Pathfinder Tonopah is advancing the concept of combining two historic copper and molybdenum resources for the first time, and exploring merging mine plans into a single pit design with a common process method.
In July Pathfinder Tonopah and its consultants had an onsite strategy session for the next phases of development including PFS through feasibility. The plan allows for the project to be operational as early as 2027.
TonaTec completed the first phase of 4k ft drilling for metallurgical testing focused on obtaining fresh material. Some of those samples are now at Blue Coast Research’s lab for floatation testing. Initial leaching pretreatment test work yielded positive recovery results for copper and silver. These will be considered with fresh ore after reviewing results of initial floatation work.
Following the first phase of drilling, Pathfinder completed another 3k ft of drilling to test for further variability across the supergene resources, and targeted some deeper mineralization below the known supergene resources. Deeper drills tests showed copper and molybdenum mineralization between the known supergene resources and known hypogene resources associated with the porphyry system.
Pathfinder has commissioned another 16k ft of drilling to further test and delineate mineralization below the supergene copper resources and outside of the historic molybdenum resources. This additional drilling will be in, around, and between the two historic pits to evaluate mineralization at depth. This historic supergene copper and silver resource is predominantly drilled to 350ft depth, but one of recent drill holes that was extended to 2166’ intercepted over 400’ of about 0.1% Cu and 0.1% Mo from visual estimates. Our current drill program has several holes that will test for extensions of the deeper mineralization and for continuation of shallower mineralization in the volume of material below the supergene resources and above the known molybdenum mineralization. Further drilling is required to determine the full scale, but early indications suggest there may be a hypogene resource under the supergene.
The project is moving from desktop studies to work contributing to the PFS with additional contractors engaged in geotechnical studies, waste rock and pit hydrogeology and geochemistry, resource modeling, engineering, metallurgy and environmental studies. For this work, the contractors we have engaged include Call & Nicholas Inc., SRK, Piteau, IMC, M3, Blue Coast Research, and the Mines Group Inc.
M3 Engineering was engaged to start the PFS process along with newly appointed Chief Operating Officer Dr. Nathan Chutas to lead the program. Nathan has a Ph.D in geology and a he has a rich background of resource project development experience.
Pathfinder Tonopah’s solar injection project continues in NV Energy’s LGIR process. A change in the cluster triggered a re-analysis of the System Impact Study. Results of that are anticipated later this year.