The Cortez Story - Part Four: Profiles of Sample Junior Players (2)
Precious Metals Special Report
... Part One: Overview
... Part Two: The Fundamentals
... Part Three: Overview of Players, Two Majors
... Part Four: Profiles of Sample Junior Players
... Part Five: Cortez Trend Maps, Pictorial Overview
Part Four: Profiles of Sample Junior Players (2)
Size of Cortez land position: 83.2 sq. miles
1) Benmark (100% by owned by White Knight) 1.7 sq. miles
2) Cabin Creek (100% owned) 0.9 sq. miles
3) Celt (100% owned) 12.4 sq. miles. "Teck Cominco ('TCAI') has an option to earn a 51% interest by spending US$4 million and paying US $750,000..."
4) Cottonwood (100% owned) 1.9 sq. miles
5) Fye Canyon (100% owned) 10.8 sq. miles. "Teck Cominco American Incorporated has an option to earn a 51% interest" by spending US $4 million and paying US$750,000 by 2008. TCAI may earn an additional 9% interest by completing a feasibility study."
6) Goldstone (100% owned) 1.3 sq. miles
7) Gold Bar Horst (100% owned) 4.5 sq. miles
8) Gold Pick (100% owned) 0.4 sq. miles
9) Hunter (100% owned) 1.5 sq. miles
10) Indian Ranch (75% owned) 17 sq. miles. "Placer Dome U.S. Inc. has the right to earn a 60% interest for US $2 million in expenditures over 4 years and may earn an additional 15% by financing a feasibility study." WKR announced Sept 28, 2004 that drilling had commenced here.
11) McClusky Pass (100% owned) 7.6 sq. miles
12) Pat Canyon (100% owned) 4.1 sq. miles
13) Slaven Canyon (100% owned) 9.7 sq. miles. In April White Knight hopes to start drilling a total of 15,000 feet in 7 to 8 drill holes. Each hole may take two weeks apiece. Although Slaven Canyon is 5 to 10 km to the west of Klondex's Fire Creek Mine, White Knight believes that it may reach a different, older formation closer to or on the Cortez Fault system.
14) Squaw Creek (100% owned) 4.7 sq. miles. "Consolidated Odyssey Exploration Inc. ("ODE") has an option to earn a 50% interest by spending US $2 million, issuing 500,000 shares and paying US$500,000 over a 4-year period."
15) Tonkin Summit (100% owned) 4.6 sq. miles
Outside of Cortez, in Nevada
16) New Pass, in Austin-Lovelock Trend (100% owned) 3.3 sq. miles. "Consolidated Odyssey Exploration Inc. ("ODE") has an option to earn a 50% interest by spending $US2 million..."
Active mines in Cortez: None
Amount of proven reserves in Cortez. No proven and probable yet.
Exposure to Cortez: 96% of White Knight's land position is in the Cortez Trend. White Knight also has the third largest land position after Newmont Mining and the Cortez Joint Venture (Placer Dome/Kennecott (Rio Tinto).
Total gold reserves in company. None
Total production None
Total Company revenues: None.
Fully diluted shares: 65.5 million.
Working capital: Around $13 million
Outside ownership/largest shareholders. Goldcorp owns around 10%. Other shareholders include Kinross and Teck Cominco Ltd
Management/Strategy: White Knight has had as its "Holy Grail" finding the Cortez Fault system. The company has sought to control as much land on top of it as possible. The two lead geologists, Bob Cuffney and Hans Rasmussen, both worked for Newmont in the Carlin Trend area in the 1980's. According to Mr. Rasmussen, they both learned from that experience that "If you are out of the fault, you are out of the game!"
The largest and highest grade discoveries along the Carlin Trend are associated with major faults (see Carlin chart near the beginning of Part Five). The Carlin faults are very old, just like the Cortez faults. Size and age can matter, to the event that these attributes can increases the statistical odds of repeated geological events that can bring more gold-bearing fluids close to the surface to form deposits. Mr. Rasmussen thinks there is a strong possibility that the Cortez Structural corridor system may be both older and bigger than the Carlin fault system. The Cortez Fault system corridor appears to have been a continental or tectonic plate edge for hundreds of millions of years before the ocean got pushed further westward, perhaps sometime around the period when the California Sierras were formed roughly 100 million years ago.
Mr. Rasmussen is a geophysicist who explained White Knight's methodology for outlining the Cortez Fault system during a Technical Session of the Northwest Mining Association on Dec 10, 2004 (pictures from his presentation are provided at the end of Part Five). Unlike the San Andreas Fault in California, the Cortez Fault has been covered over by many relatively recent geologically events (meaning millions or tens of millions of years ago as opposed to hundreds of million years ago). It takes some real detective work to find it.
Both the Cortez and Carlin fault systems show significant events from roughly four different geological periods. The Goldstrike Mine in the Carlin Trend shows a Jurassic (150 to 205 million years old) intrusion. A Jurassic event is also present on the Cortez Trend at the Mill Canyon Intrusion, adjacent to the Cortez Hills discovery. Elsewhere on the Carlin Trend are Cretaceous (71-144 million years old) intrusives. Cretaceous events on the Cortez Trend are present at Gold Acres and the Battle Mountain Complex. Lastly, there are significant intrusives at both Carlin and Cortez related to both a broad 38-40 million year old geological event and a 16 million year old event that created the Northern Nevada Rift (see chart in Part Five produced by Klondex that links Carlin's Ken Snyder Mine to its Fire Creek Mine).
Mr. Rasmussen observed that the main gold-formation event for Carlin-style deposits both on the Carlin and Cortez Trends took place 38-40 million years ago. He noted that there was a counterclockwise plate rotation that changed the direction of the Pacific Plate and Hawaiian Island chain during this period, as well as the end of the eastward continental compression that I discuss in Parts Two and Five. A major geological event for this period figures prominently for the Golcanda Trend in Nevada, the Phoenix Deposit and Fortitude Mine in the northwestern end of the Cortez Trend, and also various deposits extending as far as Bingham, Utah. There is a 38 million year old intrusive in the Cortez Mine. This event was key to the Cortez Hills deposit, however the evidence is sketchier in regard to the Pipeline Complex.
Mr. Rasmussen believes that the 16 million year old event that formed the Northern Nevada Rift was also key to many gold deposits. They exist in basaltic structures that set them apart from other geological events. They can be found along the Northern Nevada Rift (see chart in Part Five) at the Ken Snyder (Midas) Mine on the Carlin Trend. In the Cortez Trend area, they are also found at Klondex's Fire Creek Mine, Newmont's Mule Canyon Mine, and Placer Dome's Buckhorn Mine deposits east of the old Cortez Mine.
White Knight hopes to get verification for its theories through exposure to $5 million in exploration expenditures in 2005. The company anticipates drilling several long holes in its Slaven Canyon property in April. Significantly, according to one source, Placer Dome has staked land to the north and south of this property, which might indicate that certain Placer personnel also believe that Slaven Canyon lies on the Cortez Fault system. White Knight also hopes to drill in its Fye Canyon (Teck Cominco JV), Celt (Teck Cominco JV), and Squaw Creek (Consoldated Odyssey JV) properties.
Analyst Coverage: See John Kaiser overview of the company in Part Two of this series.
End of Part Four: Profiles of Sample Junior Players
Back to Part Three: Part Three: Overview of Players and Two Majors
Forward to: Part Five: Cortez Trend Maps, Pictorial Overview