Bonita is the Company’s core asset, and focus of the Company’s exploration effort in 2017. The property is large, encompassing a district of historic copper, gold and iron workings (see Satellite Image below). The showings are unified by a single, district-scale hydrothermal system with a large alteration footprint within which copper sulfide and gold mineralization has been sampled by VR over an area of approximately 4 x 5 kilometres (see Copper and Gold Map below). The large alteration footprint is clearly delineated by airborne magnetic and hyperspectral surveys, and refined by detailed mapping of alteration zones on the ground, including outer propylitic, argillic, sodic, and phyllic, augmented by identification of silica-specularite and iron-carbonate – chlorite hydrothermal breccia bodies (dykes and diatremes)./p>
VR has identified several large and specific exploration targets for porphyry copper-gold mineralization at Bonita over the past three years of exploration. They are based on the integration of geological mapping, mineral alteration vectors, rock and soil geochemical anomalies, and gravity, magnetic and resistivity geophysical anomalies (see Exploration Targets Map below). Integrated exploration targets represent the potential to discover not just one, but a cluster of buried, porphyry copper stocks which give rise to the various historic surface workings of copper-gold veins, and copper-gold bearing iron oxide hydrothermal breccias (IOCG).
Bonita is an alkaline, polyphase early Jurassic batholith that is the same age at the past-producing Yerington porphyry copper camp located some 150 kilometers to the south in west-central Nevada. Bonita has not been systematically explored since artisanal, historic prospecting and mining because it is outside of the established copper and gold mineral districts in Nevada, and because the copper and gold showings at Bonita do not appear in modern state and federal government publications.
VR completed an independent NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report in January, 2017. The objective of VR is to complete first pass diamond drill programs recommended in the report in order to pursue the discovery of a new porphyry copper-gold camp in the western US.
Location and Access
The Bonita property is located in Humboldt County in northwestern Nevada, USA, approximately 150 kilometers northwest of Reno. It is on the southwestern flanks of the Jackson Range, and immediately east of the Black Rock desert.
The property is accessible by paved and gravel county roads from the town of Winnemucca located 75 kilometers to the southeast. The property itself is accessed by a network of active roads and historic trails established for both agriculture and artisanal prospecting and mining.
Overall the terrain is hilly at Bonita. Ridges with 200–300 metres of topographic relief flank a central, valley-covered depression. Elevation ranges from less than 1,200 metres on the western flanks of the Red Butte Mountain range on the western flank of the property, to greater than 2,000 metres on the eastern flank of the property, which is on the southwestern flanks of the South Jackson Mountain Range.
Climate is semi-arid to arid, vegetation is sparse and animal life is minimal. Sage brush and grasses cover a desert gravel on gentle valley slopes. There are spaced, stunted juniper trees at higher elevations with winter snowpack.
Outcrop is exposed over most of the property, excepting the northerly trending central valley depression of mixed alluvial cover and Tertiary basalt. There is virtually no soil development at Bonita. Ridge slopes are craggy outcrop and coarse colluvium. Rounded knolls and low relief slopes have a regolith veneer typically less than 10 centimetres thick on top of weathered outcrop.
Property Description and Ownership
The Bonita property consists of 429 claims in one contiguous block covering 3,586 ha, an area of approximately 5 x 6 kilometres.
It is on land administered by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). There are no state or federal land use designations, or privately owned land, which impede access to the property, nor is the property within the BLM’s broadly defined area of sage grouse protection. There is a small water withdrawal land parcel, established in 1972, and located in the covered valley in the central part of the property. It is just 40 acres in size, effecting portions of 6 of the 429 claims. It is not located in an area of specific exploration interest, nor does it impede access to any areas on the property.
The property is owned 100% by VR, registered to the Company’s wholly-owned, Nevada-registered US subsidiary Renntiger Resources USA Ltd. The property was staked directly by the Company; there are no associated joint venture or carried interests, and there are no royalties.
