Rye Patch Works Toward Eight Million Nevada Gold Ounces
By Ted Niles
Some junior miners are uncertain about it. Others are coy. Rye Patch Gold announces its intention in big block capitals on its website: “Build a critical mass of quality gold and silver ounces in the ground to entice a buyout.” President and CEO Bill Howald further elucidates the concept: “Newmont just paid over $400 per ounce to Fronteer Gold—they’re already miners, good miners, and we feel we’re pretty good finders. So the hand-in-glove fit is for us to deliver ounces to the likes of Newmont or Barrick or Kinross [which owns 15% of Rye Patch] or others already operating in Nevada.”
Rye Patch has four properties that occupy 85 square kilometres in Nevada. Its gold inventory consists of 986,000 gold ounces measured and indicated, 2.12 million ounces inferred. Its silver inventory consists of 9.84 million ounces measured and indicated, 30.5 million ounces inferred. All categories considered as gold equivalent totals 3.9 million ounces.
The increase in Rye Patch’s resource is being driven by its Wilco Project on the Oreana Trend. Howald says, “We picked it up back in 2006 as a Newmont farm-out. We had some new ideas with regards to the geology and mineralization and conducted drill programs on the property in 2007, 2008, 2009 as well as last year. In 2010, we started to hit some very high grades on the northern side of the Section Line resource area. We followed that up again in the fall and continued to have success in high grades over distances of five to 15 metres. We mounted a core program this year to try to get a better handle on the geology and a better understanding of the mineralization.”
Wilco assays released May 9 include 2.25 g/t gold and 10.2 g/t silver over 6.1 metres, 1.7 g/t gold and 28.4 g/t silver over 11.3 metres (including 4.28 g/t gold and 74.6 g/t silver over 2.8 metres), 2.25 g/t gold and 31.9 g/t silver over 12 metres (including 7.04 g/t gold and 92.1 g/t silver over 1.8 metres) and 6.22 g/t gold over 4.8 metres (including 16.4 g/t gold over 1.4 metres).
March assays included 2.17 g/t gold over 17.3 metres (including 9.98 g/t over 3 metres), 31.75 g/t gold and 106.3 g/t silver over 2.1 metres, and 3.86 g/t gold and 31.81 g/t silver over 37 metres (including 40.33 g/t gold and 175.88 g/t silver over 2.2 metres).
Howald calls the May results “pretty good” and the March results “outstanding.” He adds, “They show that the drilling is fairly predictable—we can predict where the structure’s going to be. And we’re hitting grades and alteration along a 500-metre long strike length. We’ll continue to delineate that through 2011, with the idea of putting out a new resource on Wilco, including this new high-grade zone, early in 2012.”
The hand-in-glove fit is for us to deliver ounces to the likes of Newmont or Barrick or Kinross – Bill Howald
He concludes, “We’re very happy with the project. Back in 2006, we had about 150,000 ounces gold to start with. We proved it up to over 2 million ounces and over 20 million ounces silver based on a new idea. I guess it goes to show that new ideas can bear fruit in old districts.”
The company’s shares have risen fairly steadily from a low of $0.12 in September 2010. There are currently 125 million shares trading at $0.37 for a market cap of $46 million.
According to a March 3 analyst report by Ubika Research: “We believe that Rye Patch is currently undervalued. With the acquisition of Fronteer Gold Inc by Newmont Mining Corporation, investor attention is being focused on Nevada gold juniors… Based on Fronteer Gold Inc’s known resource deposit of 8.1 million ounces (including the interim resource estimate at the Gold Canyon project) this takeover price represents a $288/oz valuation… As Rye Patch proves up its resource estimate and crosses the 5 million oz benchmark in ounces it would be in the sights of majors like Newmont or Barrick.”