Between 1989 and 2007 a number of exploration efforts were undertaken on the mining claims, a summary of these efforts are displayed by year below. Although none of these programs developed commercially mineable reserves, they all delineated broad mineralization of the study areas and added to the body of knowledge about the San Francisco Mining District.
During 1989, Arapahoe Mining Corporation expended over $700,000 for exploration and development activities on the south end of the Horn Silver properties. This work included the preparation of new topographic and aerial maps, the construction of several miles of new roads, drill site preparation, excavation of test trenches, drilling, geophysical exploration and sampling. The drilling that was performed by Arapaho in 1989 occurred on a series of five geophysical anomalies. The holes totaled over 1,500 feet in cumulative depth. More than 1,000 surface and underground samples were taken and analyzed. The most promising drilling results were obtained from holes drilled in the Washington-Double Barrel Tunnel vicinity where mineralization of up to 365 feet in thickness was found containing several intercepts of commercial lead zinc silver ore up to 20 feet thick. This discovery was made in the Frisco Silver area about 1 mile west of the Horn Silver Mine. The two holes drilled by Arapaho in the limestone foot wall of the once over mine failed to intersect any significant mineralization. These holes have been left open for possible reentry and deepening at a later time, it is believed that the depth was inadequate to intersect the projected depth of the manto-type ore from the 800/900 foot level of the Horn Silver Mine.
During 1990, Arapahoe expended over $350,000 for exploration and development activities on the Horn Silver Mine properties. The work included continue preparation of topographic and aerial maps, drill site preparations, excavation of test stretches, drilling, geophysical exploration and sampling and the construction of the new road. The new road is from the Frisco townsite over the Frisco summit south of Frisco peak to access the road near the Cactus mine. The new road crosses an area where there is a significant magnetic low. While constructing the new road, Arapahoe discovered an extensive mineralized area of altered quartz monzonite with many of the surface expressions which are typical of a sulfide porphyry.
The drilling that was performed by Arapahoe during 1990 consisted of a series of shallow inclined holes in the breccia zone at the south end of the Horn Silver Mine properties. Five of the holes drilled intersected commercial grade mineralization, three of which penetrated a gold bearing breccia pipe.
Other exploration activities during 1990 included drilling and surface mapping of the Washington claim, which contains a large amount of Wollastonite (a calcium meta-silicate). Wollastonite is used in a number of industrial applications.
During 1991 Arapahoe expended over $150,000 for exploration and development activities on the Horn Silver Mine properties.
In addition, three rotary holes were drilled in the altered intrusive area east of the Cactus ore body (at the north west corner of the Horn Silver Mine properties). All three of the holes exhibited large amounts of pyrite and were anomalous in copper, sink, gold, silver and other heavy metals, but contain no commercial grade mineralization.
In constructing a new road from Frisco pass south to Indian graves Peak, a number of structures containing copper and gold mineralization in quartz veins, veins of specularite, bodies of jasperoid in limestone and considerable amounts of contact metamorphic rocks developed between blocks of limestone and the late intrusive quarts monzonite.
During 1992, Great Basin Exploration and Mining Co. Inc. drilled two deep diamond core holes on claims located on the east side of the San Francisco range on the Horn Silver Mine properties. These holes were drilled to confirm the presence of a different and separate intrusive on the properties. The core analysis revealed that the properties which were drilled are anomalous and copper, lead, zinc, silver and gold, but the analysis did not reach ore grade it in any of the metals. In addition to drilling, Great Basin completed geochemical sampling and geological mapping on the properties during this period.
Exploration work was also completed in 1992 by Crown Resources Corporation on properties located on the west side of the San Francisco range known as the Lober Gulch area. As a result of these exploration activities by ground resources, a gold silver anomaly was discovered in the Washington Shaft area.
During 1993, the Company conducted exploration work on its mining properties in the Beaver Lake Mining District and the San Francisco Mining District. The exploration activities conducted in the Beaver Lake Mining District included construction of approximately 3 miles of access roads, preparation for drill site, stripping of various copper bearing outcrops, and drilling a hole about 500 feet in depth. This hole was drilled in order to establish the presence of copper on the properties. The core analysis revealed copper mineralization from the surface to about 500 feet in depth. The exploration activities conducted in the San Francisco Mining District included the rehabilitation of the two main trans-montane roads that cross the San Francisco mountain range, which had been damaged by winter weather.