Current Exploration, 2017
A tabulated compilation of all exploration work completed by VR at Bonita during the past three years is included in the series of maps and figures which follows this section.
Exploration was more or less continuous at Bonita in 2017, including:
Independent Technical Report completed in February 2017 (www.sedar.com). The report includes ALL exploration data collected by the Company from 2014 through 2016. The 2017 diamond drill program is based on the recommendation for a 3,000 metre first-pass diamond drill program on the property.
The Company recommenced and completed in May the ground-based Induced Polarization (IP) geophysical survey started in December, 2016. The survey comprises 7 lines covering eight exploration targets, spanning a total of 6 line-kilometres, using both 150 and 200 metre dipole spacings.
The Company’s Principal Geologist completed detailed geological mapping across the property in May and June, including select infill soil sampling. A total of 123 rock samples have been collected for geochemistry between 2014 to 2017, and a total of 747 soil samples have been collected for geochemistry from 18 lines spanning 37 line-km’s.
Three samples were collected for geochronology using uranium-lead systematics on zircon. Concordant age dates were obtained from for three different phases of the early Jurassic batholith at Bonita: medium grained magnetic monzo gabbro; fine grained equigranular syenite, and; aphanitic to qz phyric (quartz eyes) leucogranite (hypabyssal dykes and plugs).
An airborne ZTEM electromagnetic survey was completed over the core area of the Bonita Property in July, 2017, by Geotech Ltd. It provided detailed information to evaluate and refine drill targets based on resistivity, which is a proven and important target attribute in alkaline porphyry copper deposits. The helicopter-borne survey consisted of 36 lines spaced 200 m apart covering a total area of approximately 6 by 10 kilometres. Preliminary map products were received by the Company in August, and all final data and reports, including 3-D inversion models were received in September.
The existing gravity survey at Bonita was extended in August 2017, by MaGee Geophysical Services LLC, using the same parameters and equipment as the original 2016 survey. Sixty new stations were measured. The gravity grid now comprises 984 stations on an even 200 x 200 metre grid covering an area of approximately 6 x 7 kilometres. The grid covers all the major porphyry copper targets on the property.
First pass diamond drill program commenced in August, 2017, planned for up to 3,000 m in up to four deep holes, one on each of four different exploration targets.
Regional Tectonics and Metallogeny
The Bonita property has the potential for porphyry copper, IOCG and epithermal gold deposits. There are world class copper and gold deposits and mines in Nevada that serve as potential analogues for Bonita.
Subduction dominated the western margin of North America in early Mesozoic time, including the region now occupied by the Great Basin in the Western United States. A volcanic arc developed in western Nevada, east of the Sierran Arc. Lower Triassic to Lower Jurassic volcano-sedimentary successions were deposited predominantly in shallow marine but also subaerial settings, and co-genetic sub-volcanic plutons are common. The Bonita property in the South Jackson Range has well exposed early Jurassic assemblages of shallow marine, convergent margin volcano-sedimentary successions and related plutonic rocks characteristic of this arc.
The early Jurassic Yerington batholith and related porphyry copper deposits are located in the central part of the Walker Lane belt, some 75 km southeast of Reno. The batholith is roughly 15 km in diameter. There are numerous copper and gold skarn systems peripheral to the batholith, many of which have been mined. The Pumpkin Hollow skarn system is currently being developed, with a resource estimated at 1.1bt at 0.3-1.5% Cu (Nevada Copper Corporation, 2013). The at-surface Yerrington deposit itself was mined by Anaconda Mining Inc. between 1953 and 1965, with an original overall geological resource estimate of approximately 1 billion tons at 0.4% Cu. Exploration is current and ongoing on several deeper satellite deposits discovered while the Yerrington mine was in operation, including the Bear deposit (500mt @ 0.4%; Quaterra Resources, 2013), and the Ann Mason deposit (2bt at 0.3% Cu, using 0.2% cut-off; Entrée Gold, 2013).
