The Quito project is located within the Toiyabe Range in southern Lander County and is about 30km south of Austin, Nevada. The project occurs along a postulated northwest trend (referred to as the Austin trend, or Western Rift) that extends from the Hot Creek Range on the southeast to the Black Rock desert on the northwest. Gold mines and mineralization identified along this trend include Northumberland, Quito, New Pass, Florida Canyon, Rosebud, and numerous other prospects. Access is via paved, improved gravel and two track roads. The project consists of 342 unpatented lode claims (approximately 2,768ha) in sections 1 & 12 of T17N, R43E, section 6 of T17N, R44E, sections 13-15, 22-27 & 34-36 of T18N, R43E and sections 18-20 & 29-31 of T18N, R44E.
All claims are located on U.S. Federal land managed by the Austin District of the Toiyabe National Forest. The claims are legally registered and recorded with both the BLM and Lander County.
The Company signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Meridian Gold (the US operating subsidiary of Yamana Gold) during November 2010. Bravada can earn 70% interest in the property by spending US$2,500,000 over 5 years. Within 60 days after Bravada earn-in, Yamana can either: 1) elect to participate at 30%, 2) elect to earn 51% should a deposit of greater than 2 million ounces be discovered by paying Bravada three times Bravada's exploration expenditures and funding Bravada's share of capital requirements (repaid out of 80% of Bravada's cash flow), or 3) elect to reduce to a 2% NSR royalty and receive either 500,000 shares of Bravada stock or $500,000 cash at Bravada's option. No other royalties exist at the property. Bravada can elect to terminate the agreement after a firm commitment of $500,000 within one year of signing a formal Earn-in Agreement has been spend and certain claim fees have been paid.
There are no known unusual social, political, or environmental issues related to the property at this time that would adversely affect exploration, development, or production at the prospect. Unknown mitigation issues remaining from closure of the previous operation could impact some exploration efforts at Quito. The liability for the former disturbance rests with Yamana, however.
FMC Corp., FMC Gold, Inspiration Gold, Inc. and various other exploration companies have completed several sampling programs, geophysical surveys, and drilling campaigns on or near the property. Gold was produced from both open-pit and underground mines by the Austin Gold Venture (AGV) and was processed using sulfide flotation followed by carbon-in-leach. Available data sets include most of the historic drilling; however, none of the drill data has been independently verified at this time and is used only in guiding exploration. Compilation of available data and 3D geologic modeling are in progress; whereas surface work and possible geophysical surveys are in the planning stage by the Company. Meridian Gold filed a Plan of Operations with USFS and successfully permitted the plan for exploration drilling. Yamana Gold acquired Meridian in late 2007 and decided to suspend funding for the Nevada-based programs that Meridian had in place. As part of the agreement with Meridian Gold, Bravada will take over recently approved Plan of Operation, replacing Meridian Gold's $96,300 reclamation bond.
The remaining small resources or reserves identified by various exploration programs and previous operators have not been independently verified to meet NI-43-101 compliance standards at this time.
Accessibility, Climate, Local Resources, Infrastructure and Physiography
Accessibility and logistical issues are favorable for the development of a mine should an economic discovery be made.
Access to the Quito Property is good:
From the north, access is by a good gravel road (known as the Gold Venture Road). NV State Hwy 722 exits US Highway 50 approximately 3km west of the town of Austin and proceeds southwestward 3km to the Gold Venture Road. This road was upgraded and built to access the gold mine in the 1980's and provides good access to the open-pit mines. Approximately seven miles of this road was utilized as a haul road when the mine was active. The Gold Venture road has many curves in some of the more rugged terrain through which it climbs and is impassible during winter. The road distance from Austin is about 35km.
A secondary access route to the project is through Birch Creek from Smoky Valley east of Austin. This route is longer and the road up Birch Creek is more primitive so the preferred access is from the west.
Several roads access many of the prospects on the property and provide good access to within about 1km of most portions of the property. Topography is moderate to very steep. Elevation ranges from about 1,950m to 2,750m at Quito. The area is mostly non-forested and covered by sage-dominated vegetation with minor grass. Local groves of aspen and mountain mohagany are common. Lower slopes and north-facing slopes are covered by stands of pine trees. Moderate to heavy amounts of snow may cover the area in the winter. Melting snow in the spring often creates muddy road conditions.
Motels and restaurants of various qualities are available within a 0.5-hour drive of the Quito property in Austin. Should an economic discovery be made, improvements to necessary infrastructure, such as power, water, access, housing, etc., should be reasonably inexpensive due to the proximity of the property to available logistical support utilized by the previous gold mine operation. A commercial airport is available at Reno about 295km west of the property. Supplies can be trucked to the site from Reno, Nevada, Salt Lake City, Utah or Boise, Idaho. Interstate 80 and a rail line are located at Battle Mountain 160km north of the property.
FMC Corportation targeted the Birch Creek Window for evaluation of gold potential in 1979, initially drawn to reported antimony-bearing jasperoids at the historic Antimony King prospect. FMC established a land position at Quito in 1980 and drilled 323 holes during 1981 and 1982 that focused on several surface rock and soil gold anomalies. These holes discovered and partially delineated at least four near-surface gold resources: the Main, Satellite, Russ', and Q4 deposits that contained over 300 thousand ounces gold at an average 6.16 g/t Au.