Also in 1993, Dotson Exploration Company, which has performed exploration and development work on the Horn Silver Mine properties in the past for Arapaho, performed exploration work on the mining properties in the Beaver Lake Mining District. Included among the exploration activities by Dotson Exploration during this period was the construction of about 3 miles of access roads to an otherwise inaccessible group of mining claims and the drilling of three holes 3 miles northwest of the OK Copper Mine. All three of the holes drilled exhibited copper mineralization, however, no ore of commercial grade was discovered.
In addition to exploration activities in the Beaver Lake Mining District, the Company conducted excavation work during 1993 at the north end of the open pit area on the Horn Silver Mine properties, located near the King David mineshaft. The excavation work revealed a flat fault the displaced the mineralized zone to the north and east suggesting the possible existence of near surface mineralization, which had been previously undiscovered.
During 1994, exploration work continued on the Company’s mining properties in the Beaver Lake Mining District. The Company entered into a mining lease with Dotson Exploration covering certain patented lode mining claims owned by the Company within this morning district. Under this lease, Dotson Exploration was granted the right to perform exploration and development work on the mining properties covered by the lease. The lease was subsequently assigned by Dotson Exploration to Centurion Mines Corporation. After conducting an extensive drilling program on the mining properties covered by the lease, as well as property surrounding the Company’s other mining claims in the Beaver Lake Mining District, Centurion announced a major discovery of ore in the form of a copper porphyry deposit. The discovery is reported to be a large body, open in several directions. Centurion also announced plans to conduct a leaching operation to extract the ore using a solvent extraction electrowinning method to produce high-grade copper from the mine.
During 1995, Centurion continued it’s drilling program on the Company’s mining properties in the Beaver Lake Mining District, including the 0K copper mine as well as other properties surrounding the Company’s Beaver Lake Mining District. As a result of the drilling program, Centurion announced the discovery of a major porphyry ore body on its properties in the Beaver Lake Mining District containing more than 50 million of pounds of copper. Also during 1995, Centurion continued with its plans to construct a treatment plant to extract copper from ore using a solvent extraction electrowinning method to produce high-grade copper. Centurion filed applications with federal and state agencies to obtain the requisite permits to construct a treatment plant.
During 1996, the Company entered into an option agreement with PAB Oil and Mining, Inc. The option agreement grants PAB in option to purchase shares of to 75% of the Company’s common stock, the proceeds of the sale to be used to finance a major exploration and development program on the Company’s mining properties. Specific exploration and development activities planned for fiscal 1997 include the installation of a double drum hoist, rehabilitation of the existing headframe, installation of piping for water and compressed air in the main exit shaft and the main 650 foot haulage level, replacement of underground track, replacement of timber in the main 650 foot haulage level, and any additional work required to place the exit shaft and the 650 foot haulage level in operable condition.
During 1997, the Company performed rehabilitation work on the King David shaft, The main exit shaft of the Horn Silver Mine, utilizing payments received from PAB pursuant to the option agreement between PAB and Horn Silver Mines. The rehabilitation work was conducted by Dotson Exploration and included the completion of service work around the head frame of the King David shaft.
The Company also arranged for Charles M. Ross, a consulting geologist, to conduct soil grab samples on the western part of Horn Silver Mine properties. About 540 samples were taken from the properties and analyze for gold content. Exploration work and progress report to Mr. Ross prepared reveal big occurrence of substantial low-grade gold values in the soil samples.
Finally, the Company commissioned a study on the potential of the oxides ore deposits on the Horn Silver Mines properties. The study was completed by Robert Shantz, a metallurgist, and was titled “potential treatment of oxide Ores from the Horn Silver Mine “. The study concluded that there was a promise and potential for marketing zinc oxide precipitate from the oxides and deposits on the Horn Silver Mine properties for use as a fertilizer and an animal feed additive.
The most profitable approach for treating the Company’s oxide deposits, according to the report, is an ammonia leach in which the oxide zinc deposits are bleached and purified, then the zinc loaded solution is treated with steam to precipitate a basic zinc carbonate and finally the zinc carbonate is calcined to produce zinc oxide.
Franconia Minerals Corporation began a program of underground sampling, geophysical work and mapping as well as a drilling program in 2002. Franconia’s exploration efforts exposed a significant number of ore grade zinc mineralization occurrences but did not develop sufficient reserves to continue development. Franconia terminated its Lease and Exploration Agreement in 2006.