||Saguache County, Colorado USA
||FTEL Option to acquire 100%
||Surface & mine dump sample grades up to 3.3% Te (33,000 ppm), 33.7 g/t Au, 364.8 g/t Ag*
Exceptional Tellurium Prospect Held Previously by First Solar
Klondike is a high-grade tellurium prospect held previously by First Solar, Inc., one of the world’s largest solar panel producers.
Due to the property’s exceptional tellurium grades, Klondike was considered one of First Solar's top tellurium prospects worldwide. First Solar planned to use Klondike as a potential primary source of tellurium for manufacture of the company’s cadmium-telluride (CdTe) solar panels. When First Solar decided to cancel their tellurium mining initiative, the property was purchased in 2013 by the geological team leading the company's property acquisitions.
First Solar performed geophysics, sampling, drill targeting, and permitting from 2009 to 2011, then abandoned their global Te exploration program before drilling the identified Klondike targets. First Tellurium acquired an option to purchase the property from First Solar's former team, who are now managing the upcoming exploration program at Klondike.
Klondike is located 10 miles (16 km) from the small town of Saguache and is easily accessible via paved and gravel roads. Most exploration work can be performed year-round.
High Te Grades Noted by the Colorado Geological Survey
The Colorado Geological Survey (CGS), in partnership with the Colorado School of Mines, reported on First Solar’s exploration at Klondike in the 2015 Colorado Mineral and Energy Industry Activities 2014-2015 publication. In particular, the CGS noted:
“Surface sampling by First Solar, Inc. in 2006 found very high tellurium grades of up to 3.3% (33,000 ppm), along with locally high gold grades.* Tellurium grades at Klondike were the highest encountered in the company’s nationwide exploration program.” *NOTE: Surface samples such as these are preliminary in nature and not conclusive evidence of the likelihood of a mineral deposit.
Key Project Attributes
- Underexplored prospect with up to 33,300 ppm (3.33%) tellurium, 33.7 g/t gold, and 364.8 g/t silver in surface and mine dump samples.
- Strong 650 x 100 m geophysical anomaly identified in 2011, indicating an attractive target at shallow depths.
- Mineralization hosted by two or more silicified pipes characterized by native gold and tellurium, and silver + base metal tellurides.
- 2 x 1 km envelope of strong hydrothermal alteration in Tertiary volcanic rocks.
- The property has generated interest from mid-majors. Exploration performed by Placer Dome from 1988 to 1990.
- “If this property were in Nevada, there would be 100 holes in it by now” – Sunshine Mining Co., 1988 internal memo.
Regional Geology and Mining
Discovered in 1899 and patented in 1907, the project sits in the center of the Findley Gulch mining district near the southern periphery of the Bonanza district. Findley Gulch represents a substantial historic producer of silver, gold and base metals. Mineralization at Klondike may be related to the Bonanza caldera of Oligocene age.
Klondike is located in a region containing several large, well-known mining districts and many smaller districts. Famous epithermal districts of the San Juan Mountains have produced millions of ounces of silver and gold, as well as base metals. Creede, the largest volcanic-hosted epithermal silver-gold district in Colorado, lies 45 miles (72 km) southwest of Klondike. The large Summitville mine, active into the 1990s, is 57 miles (92 km) to the southwest. Cripple Creek, still being mined by Newmont, has produced over 23 million ounces of gold since 1890 from a tellurium-rich, diatreme-hosted deposit and is 68 miles (110 km) northeast of Klondike.