The Clayton Silver Mine has a multi-decade history of production. Although a substantial amount of high grade ore was mined from the property until operations were suspended in 1986, the project has significant untapped potential:
CMX Expands Clayton Landholdings
In October 2022, the Company completed its claims staking program surrounding the 100%-owned Clayton Silver Property. A total of 22 lode claims were surveyed and staked on federal Bureau of Land Management land, adding approximately 450 acres. The staking increased the Company's land position by 66%, bringing the total acreage covered to 1,131 acres. The 22 new claims are adjacent to and surround the Company's patented claims and cover the historic Rob Roy silver/lead/zinc mine immediately north of the Clayton patented claims. An important part of the Company's strategy is to gain control of land surrounding the Clayton Mine prior to starting a drilling program.
The Company will commence work programs in 2023 and extending over the next several years to assess the resource potential within the structures related to the previously mined sections and to expand the search to determine the potential for other mineralized zones in adjacent structures. This will entail detailed geophysical work and multiple drill programs. The new claims have exploration potential for mineralized vein systems and deposits. The Company has concluded that very little geophysics was done on the property historically and, as well, exploration drilling was limited.
The Company plans to commence the first program in 2023 with geophysical work to pinpoint drill locations for immediate follow-up drilling within the known mineralized systems identified and referred to as the South and North Ore Bodies in the old mine workings.
Mine Stockpile Exploitation Potential
In May 2022, the Company signed an agreement with Sulphide Remediation Inc. (“SRI”) (https://www.sulphide-remediation.com/), an affiliate of ABH Engineering Inc. of Surrey, B.C., a firm specializing in mineral processing (https://www.abhengineeringinc.com/). SRI utilizes precision ore sorting technology to high-grade mine stockpiles of unprocessed rock to enhance the grade of material delivered to a toll mill. Dual Energy X-Ray Transmission technologies differentiate between rocks based on small fluctuations in density profiles and are effective at removing sulphides and concentrating valuable metals. The sorted rock can be treated at existing mills/smelters where valuable metals will be extracted and sulphides will be safely handled. SRI has some of the world's leading experts in crushing, screening and ore sorting. Pursuant to the agreement with the Company, SRI took samples from the Clayton stockpile with no upfront cost to the Company. About 500 kilograms of samples were shipped to TOMRA Systems ASA's ore-sorting laboratory in Sydney, Australia for analysis and process testing.
The concentrate produced by sorting was subsequently assayed at Bureau Veritas Australia Pty Ltd.’s laboratory in Sydney. The initial test of the ore-sorting technology comprised a 395-kilogram sample. The test recovered at least 70% of the metals and returned a 41-kilogram concentrate of sorted product of about 10% of the initial mass. Assays for the silver, lead, zinc, copper, and gold in the concentrated product returned the following grades:
Ag (g/t)/(oz/t) : 156/5.02
Pb (%) : 3.10
Zn (%) : 1.91
Cu (%) : 0.096
Au (g/t) : 0.1
Compared to average grades documented in the Company’s 2014 stockpile evaluation program (see below), ore-sorting increased the silver grade by 6.4 times and the lead and zinc grades by 7 times. The success of TOMRA’s ore-sorting to enhance the grade of the metals of interest in the stockpile is confirmed by the excellent assay results. Ore-sorting is a proven technology utilized successfully around the world to recover metals from historically mined material. Testing confirmed the Company's expectation that it would work well on the stockpile material.
The Company’s 2014 stockpile evaluation program returned an average gold grade of 0.80 g/t for samples collected from 16 locations. The 2014 assay results indicated that the gold grade in the stockpile is variable. CMX believes the low grade for gold assayed in the 2023 ore-sorted product is probably representative of the “nugget effect”, which means the sample recovered from the stockpile may or may not have contained more significant gold. Ore-sorting is expected to capture gold in the concentrate when it is present in the stockpile.
SRI will at its cost construct and deliver an optimal ore sorting system to the Clayton Mine site. The system will be capable of processing from 3,000 tonnes to 4,000 tonnes per day. SRI will manage all aspects of the stockpile processing program. After deducting operating expenses from the revenue received for the processed stockpile material from the toll mill or smelter, the net profits will be shared 50:50 between the Company and SRI. The goal is to generate cash flow for the Company in 2024.
An assessment of the potential of the mine stockpile was undertaken in 2014/15. Representatives of the Company collected samples from 16 locations on the stockpile situated immediately adjacent to the old Clayton Mine workings and extending to the south. An aggregate of over 3,000 kilograms of sample material was collected. Test locations were selected to ensure representative samples. The Company's management was on site during sampling to ensure random sample selection.
Results from analysis of the mine stockpile samples confirmed the presence of a suite of metals. Panning of material from the stockpile has confirmed the presence of free, relatively coarse gold, while analysis of the samples documents the presence of gold in each sample. In particular, assays confirmed gold values up to 2.84 gm/t (Sample 11369) with a simple average of 0.80 gm/t for the 16 locations comprising the suite of samples.
Statistical averages of the 16 locations of the mine stockpile sampling program:
. Au – 0.80 gms/t
. Ag – 24.31 gms/t
· Pb – 0.44%
· Zn – 0.27%
CLAYTON SILVER PROJECT
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