Location and Access:
The Tarbox and Black Traveler claim groups are located 2.5 miles north and 3.5 miles northeast from Saltese, Montana, respectively. Access is by 2WD accessible forest roads northward from I-90 which runs roughly east-west through this area. The properties and access roads are snow-free 7-8 months annually.
Geology, Mineralization and Exploration:
The East CDA District is underlain by Proterozoic Belt sedimentary rocks, predominantly quartzites, argillites and siltites of the Revett, St. Regis and Wallace formations. The NW-trending Osburn fault and its Montana counterparts dominate the local structural and topographic grain and are the overriding ore control features.
The mesothermal vein deposits in western Montana are isotopically similar to veins in Idaho’s Silver Valley and are likely to persist to great depth. Historically productive veins and the most compelling exploration targets are indicated at the surface by topographic lineaments and a distinctive phyllitic/sericitic alteration with core domains of brecciation and elaborate gossan. Ore minerals include chalcopyrite, galena, sphalerite, tetrahedrite and sulphosalts. Vein gangue is composed primarily of quartz, ankerite, sericite, iron oxides, siderite and calcite.
These geologic features are very similar to the surface character of the vein system exposed at the “glory hole” surface open cut at the apex of the Gold Hunter vein system. The Gold Hunter vein system is a major active mine located several miles to the west of Hecla Mining Company’s Lucky Friday Mine. This mine is now one of the deepest mines in North America, extending at depth to greater than 9,000 feet below the surface.
The Tarbox Mine is a past producer and reportedly hosts a historic 200,000-ton historic resource grading 2.4 opt Ag, 4.5% Pb and 7% Zn with one section assaying up to 8% Cu. Using the Gold Hunter vein system analog, geologists from Silver Trend LLC interpret this mineralization to have increasing silver and decreasing copper grade with depth.
One previous exploration drill hole at the Black Traveler Mine was intended to locate the downward extension of a major oxidized vein that yielded assays up to 20% Cu. Recent VLF-resistivity data and review of historic records together suggest that the vein is dipping 90 degrees or steeply south, opposite of the targeted direction.