VR acquired the Junction property in August 2017, dovetailing with the staking of the nearby Big Creek property to reinforce the Company’s evolving understanding of the region’s copper-gold mineral potential. The Company has expertise to leverage and synergies to exploit at Junction by applying its exploration experience gained during the past three years of exploration at its Bonita porphyry cu-au property.
The Junction property is little explored because of its location outside of Nevada’s well-established mineral deposit belts. VR will evaluate the gold- and silver-bearing copper sulfide mineralization evident at Junction for its potential as the surface expression of a mesothermal polymetallic vein system. The location within the Antelope Shear zone provides a crustal-scale anchor for a high temperature, copper-silver-gold metasomatic and/or magmatic-hydrothermal fluid system.
The Junction property is located in Humboldt County, near the Nevada – Oregon border, and immediately east of Nevada Highway 140. The nearby town of Denio Junction is less than 6 kilometres to the north, and facilitates effective and cost-efficient field exploration programs.
The Junction property is at the northernmost limit of the Pine Forest Range. It straddles the divide between the low-lying headwater regions of the northeasterly trending Antelope Valley and Quinn River Valley, which itself ultimately feeds to the southwest into the Blackrock Desert.
Topography at Junction is subdued. Desert valley floors give way to grassy rangelands on rounded and low-lying foothills of the low-elevation craggy ridgeline of Lone Mountain. There are no pine nor juniper at Junction. Climate is semi-arid to arid, with hot dry summers and cold dry winters.
Outcrop exposure is common on the property. Where outcrop is not exposed, colluvium is interpreted to be local in nature; there is no soil development at Junction, and the development of thick pediment fans is restricted to the eastern flank of the Lone Mountain ridge. Rounded knolls and low relief scarps have a regolith veneer typically less than 30 centimetres thick on top of weathered outcrop. Ridge slopes along Lone Mountain are craggy rubble crop and coarse colluvium. A veneer of tertiary-aged basalt covers the central part of the property.
The Junction property consists of 179 claims covering 3,698 acres (1,497 hectares) within an area of approximately 7.5 by 3 kilometres.
The property 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 restrict exploration on the property, nor is the property within the BLM’s broadly defined area of sage grouse protection.
The property is owned 100% by VR, registered to the Company’s wholly-owned, Nevada-registered US subsidiary Renntiger Resources USA Ltd. Fifteen claims in the western part of the property were acquired from a private company in August, 2017. Terms of the acquisition, including royalty, are outlined in a news release dated August 30, 2017, and available on this website. The additional 125 claims were staked independently and directly by VR. There are no carried or back-in interests on the property.
The 2018 surface exploration program at Junction commenced in April. Work includes:
- Ground gravity survey: property grid of 437 stations collected over 13 by 4 kilometer block on 400 metre station grid, with 200 metre infills over key targets;
- Induced Polarization geophysical survey (IP): two test lines, 2 kilometres long each, over the Denio Summit gravity anomaly and adjacent surface copper-silver showings and copper-silver-gold-tungsten soil anomaly;
- Airborne magnetic and radiometric survey: 200 metre spaced lines with 100 metre spaced infills over key targets for 440 line-kilometers overall covering a 12 by 5 kilometre survey block coincident with the ground-based gravity survey;
- Soil sampling: approximately 400 new soil samples on 9 lines are planned, to complement 307 existing soils on 16 lines on Denio Summit target, in order to evaluate the Lone Mountain and Wilder Creek targets in the central and eastern part of the property.
VR completed first pass geological mapping, prospecting, rock sampling and grid-based soil sampling in September through November, 2017:
- 102 rock samples collected from on and around the property for geochemistry;
- 307 soil samples collected at 25 and 50 metre stations on 16 lines spaced 100 metres apart.
- 13 hand samples for physical property testing, including density, conductivity, resistivity and magnetic susceptibility, and;
- 4 hand samples for plain light and polished section mineral petrology
The property is underlain by biotite-hornblende orthogneiss, a quartz monzonite in composition, and locally feldspar porphyroblastic; a more leucocratic orthogneiss of monzo-granite composition occurs locally. Intrusive age is thought to be Late Cretaceous. The orthogneiss forms the northeastern extension of the Antelope shear zone, as shown on published maps of the Ashdown mine area located 12 kilometres to the southwest. Structural grain is generally steep northwest-dipping.
There are more than 20 individual surface occurrences of polymetallic copper-silver-gold mineralization at Junction, in two separate, subparallel zones within a northeast trend approximately six kilometres long. Mineralization is hosted in feldspar pegmatite dykes, and associated quartz veins. Most occurrences of mineralized dykes and veins dip steeply to the northwest, concordant to the structural grain in orthogneiss, although there are discordant, cross-cutting relationships locally.
The style of mineralization at Junction is consistent along the length of the two zones, amongst the various occurrences in outcrop, old workings (pits and trench cuts, local adits) and in local colluvium outcrop rubble. Centimetre- to decimetre- scale clots and veins of sulfide and mixed sulfide-oxide minerals occur primarily in quartz within, and proximal to decimetre- to metre-scale pegmatite bodies. Quartz veins are centimetre- to metre-scale.
Chalcopyrite and bornite copper sulfides are observed at nearly all of the surface occurrences at Junction. Local, in-situ, supergene sulfide and oxide mineral replacement is common; bornite mineral grains are commonly and progressively replaced outwards from their core by chalcocite-covellite sulfide to cuprite-malachite oxide. The statistical correlation of copper to silver is high at Junction, and consistent, based on a geochemical data set of more than 100 rock samples; the correlation does not vary amongst the various showings along the 6 kilometre trend, nor does it vary depending on the grade of copper in any given sample.
Alteration is well-developed at Junction. Hydrothermal k-spar is present in quartz veins, and in host pegmatite. The most common wallrock alteration assemblages in host orthogneiss are chlorite-epidote and quartz-sericite, with secondary k-spar locally. Metre-scale, pale brown iron carbonate alteration envelopes surround quartz veins within orthogneiss at the Dennio Summit target locally.
Similar styles of mineralization occur at the Ashdown mine and Hall deposit located some 10-15 kilometers to the southwest and northwest of Junction, respectively. Overall, Junction is thought to be on an apophasis, or arm off the larger intrusion which hosts the Ashdown and Hall deposits. At the Ashdown mine, quartz veins from 30 centimetres to three metres wide are hosted in gneissic quartz diorite. Gold was the focus of mining in the late 1800’s. Moly was the focus of exploration between 1979 and 1994, with a brief period of production in 2008. Copper, in the form of chalcopyrite, is associated with moly, but is minor. Quartz-sericite alteration is a common vein alteration halo at Ashdown. At the Hall deposit, mixed sulfide-oxide minerals of copper and silver occur as clots and seams within a ten metre wide quartz vein within schist, at the contact with a large body of granodiorite.