LWIR targeting for Carlin-style gold under alluvial cover, Nevada
The Challenge: Nevada is one of the world’s top destinations for gold mining exploration and development. But a 50-year history of modern exploration has largely depleted surface-exposed prospects across the region—with 18 of the last 20 major discoveries having been made under alluvial cover ranging in thickness from 500 meters to as little as 1 meter.
Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) satellite imagery was conducted on an area of pervasive alluvial cover identified as prospective based on a Desk Study of structural trends and geology exposed in nearby mountains. The LWIR analysis found distinct mineralogical differences in an area of visually-identical alluvial sediments. Leucite and gypsum anomalies were found, similar to signatures observed at a nearby major mine operated by Barrick Gold. Targeting was refined through identification of a “dead zone” in calcite response, potentially indicating de-calcified limestone at depth, of the type associated with many Carlin-style gold deposits.
Soil sampling lines were collected across the leucite anomaly and potential de-calcified zone, and returned anomalous gold values ranging from 10 parts per billion to as high as 183 parts per billion—values consistent with studies at the Cortez gold mine that showed values between 10 and 40 parts per billion gold in soils located above known mineralized zones (Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, 2011).
The target was flagged for staking of mineral claims, and additional soil sampling ahead of test drilling.