West Port Gold Mine
690 Acre Placer Claim Middle Camp District
La Paz County, ArizonaContact Gold Rush Expeditions
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The main project area consists of eight placer gold claims totaling 160 acres in the foothills on the south flank of Middle Camp Mountain, above the transition to an alluvium and colluvium covered pediment characteristic of the Mohave Desert physiographic terrain. The bedrock geology consists of weathering-resistant Jurassic granitic intrusives with abundant amphibolite blocks and xenoliths that cut older, less resistant, felsic to mafic volcanic rocks in the lowlands. The current project involves one of the gulleys in the above-mentioned foothills that contain well consolidated Tertiary gravel deposits with layers of calcareous hard-pan and caliche replacements above, at, and below the bedrock contact. Gold occurs in the tertiary gravels, and particularly above several hardpan layers and the bedrock contact, as paleo-placer deposits and as modern placers in active stream gravel that cut the paleo-placers. The source of the gold is said to be scattered quartz-magnetite/hematite and quartz-sulfide veins and veinlets associated with Jurassic instrusions comprising Middle Camp Mountain.
The gold is alloyed with silver and shows a broad range of fineness from less than 700 to more than 900, with an average of 850. Screening and microscope studies indicate that the bulk of the gold values are in sub-rounded particles between 0.3 and 1.0 millimeters in diameter. Nevertheless, about 40% of the gold mass occurs as small nuggets larger than a millimeter in diameter. Because of its relative coarseness, the placer gold is readily recovered by any of a variety of wet gravity methods. The coarseness of the gold results in a broad range of assay values (termed nugget effect) that are difficult to reproduce by replicate samples. The problem can be mitigated somewhat by taking large initial samples in the 70 to 100 pound range, and by using cumulative average grades of panned concentrates derived from such samples.
On a global scale, West Port's Middle Camp prospect is comparatively small, albeit relatively rich for placer gold deposit. The gold offers in modern and ancestral gravel deposits within a stream bed 15-200 feet wide and a mile long. The southern part was mined out decades ago, and is largely claimed by others, but WPE controls the north half that has had only cursory work to an average depth of about 4 feet. The gravels on Westport's property are insufficiently explored to have a defendable ore resource, but preliminary information suggests that the favorable gravels cover an area of approximately 38,000 square meters, and that the average thickness of the pay gravels in the five large pits dug in 2014 to depths between four and seven meters (13 and 24 feet) was between three and five meters (9 and 16 feet), with different data sets displaying gold grades varying between trace and nearly 200 grams per tonne. The most reliable assays tended to converge between one and seven grams per tonne.
Assays were based on the fire assay technique, utilizing two different finishes, atomic absorption, normally a geochemical application that has good resolution at low grades, but suspicious resolution at high grades, and gravimetric that is reliable at high gold grades, but unreliable when grades are near or below 0.06 opt (2.0 gpt). Most of the historic exploration campaigns on the property employed gravimetric assay finishes, so may have seriously under-reported gold values. Further testing is required to determine both the average grade, and the average thickness of the pay gravels on the property.
Mining Claim Description
The WPE placer gold property consists of eight contigious unpatented placer mining claims totaling 160 acres in an un-surveyed area of township 4 North, Range 20 West, Gila and Salt River Baseline and MEridian. Teh claims are situated on the south flank of Middle Camp Mountain near the south easter foot of the Dome Rock Mountains, in La Paz County, western Arizona, near the California border. The claims are known as WPE #s 1 through 7 and White Cross #2, and occur in the middle camp mining district, approximately 6 miles west of the town of quartzite. Each of the claims is 20 acres in area, with dimensions of 660 feet wide, east to west, and 1320 feet long, north to south.
West Port's placer claims are on public lands administered by the BLM.