Friday, February 10, 2017

Hermosa update and corrections

In my original post I had this section.

Arizona mining did want to drill in the public land, but unfortunately their recent application for 8 holes was cancelled (link), and they have another permit for 5-6 exploration holes that are on-hold.

You can download the entire permit application and maps from here (link).

Correction: the permit for the 5-6 exploration holes that are on hold are actually for Regal Resources' Sunnyside project. 

I incorrectly assumed that Arizona still had an option on these concessions. I apologize for that, and thank you to LM for correcting me, and I've also copied his excellent comment, who is following Arizona mining much more closely than I am able to do.

The drilling application was actually cancelled by the company itself, because the Forest Service indicated they would require at minimum an Environmental Assessment which is like an 18 month process. And in the end apparently the application had already been downsized to just 2 drill platforms totaling less than an acre of disturbance, which is tiny in the scheme of exploration on forest land. So instead, the company withdrew the application and is now supposedly planning a much larger drill program on the public land to be announced sometime in 2017, hoping I guess that under Trump the Forest Service will ignore the established molasses-pace process and fast-track approve the new drilling to commence shortly over the objections of the local majority. In the meanwhile, said locals continue coming up with new material to defeat mining in this area including the recent appearance of several jaguars including possibly a female, which are the first ones to have been observed in the U.S. in decades. So best case is still about 10 years for permitting. A good example might be the Montenore and Rock Creek projects in Montana (both now owned by Hecla) which are about 15 years into the process. Of course the most direct comparable is Rosemont which has dragged along in final permitting purgatory for a staggering 6 years. 

Here is the webpage for Patagonia Area Resource Alliance (PARA) - link

I would recommend you to read their summary on the permitting process at Taylor/Hermosa. It has a very pro-environment stance (i.e. very anti-mining), but the important thing to note their passion and desire to fight to stop any mining (or activities related to mining) in the area. Unfortunately, in mining we can't copy what Disaster Area's management did - you'll have to look up that reference yourselves.

What do Arizona Mining say in their presentation about permitting at Taylor?
Mining Friendly
So, they can only explore 2% of the property, and have a organisation fighting to prevent any mining in the Patagonia area. Fortunately, several more advanced projects (Resolution, Rosemont) in the state have spent several years in permitting purgatory, but screw permitting, let us get back to geology, let us have a look at the Sweet, Juicy Taylor D(eep) zone. Here it is in its magnificence.

This is the map in the press release

red is good!
This map shows where the drill-holes have hit the Taylor deep zone, which sits 950-1450m below surface. This is what it looks like in 3D.

We can see that the Deep zone is very deep, 1000-1450m below surface, there was some mention in the PR that it could come closer to surface, but unfortunately drill-hole 352 doesn't appeared to hit any mineralization where the TDS continues to the SE.

Let us take a close look:

Nothing very special, some scatty high-grade zones

We see again that the high grade zinc zones are actually quite narrow (3-5m), and a bit scatty, but as they say - all news is good news.

Updated model here (link)


  1. Angrygeo, it may be time to reflect on whether you're in any position to speculate on the issue of permitting as it is clearly a matter beyond your expertise. Further, your promotion and support of the Para organisation demonstrates a bias against this project. You should question whether you are straining the ethical guidelines of your professional organization before someone files a complaint

    1. Hello IP
      I'm more than happy to say that I'm not an expert on environmental permitting laws in Arizona, I have worked with the FS in several other states, including a couple of very pro-environmental ones. For us it was a case of, prior to commencing any exploration activities, gauging the level of opposition to mining. If the area was strongly anti-mining, we simply moved on as there was no reason, no matter how good we felt that the deposit could be, there was no chance to develop the project, which was our end-game.

      I'm not pro-environmental, the idea of the link, had you read my article, was to show that there is a NGO that is determined to prevent any development of the Taylor-Central deposit. They watch every move that AZ make and put a very negative spin on it. I was using it as a 'buyer beware' angle - the geology is good, the resources are large but there is a passionate environmental organization operating in the area that is determined to prevent any mining or exploration in the Patagonia mountains.

