Relief Canyon Mine Project, Nevada













The Relief Canyon Mine Project, Nevada

Relief Canyon Ni43-101

The Relief Canyon property is located at the southern end of the Humboldt Range in northwestern Nevada, about 16 miles in a direct line east-northeast of Lovelock in Pershing County and about 110 miles northeast of Reno, Nevada. The property consists of both millsite claims and lode mining claims.

Five heap leach pads, two solution ponds and a cement block constructed Adsorption- Desorption-Recovery (ADR) solution processing circuit are located on the mill site claims. The ADR type process plant consists of four carbon columns, acid wash system, stripping vessel, electrolytic cells, a furnace and a retort for the production of gold doré. The building was originally installed by Pegasus, updated in 1995 and has been completely updated and new equipment installed in 2007-2008.

Pershing Gold Corporation Commences Drilling at Relief Canyon Gold Project 

On 10/5/11 Pershing Gold Corporation announced that it has commenced Phase One drilling at the Relief Canyon Gold Project, located in the Antelope Springs mining district, Pershing County, 15 miles Northeast of Lovelock Nevada. The first phase of core drilling commenced on the Deep North Zone in late September and is being drilled by Carpenter Drilling, a private core drilling company, of Benton City, Washington. Pershing Gold Corporation staff has designed an initial drill program to further test this area consisting of 11 HQ diameter core holes ranging from 500 feet to 1500 ft. The total Phase One core program is planned for 14,300 feet of core to be drilled.

The Company plans to conduct up to 18,000 feet of core drilling to test the North Deep target, located approximately ½ mile to the north of the existing resource at the Relief Canyon Mine. The objective of the drill program is to further test mineralized zones found by previous operators. Mineralization has been identified in the North Target Area using Reverse Circulation and Core drill holes but insufficient information was collected from the drilling to determine the continuity or stratigraphic alignment of the mineralized material. Following phase one, the Company plans to conduct a 10,000 ft drill program in and adjacent to the current in pit resource to expand and upgrade existing resources.


Gold, silver, mercury, antimony and fluorite have been prospected for and mined in the area since the 1860’s. The first recorded production in the Antelope Springs District was high-grade silver ores from the original Relief mine (originally known as the Batavia and Pacific Mine) in 1869 (Bonham, 1985) and is located about 1.5 miles NE of Relief Canyon.  About 5 miles to the North, the large open pit Rochester gold and silver mine is operated by Coeur Precious Metals.  A few miles further north is Midway Gold’s Spring Valley Active Gold Project (currently over 2.1 million oz gold Measured & Indicated and an additional 1.97 million oz Inferred - Barrick Gold has the ability to earn up to 60% of the project).

Gold was first discovered on the Relief Canyon property by the Duval Corp. in 1979.  Lancana Mining was the first to produce gold.  Production commenced in August of 1984, and Lancana reportedly produced 13,826 oz.

In 1986, Pegasus Gold Corp took an option on the property. The Relief Canyon Gold Mine operated under Pegasus management from November 1986 until September 1990. Ore placement on the heaps ceased in October of 1989. The operation processed approximately 2 million tons per year that averaged 0.03 opt Au (1.028 g/t). Pegasus is reported to have produced over 100,000 ounces gold.

Firstgold Corp purchased the property in 1995.  From 1996 – 2008, Firstgold drilled 182 drill holes for a total of 94,111 feet of drilling.  Further, Firstgold rebuilt the Adsorption-Desorption Recovery plant (ADR plant) that was originally built by Pegasus and installed new equipment into the plant.

Regional Geology

The Relief Canyon Gold Project area is situated in northwest Nevada at the southern end of the Humboldt mountain range, a north-oriented basin and range elongate horst block exposed during late Cenozoic time in central Pershing County. The range forms a broad anticline with Cretaceous intrusive rocks exposed locally in the central core. A package of late Paleozoic to early-mid Mesozoic mostly felsic volcanics, followed by calcareous, and siliceous sediments all dip away from the apex of the range.

During the Jurassic, southeast-directed deformation occurred resulting in highly deformed and thrust imprecated strata. Folds in sedimentary units are related to the thrust faulting and display a variety of geometries on both map and outcrop scales.

Metamorphism during the late Mesozoic time was followed by the emplacement of Cretaceous intrusives now exposed in the central portion of the Humboldt Mountain Range. In late Cenozoic time diabase (gabro) dikes striking generally northwest, intruded along structural weaknesses into the surrounding rocks. A period of active volcanism in the late Cenozoic, probably less than 20 ma old has largely been eroded by uplift, with the result that only isolated patches of basalt are preserved (Ponce 2002).

Local Geology

The Relief Canyon Gold Project is located on the western flank of the southern Humboldt Range, along the east side of Packard Flat. The northeast-trending range, bound by the Black Ridge Fault to the west, is composed of Late Paleozoic to mid-Triassic felsic and intermediate volcanic flows and tuffs, silty and micritic limestones, mudstones, sandstones and their lower greenschist facies metamorphic equivalents. In addition, several episodes of granite, granodiorite, monzogranite, and diabase (gabbro) composition intrusive rocks are present. Alluvium is made up from the surrounding exposed basement rocks, along with lakebed sediments, and tuffa from Pleistocene lakes.

Current Resource

A NI43-101 compliant resource estimate was completed by Mine Development Associates (MDA) in June 2010.  For more information, please view the full report (available on the website).

The following table reflects the NI43-101 gold resource, as identified by Firstgold, the project’s previous operator. 

  Cut-off (oz Au/ton) Tons Grade (oz Au/ton) Oz Au
Indicated Resource: 0.005 6,533,000 0.017 113,000
Inferred Resources: 0.005 2,719,000 0.015 42,000
  Total: 9,252,000 ton  Average Grade: 0.017 oz/ton

Pershing Gold Corporation and its consultants believe that project geology and historic evidence point to significant potential to grow the resource.  Pershing Gold Corporation believes that Relief Canyon provides the Company with dual opportunities consisting of excellent exploration targets in under-explored areas of the property and continuation of the prior work.  Subject to required federal and state permitting and bonding requirements, the Company plans to commence an aggressive exploration program with the intention of growing the resource at Relief Canyon.

Relief Canyon Ni43-101 (PDF)