Bayhorse Silver (V.BHS) has recently re-opened old workings at its silver mine in Oregon. The company has always known the workings were present on the site but, until breaking through into those workings it had no idea of their condition.
Given that it costs an average of $1,000 a lineal foot to create new workings, the condition of the older workings is a huge plus for the company. This is especially true given that the company has all of the old plans and drill results for these old workings.
We reached out to Bayhorse to get a sense of the importance of these old workings and their potential impact on Bayhorse’s projected 43-101 Resource Estimate.
Motherlodetv: Bayhorse put out news indicating that you’ve broken through into the old mine workings. Can you tell me what you found?
BayHorse Silver: Most of the old mine workings we entered into are in remarkably good shape, considering they have been inaccessible for over 34 years. Obviously, we were a little concerned about the condition when we started the development haulage way. The back roof is holding up well and much of the original service equipment in the workings, such as the ventilation equipment, air and water lines, is intact, which will save significant capital costs as we move toward mining in this area.
ML: What does this mean for the Bayhorse Mine?
BHS: This means that we are readily able to access the working faces from the 1984 mining campaign and resample the mineralized zone to confirm the grades that were mined at that time (5,718 tons grading an average of 16.7oz/ton) We have submitted some samples for assay already, with more to follow.
This will allow us to calculate a current tonnage for the NI 43-101 report under preparation by Apex Geoscience Ltd. Mike Dufresne of Apex has already visited the property to begin that report.
There are over 1500 feet of haulage ways, drifts and raises accessible for sampling to be included in the current evaluation.
ML: How much do you know about these old workings from the documents you have from the former operator?
BHS: Bayhorse has essentially all of the historical data, recorded in great detail on mine plans, and mine cross sections. We have a complete understanding of the location of all of the previous workings, and what drilling that was done, and where. These have all been incorporated into a new mine plan that is being worked on right now by Apex Geoscience.
ML: What will it take to get these old workings up and running?
BHS: When we intersected the old workings deep inside the mine, we were pleasantly surprised at just what good condition they were. In conjunction with our mining engineer and geologist, our underground team has recommended some cleanup, and some bolting and screening of the back (roof) in a few places to conform to modern safety practices. A few areas will not be accessed because they are not needed for current operations.
ML: Do you have an immediate mining plan?
BHS: An accurate mine plan is essential to making sure we get as much mineral out as we can at minimal costs. Apex is doing this, however, we have reviewed the historic 1984 resource map and identified one proposed mining block, of in excess of 1000 tons that is within a historic high-grade zone, that is untouched. Virgin ground so to speak. A raise will be put in the central portion of this gently dipping block, and the mineralized material will be slushed into the raise and dropped below for hauling to the processing plant.
ML: People tend to think of Bayhorse as a “small” silver mine, what does the rediscovery of the old workings do in terms of the size of the mine?
BHS: When compared to an open pit operation, it is small, however, many underground mines operate at 100 ton a day to a 200 ton day capacity and are considered a medium size. We are optimistic our size projections for the mineralized zone will be confirmed. If it is, then our shareholders will be very pleased, as it will a testament to their trust in what we, and our miners and consultants, have been doing.
We believe the resampling to be conducted by Apex in their work on preparation of the NI 43-101 Report, will quantify the previously reported mineralization to the extent that it will be included in the overall resource categories to be laid out in that report.
Development of the far west reaches of the mine, over 1,100 feet inside the mine, has not yet advanced to the stage where the mineralized extensions can be included in a resource category as yet, but will probably remain as a conceptual exploration target.
Overall we are most pleased with results to date and are thankful that the historic mine openings are largely accessible and can be used to rapidly advance our mining program.