Located 15 Km southwest of the Paradise Peak mine (+1.5M oz Au) and contiguous with the Isabella-Peal mine, a high-grade open-pit heap leach operation. Gold was discovered at Santa Fe in the 70’s; Corona Gold produced > 400,000 ounces Au between 1988 and 1992 from an open-pit mine with heap-leach processing. 

Corona was acquired by Homestake Mining in 1992; Homestake completed mine closure and reclamation over the next two years. Homestake was subsequently acquired by Barrick in 2001. Through a series of transactions, Victoria Gold acquired a 100 % interest in the project in 2012. The project has been under post-closure monitoring since 1999, a US $300,000 bond is in place with the BLM. Annual holding and monitoring costs are US $100,000. Most of the project is gently rolling hills with excellent access.

Gold mineralization hosted by Triassic Luning Formation carbonate rocks. Principle ore control is the NW-SE striking Santa Fe Fault, a 20-75 metre wide structure.

Exploration Targets

  • Productive open pit mines are related to east-west and northwest trending faults. Exploration and development focused on outcropping gold mineralization with little drilling between the pits.
  •  The Pinnacle target area is underlain by Miocene volcanic rocks and is geologically similar to the Isabelle-Pearl Deposit (P&P Reserves: 2.3M tonnes grading 3.05 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag (220,100 oz Au, 1.2M oz Ag).


  • Walker Lane 60-80km wide Physiographic province of northwest Striking faults. Triassic sediments (predominantly carbonates) are intruded by Jurassic to Cretaceous diorite and granite, and overlain by Tertiary volcanic rocks.
  •  Alteration and gold mineralization controlled by NW, NE and EW structures.
  •  The Triassic Luning carbonate rocks are often brecciated, decalcified, silicified and sulfidized. Tertiary volcanic rocks are typically clay altered, sulfidized, and locally silicified.
  •  Generally, Luning Formation carbonate rocks outcrop in the southern half of the property while Tertiary volcanic rocks outcrop in the northern half of the property.

Diamond drilling by Victoria in 2009 and 2010 confirmed the presence of a thick shear/breccia zone beneath the Santa Fe open pit.

BH Zone at Depth

  • Drilling shows that the BH zone extends down rake over 350 metres and is open at depth.
  •  Significantly, the drill data also show the presence of multiple parallel zones that require additional drilling.
  •  Based on rock volumes and grades, the BH zone has the potential to host a +1M ounce gold resource.
  •  The quality and sheer size of the existing database should allow for an updated resource estimate following drilling by Lahontan.

BH Zone in the SE high-wall of the Santa Fe pit. Gold mineralization begins at the surface and extends over 300 m down-plunge.

Santa Fe Phase One Drilling Initial Results

Lahontan recently completed six reverse-circulation drill holes totalling 1,218 meters in and around the Santa Fe pit, highlights include:

  • 188.9 meters grading 1.75 gpt Au and 9.9 gpt Ag in drill hole SF21-001R including 56.4 meters grading 2.78 gpt Au and 17.6 Ag and also including 6.1 meters grading 4.29 gpt Au and 31 gpt Ag. Gold and Ag mineralization starts at the surface and the hole bottomed in mineralized rock.
  • 86.9 meters grading 1.08 gpt Au and 3.7 gpt Ag in drill hole SF21-002R. A complete table of drill results is below.

The first portion of the drilling program was centered on the past-producing Santa Fe pit and had two principal objectives: 1) Verify assay data from historic drilling that outlined substantial gold and silver mineralization below and adjacent to the Santa Fe pit; and 2) Confirm metallurgical domains identified by modeling historic drilling, especially at the margins of the deposit.  Lahontan believes that early results from the Phase One drilling program is already achieving these objectives.

Drill holes SF21-001R and -002R were collared in the Santa Fe pit and targeted portions of the high-grade BH Zone.  Both drill holes intercepted extensive thicknesses of gold and silver mineralization with structurally controlled, higher-grade intervals that characterize the BH Zone as seen in the cross section and plan view to the right. 

The assay results compare favorably with nearby historic drill holes giving confidence in the use of historic data in future resource estimates.  The 0.1 gpt outline of gold mineralization, based on modeling of historic drill holes and shown in red in the cross section above, corresponds with thick intervals of gold mineralization seen in drill holes SF21-001R and -002R. The high silver grades are also similar to historic drill results and previous mine production, underscoring the potential for important silver by-product credits in any future mining operation. 

As part of the systematic organization of the drill campaign, drill holes SF21-003R through -006R were collared at the margins of the known gold and silver deposit to confirm depths of oxidation (metallurgical domains) and test the limits of mineralization. Drill holes SF-003R and -004R both intercepted low-grade gold and silver mineralization: 19.9 meters grading 1.04 gpt Au and 2.3 gpt Ag in -003R and 22.8 meters grading 0.51 gpt Au and 4.5 gpt Ag in -004R.  Unfortunately, drill hole -003R lost circulation prior to reaching its targeted depth. Drill holes SF-005R and -006R did not hit significant gold and silver mineralization, however, when combined with the results from -003R and -004R, these drill holes show that the depth of oxidation below the central and northwest portions of the Santa Fe pit is somewhat deeper than what was modeled using historic drill holes and that extensive volumes of oxidized gold and silver mineralization remain unmined.


Santa Fe Fault - BH Zone Upside

  • Pre-mining soils samples, complemented by surface rock-chip sampling, suggest that Au mineralization on the Santa Fe structure extends hundreds of metres southeast of the open pit.
  •  Drill holes have up to 12.2 gpt Au in the target area, no follow-up drilling.
  • Open ground available for staking.
  • Drilling shows that the BH zone extends down rake over 350 metres and is open at depth, multiple parallel zones that require additional drilling.
  • Mineralization as seen in core is identical to that seen on the surface.
  • Geophysics?

East Santa Fe District

Exploration in the eastern portion of the Santa Fe district was driven by surface sampling, very little drilling was done between the Slab, Calvada, and York pits despite the obvious structural relationship between the deposits.

East Santa Fe District Calvada Pit

  • Like the Santa Fe pit, drilling beneath the Calvada pit has outlined a high-grade, down-dip extension to gold mineralization 
  • Gold in drill holes up to 18.2 gpt, confirms potential for high-grade, structurally controlled mineralization. Targets are open at depth with little drilling along strike.

Pinnacle Target Area

  • The Pinnacle target area is host to a large (2,500 by 500m) zone of intense hydrothermally altered and gold mineralized Miocene volcanic rock.
  • The system is defined by goldin-soil anomalies and rock chip samples grading up to 6.6 gpt Au associated with northwest trending structures.
  • The target is on strike with the Isabella Pearl open pit gold mine operated by Gold Resource Corp.

Isabella Pearl and the Pinnacle Target

  • The Isabella Pearl mine has P&P Reserves of 2.3M tonnes grading 3.05 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag (220,100 oz Au, 1.2M oz Ag). The higher grade Pearl zone averages over 4 gpt Au
  • Gold Resource Corp projects 2021 production of 40,000 ounces Au, LOM cash costs of US$650/ oz Au, excellent heap leach recoveries (>81%)
  • The Pinnacle target is contiguous with the Isabella Pearl and shares a nearly identical geologic setting and has not been drilled: an excellent opportunity to add resource ounces to the Santa Fe Project.

Technical Reports