Geochronology by VR Resources demonstrates that Bonita is the same age as the Yerington camp.
The Walker Lane belt is defined by a northwest-southeast regional grain of Tertiary structures and intrusions located mostly in western Nevada, overlapping the border with California at both the northwest and southeast ends of the belt. The Belt is host to an array of precious metal and base metal deposits.
The Bonita Property is outside of the well-established Carlin-style gold deposit trends in north-central Nevada, but there are several large, past-producing Tertiary epithermal gold deposits located within 50 km of Bonita, including the Hycroft and Sleeper deposits, both associated with Tertiary-aged volcanic rocks which are evident at Bonita.
The active MacFarlane hot spring is located 5 km west of the southern part of the Bonita property. It is delineated by an east-west carbonate ridge some 170 m long. The hotspring is interpreted to be localized along a relay fault accommodating strain at the east-west dislocation of two northerly trending regional faults (Kraushaar, 2014, MSc Thesis, Univ. Nevada Reno). The east-west dislocation is regional in scale and is clearly evident at Bonita as a break in through-going northerly range faults. This area is prospective for structurally-controlled hydrothermal fluids.
General Property Geology
The Bonita Property is underlain primarily by a diverse Mesozoic igneous complex, with lesser volcano-sedimentary cover successions.
The spine of the south Jackson Range itself is dominated by weathering resistant, dark weathering gabbro of middle Jurassic age. Fine-grained sodic diorite is more abundant in the Red Butte Mountain area in the western part of the property. Both intrusive phases are intruded by numerous dykes, stocks and plugs of hypabyssal, locally quartz-phyric mafic-poor monzodiorite.
Happy Creek volcanic rocks of Permian to Triassic age are mainly undifferentiated andesitic volcanic successions best exposed in the western part of the property. The King Lear formation unconformably overlies the volcanic rocks in several areas, where it consists of locally-derived pebble and boulder conglomerate and interbedded siltstone and greywacke, and lenses of limestone.
Tertiary volcanic rocks are mostly layered assemblages of andesite, trachyte and basalt flows, with lesser more acidic tuff and tuffaceous sedimentary rocks exposed in the central part of the property, filling the central valley depression.
There has been little exploration in the South Jackson Range region in the last 50 years primarily because it is located outside of the known areas of porphyry copper deposits in Nevada such as Yerington, and it is located away from the established mineral belts in Nevada such as the Walker Lane Belt and the Battle Mountain–Eureka and Getchell Carlin gold belts.
The scattered historic workings for copper, gold and iron on the Bonita Property do not appear in the various regional geology reports and mineral compilation studies published by the USGS and the Nevada Bureau of Mines covering northwestern Nevada.
There are historic workings (pits and trenches) from the early 1900’s scattered across the Bonita property, with underground development including shafts, tunnels, drifts and adits at several locations, including: Iron Chief; 1936 Mine; Copper Queen; Bonita South; Red Butte North; Bonita Spring; Hobbit, and; Hemco. Most of the workings target copper oxide (sulphate?) on fracture and in quartz veins within silica-speculraite altered syenite dykes, clay-altered monzo diorite, albite-altered leucogranite dykes, and in silica-specularite iron oxide breccia.
There is an array of trenches and roadcuts is apparent in the northwestern part of the property, in and around the Hemco showing. It is not known if this work is related entirely to the historic, artisanal workings from the early 1900’s, or if more recent surface exploration was done mid-century.
Modern diamond drilling is evident only at the historic workings at the Bonita South and Red Butte North mines, developed along gold-bearing quartz veins and quartz vein breccia in intensely clay-altered monzogabbro. There is scattered debris and minor drill core at Red Butte North, and a few possible drill collars recognized at both local’s.
There is no evidence of recent, modern, systematic gride-based surface geophysical or geochemical exploration on the property.