface mined though the month of August. The months August and September was focused on processing ore mined in 2014 along with the installation of crushing equipment that can increase crushing ore from 1 ton per hour to 5 tons per hour. The strategic operation activities were:
- Acquisition of former JV Partner Corvus Gold’s 49% interest in the Terra Project-WMTN now owns 100% of project.
- The repair and rebuild of winter damage of mill equipment and water storage ponds.
- The upgrade and maintenance of the 4 mile road network connecting the mill site to mine sites.
- The mining and level benching of the Ben Vein and Fish Vein.
- Assessment of required construction to complete the 5000 feet airstrip that is 70% complete.
- Install new high volume pump at water well to obtain 100 gpm flow to supply mill operation.
- Surface sampling of other gold anomalies on close spacing.
- Surface sampling of Fish Vein area for bulk tonnage target.
- No drilling occurred only bulk sample mining and related activity.
- Gold Production and doré produced at Terra.
During 2014 there was approximately $1M of expenditure at the Terra Project.
Prior to commencing mill operations, the winter damage repair along with repair and rebuild of worn out mill equipment required two weeks of work at the beginning of the field season during the first three weeks of June. The mill required additional repair and rebuild days in July as well. August and September were problem free months of mill operation. The mill operated 67 run days of trouble free operation in 2014. There were 27 days of maintenance and repair work this year during operations.
In August of 2014, WMTN purchased a new 5 ton per hour Jaw crusher and a new 5 ton per hour grind mill to increase production and cash flow. The Jaw Crusher was installed in September 2014. The grind mill is on site waiting for installation in 2015.
The pilot mill operation put WMTN and the Terra Project in a cash-flow, revenue generating position for 2014.
A shed roof was constructed over the gold smelting and separation area in early September 2014 and was the final construction projects of 2014.
The Fish Vein was explored by trenching in mid-July to determine if it was feasible to surface mine. 3 ½ tons of ore was hauled from the saddle above the Fish Vein before it was determined the competency of the rock was too hard to surface mine with equipment on site. Mining at the Fish Vein requires drilling and blasting equipment.
Mining commenced at the Ben Vein in late July. Ground control and safety fence installation on the high wall was completed as the first task prior to mining. The Ben Vein was then mined with the small Cat 303 Excavator, the Takeuchi Excavator and a D7 Cat Dozer. A two man crew operated the mine site. The ore was hauled from the mine site in 2 crawler track dump trucks. There were 303 loads of ore hauled from the mine site to the mill and stockpiled for processing. The Cat D-7 Bulldozer was used to bench down levels at the Ben Vein to facilitate mining with the small excavator. There were three bench levels mined in 2014- the 1338 bench level to the 1331 and the 1331 to the 1328 bench level for a total of 9 meters (30’) on the north end and 9 meters (30’)on the south end of vertical extent on the vein. The lateral extent of mining was 43 (141’) meters along the surface strike exposure of the vein. The total number of estimated tons mined was 485 tons.
In anticipation of underground development in 2015, a jackleg as well as other underground mining tools and supplies were purchased throughout the 2014 season.
There was no work done on mine portal construction in 2014. Funding did not permit any construction activity. All preparation work completed in 2013 remains with the site prepared, dug down as near to bedrock as was possible and a large lay down landing built. The preliminary construction setup is complete so the project can start construction of the tunnel underground next year in 2015.
A new 100 gallon per minute well pump was installed in the water well drilled in 2013. The well is drilled to a depth of 148 feet, with the pump set at 128 feet or 60’ below static water/ drawn down water level. The well yields consistently 100+ gallons per minute with the new pump and can supply enough water for mill operation. The previous pump yielded 20 gallons per minute and was not sufficient to supply the mill water demand.
Surface exploration at the north end of the Ben Vein zone was conducted with a systematic soil sampling grid, collecting samples every 30 meters in the vicinity of the early Anglo and ITH sampling with anomalous result of 1 to 4 grams per ton gold in the soil. A total of approximately 120 samples were collected and will be submitted to the lab for analysis. There were surface samples collected around the Fish vein from trenches that extended 150 feet and at the base of the chutes to the north of the Fish vein over an area approximately 800 feet in length. Anomalous gold was identified in rock and vein samples in these areas with XRF analysis and approximately 60 samples were collected.
No drilling occurred in 2014 at the Terra Project.
During the 2014 Field Season the gravity Circuit Pilot Gold Mill at Terra successfully processed approximately 500 tons of ore from the bulk sample mining. The ore was from the Ben Vein. No Fish Vein ore was processed. The ore flow through the mill averaged 0.75 to 1.25 ton per hour.
There were many down days required during the 2014 season for mill retrofit and repair. Some of the mill equipment and components purchased from Lyntek were, old worn out and needed replacement or rebuilding. WetMountain is working with Lyntek to rectify the problem.
There was approximately 500 tons of Ben Vein processed through the pilot mill. No Porterfield- Courtney tailings were processed. From the Ben Vein material an average of 4.1 ounces gold doré per ton yielding a net of 2.1 ounce per ton gold. The doré averaged approximately 60.5% gold with doré bars ranging from 38% to 71% gold dependent on the composition of the gold sand collected from the concentrator and gold table. The doré bars ranged from 20 to 70 ounces, each dependent on mold size. Later in the 2014 with some adjustments to our processing protocol we successfully began to capture cleaner gold during the separation process and the gold concentration in the doré increased to consistently 60-70% gold in the doré. The daily production records indicated that an average of 8.04 tons was processed per run days of the mill. Approximately 2250 ounces of gold doré was produced with an estimated 1350 ounces of net gold for the 2014 field season. There was a 540% increase in gold produced between 2013 (250 oz Au) and 2014 (1350) at Terra. The final gold and silver production numbers will be presented in the WestMountain Gold Terra Project Annual Report.
McClellan Laboratories of Reno Nevada was contacted to evaluate and test the ore, concentrate and tailing from the Terra project so we could determine where the gold was in the different stages of processing and in what form the gold was in; free milling gold or chemically bound to other minerals. The ore, concentrate and tailings from the Ben Vein were sent to DCM Science Laboratories as directed by McClellan for detailed study. It was identified through this study that the majority of the gold is free milling and not chemically bound, however it was determined that a percentage of the gold was extremely small in size ranging from 400 to 700 microns and was floating off or not being liberated from the grains of crushed ore. Further work indicated that to capture the gold from the concentrates and tailings required additional processing methodology. The methodologies and technologies available were evaluated, and under final review, indicated that a closed circuit, vat leach, non-cyanide system will be the most effective and environmentally responsible process. This end processing will enable WMTN to recover 92-98% of the gold present.
The tailings were placed in the tailing ponds which lay behind the mill. A second, much larger tailing pond was constructed in September next to the number 1 tailing pond which was full and the number 2 pond was put into use. The tailings were sampled periodically and contain gold averaging 1-2 ounces per ton.
From the approximately 500 tons of Ben Vein processed there were approximately 1350 ounces of gold bullion from the doré produced at Terra.