      So with even the large resource that AZ have, it is likely to be a project that joins many others in Arizona and the US in permitting hell.

    2. AG, thanks for the reply. I am not convinced mere opposition by a small minority will rule the day and defeat the project. They are a very small group with very little money and they reflect the views of who they are, older people who are recent arrivals to the area who dont really care about the economic survival of a small shrinking town. The real locals support the project and its hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars in expenditures. A mexican jaguar who lives a hundred miles away should not be a concern.

    3. Hello IP. Unfortunately in the US mining is an easy target for environmental groups and they have a tendency to flock together. You also hit the nail on the head, you have (probably) wealthy retirees moving to the town (as it is quite, cheap housing etc.) and want to preserve its charm, and on the other side you have the community that want opportunities for the town.

      I think that if we see that AZ have managed to fit all of the infrastructure onto their private land (in the upcoming PEA), they could be in with a chance to development the Taylor deposit, but it will still be a 5-10+ year process.

    4. Dr. Mister Anonymous Permitting Expert: No, a jaguar should not be a concern but it will be used along with everything else that opponents can muster to delay, stall or stop project development. And no, it is not likely that the project will be "defeated" but it is likely that the permitting will be difficult and lengthy despite what the company and its sell side analysts will tell you. The examples of how delays add up are easy to find, just look at any of literally dozens of development projects in the U.S. over the past two decades. A local group doesn't need a lot of resources to wage court battles because they get support from larger enviro-NGOs and pro bono representation. Even if the EPA turns softie under Trump the courts are still there, and they may be even more inclined to rule against alleged deficiencies in the review process (look at the ridiculous recent 9th circuit ruling against Mt. Hope over a few shortcomings in their air quality review ... this is not going to get better under Trump).

  2. Hardy Har Har. The OH SO detail orientated AG semi-spanked and semi-threatened by some total goofus with a vested interest. You suffer fools better than I AG. By the by there's some real action on the Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. - NDM.t front. (17m shares so far) These dorks make a career outta suing folks on the internet. Full-on whankers the HDI group are and you can quote me on this.

    1. I'm a big boy and can accept where I have made a mistake, which was the reason why I put it in the post. I try to make them unbiased, and happy to accept feedback from people that are more knowledgeable about the project and the jurisdiction that I.

      If Taylor gets permitted super quickly, I'll be the first to eat my humble pie

    2. I hear you AG. Simple fact is anonymous know nothing sheeple will slag your effort from a position of ignorance every single day. Its faaaaar easier to moan and/or biatch than work to offer anything of actual value to anybody. (such is a blogger's burden eh?)
      I have found ALL your comments valid and anybody pooh-poohing the permitting process need only take a gander at poster child NDM.t. Our shorter's report is an eye opener. $ 5.4b in capital costs? Damn that truly Tis.

      My style is Tango Mining Limited - TGV.v pulling uber big diamonds with a freakin backhoe for peanuts beside the Orange River. That's speculation IMO, nada buying at the absolute top of a promotion to give some smart monkey his big returns.

  3. I get a kick when people like IP makes the comment that the people who are against AMI are old rich retired folk who have moved to Patagonia recently. I would venture to say that IP has never spent a moment in the nature environment for one minute. We continue to poison and pollute our nature environment for the sake of a few dollars. AMI is a junior speculative mining company, they have never operated a mine and have no intention of operating this project. If this project comes to pass a real Mining company will be the operators, They will hire miners with underground mining experience. There will be little benefit to Patagonia except as the sacrificial lamb for a company that cares very little for the people.

    1. It may be hard for you to believe but there can be responsible mine development and operation. Obviously any mining activity will cause some level of pollution and environmental degradation but these can be designed, limited, controlled and managed in a way to still generate overall benefits (including environmental mitigation in critical areas an habitats that do more good than the harm from the mine). Arizona Mining might waste millions in court and delays, why not try to work with the company up front and have that money instead put into productive use for the environment and community? I'm not saying the company is willing to engage in this way but it might be worth a try.

  4. Any comments AG or TS on chances of new application by Barksdale?