Projects The Big Bear Gold Claims - San Bernardino County, California
Big Bear Location and History
This Big Bear Claims lie in southwestern San Bernardino County about 30 miles northeast of San Bernardino on the north east side of the San Bernardino Mountains The Big Bear claims presently cover an area of about 1440 acres or about 2.5 square miles, near Lucerne Valley, CA and currently consists of 9 claims.
San Bernardino County is the largest County in California, and in fact the largest County in the United States. It is an intensely mineralized area, with records indicating more than 250 mines recorded in the area. Commodities from industrial minerals to gold and silver have been produced since the mid 1800s and still form a large part of the local economy, therefore the governments and agencies are generally mining friendly. The area remains an important cement and industrial production area.
The area has been known as the Blackhawk Mining district in most reports. The district was organized in 1870, when an English concern organized the Santa Fe group in 1890 to work the area on a large scale, but work stopped soon afterward and prospecting was minor during the early 1900s. The Santa Fe group was re-opened in 1921 and operated continuously until 1940. In this last operating phase the production amounted to a reported $300,000.
Mining in California
Based on the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) preliminary data for 2007, California ranked third behind Arizona and Nevada in non-fuel mineral production, accounting for approximately 6.3% of the nations' total. The market value of mineral production for California was $4.3 billion. California produced about 30 different industrial minerals during the year.
California led the nation in the production of sand and gravel, portland cement, diatomite and natural sodium sulfate, and was the only producer of boron and rare earths. The state ranked second behind Florida for masonry cement. The only metals produced were gold and silver.
California ranked 6th in gold production out of nine states that reported for the year. Other minerals produced include common clay, bentonite clay (including hectorite), crushed stone, dimension stone, feldspar, fuller's earth, gemstones, gypsum, iron ore (used in cement manufacture), kaolin clay, lime, magnesium compounds, perlite, pumice, pumicite, rare earths, salt, silver, soda ash, and zeolites. There were about 660 active mines producing non-fuel minerals during 2007. Approximately 10,000 people are employed at these mines and their processing plants.
Mining Phase 1
The phase 1 evaluation plan already underway, involves resampling and mapping earlier reported zones for which original data is no longer available, while seeking extensions of alteration that may have been ignored by earlier workers due to lower than economic grades at the time. If phase 1 work provides the results we believe it will, Phase 2 will be put in play. Phase 2 will involve drilling and bulk sampling of mineralized areas in order to design an appropriate recovery system, and simultaneously develop the detail information required for mine permitting.
Geology and Ore Deposits
The area is underlain by granitic rocks, mica schist, gneiss, and a limestone breccia belt. A mineralized zone known as the Arlington-Santa Fe lode occurs in a thrust fault that strikes west and dips north. The historic ores consisted of hematite-bearing fault gouge in limestone breccia. Several ore bodies were reported to yield up to one ounce of gold per ton. The ore zones were reported to be up to 75 feet thick and 1000 feet long, with altered weaker mineralization in the host rocks.
The carbonate host rocks that slid off the mountain contain naturally crushed vein mineralized rock which has been a target for gold exploration for many decades. In the late 1970s, an exploration program of 61 drill holes, hundreds of feet of bull dozer trench sampling and extensive geochem surface sampling reported broader mineralized than had been noted before.
This exploration showed broad areas of gold mineralization contained in the landslide. Estimates showed the areas to contain up to 80 million tons of mineralized material at gold grades of approximately .03 oz/ton, and silver grades around .25 oz/ton. This shows a gross potential of 2 to 3 million ounces of gold and 10 to 20 million ounces of silver.
Gold values of the late 1970s (approx $350/oz gold and $15 oz/ton silver) did not make the project economically interesting at the time. However, the current gold and silver prices, at plus $1700/oz gold and Silver in the mid $30s/oz, cast the economics in a very favorable light.