FMC completed a district-scale evaluation during 1983 that culminated in drilling an additional 54 holes to test near-surface geologic, geochemical, and geophysical targets. These results were insufficient to maintain funding and the company decided to farm out the project. FMC signed a JV agreement in August 1984 with Inspiration Gold, Inc. (which later became WestGold following a merger with Minorco in 1988). Inspiration was the operator for the Austin Gold Venture (AGV). The AGV built a 1,000tpd gold processing facility, offices, and assay lab in Reese River Valley. Between 1986 and 1988 174,460 ounces gold were produced at a recovered average grade of 5.92g/t gold. All facilities were removed and the mill site reclaimed.
AGV continued to explore the Quito district for gold; particularly the years 1987 through 1989, when four deep holes were drilled. Mining ceased in 1989 and the property was returned to FMC Gold in the fall of 1992 after closure and reclamation work was complete. WestGold and FMC reports reference "drill-indicated" and "geologic-inferred resources" totaling 64,000 ounces gold and 90,000 ounces gold, respectively, that remain in the Quito district (Note: these are historic resources, not NI-43-101 compliant resources, and have not been independently confirmed by Bravada and should not be relied upon at this time).
FMC Gold re-evaluated the exploration targets in the district and concluded that, near-surface open pit potential was limited, but that several permissive deep underground mine targets had not been tested. FMC drilled 4,134m in 11 deep RC holes in 1993. These holes were designed to test down-dip projections of mineralized faults in the Quito mine area. Several of these RC holes drifted from the planned target course, missing the intended targets, and thus only partially tested their targets.
The Quito property was farmed out to White Knight Resources in 1996. WKR re-mapped the Birch Creek Window and collected additional surface rock-chip samples. Significant horizons of calcareous siltstone that FMC and AGV had previously placed into the Upper Plate Valmy Formation were reinterpreted as Roberts Mountain Formation. WKR drilled seven RC holes totaling 1,400m in 1998, all in the Russ' anomaly area, results were negative. The deepest hole went to 266m, but failed to reach Lower Plate carbonate rock.
Meridian maintained the core claim block of 102 claims while they continued to undertake the lingering reclamation work related to the mine closure. After Meridian resumed a Nevada exploration effort in 2004, it was decided to re-evaluate the Quito district. An additional 360 mining claims were located in 2006 to cover the principal outcrops of Roberts Mountain Formation.
Both the Birch Creek Graben (BCG) and Spires areas were defined as high-priority targets where the Lower Plate rocks had never been drill-tested beneath relatively widespread anomalous gold hosted in Upper Plate chert-bearing units. Notably the BCG target includes a small historic gold resource (non-43101 compliant) in Upper Plate rocks, named the Russ Anomaly by FMC.
Permitting for a two-phase drill program to test the Birch Creek Graben and Spires targets was initiated in October 2006 utilizing the sevices of the Reno-based permitting group, Enviroscientist, Inc., to expedite the permitting process for a Plan of Operations (POO). Approval of the POO for up to 59 drill sites and 4,800m of new road was received in 2009. The reclamation bond for the project in the amount of $96,300 is posted.
All of the unpatented claims and most of the adjacent lands are under US Forest Service management, with some private ranch lands in Reese River Valley. Patented mining claims on the historic antimony prospects, interior to the claim group, are not under option as they are well outside present target focus.
The project occurs along a postulated northwest trend, referred to by various workers as the Austin trend or the Western Rift, which extends from the Hot Creek Range on the southeast to the Black Rock desert on the northwest; the trend is partially identified by a prominent magnetic feature visible on the state aeromagnetic map. The Northumberland Mine, a sediment-hosted gold mine, is approximately 50km southeast of the Quito project.
The site geology of the Quito Project is complicated due to low-angle faulting and generally poor exposures of rock. Sedimentary rocks on the property range in age from Cambrian to lower Devonian and include a transitional sequence of carbonates, siltstones, and shales. This transitional assemblage is well-known as the favorable host-rock for gold mineralizing fluids in the Carlin-style gold-producing districts in Nevada. At Quito this assemblage includes the Nine Mile and Lower Antelope Valley Formations of Ordovician age; in addition, the previously mis-mapped Roberts Mountains Formation of Silurian age is recognized. Mineralization discovered and mined to date occurred primarily in rocks identified as the Nine Mile and Lower Antelope Formations. Numerous high-angle and low-angle faults act as conduits for mineralizing fluids. Gold mineralization is structurally controlled and occurs within veinlets of quartz and calcite containing minor amounts of pyrie and other sulfides. Alteration is very limited in the enclosing rocks; however, local jasperoid bodies occur along some structures and were the focus of early exploration efforts. Felsic dikes of Tertiary age are widespread in the vicinity, but generally they are poorly exposed due to alteration. These dikes contain anomalous Au, As, and Sb values.
Prior to acquisition of the property, the Bravada's consultants completed a review of data sets provided by Yamana. The data includes soil and rock geochemistry, geophysical surveys, and available historic drill data. Geologic logs and geochemistry are available for many, if not all, drill holes. None of the historic data has been independently verified; however, this data will be used to guide new exploration efforts and might be acceptable for resource calculations if verified in the future.
Carlin-style pathfinder geochemistry (anomalous As, Sb and Hg) is confirmed by the geochemical data. Numerous high-grade intercepts of gold, in the multi-gram range, occur in the historic drill data and provide an indication of available targets. To date, no new fieldwork has been conducted by Bravada. The effort has focused on evaluating data received from Yamana and building a 3D model to generate new drill targets.
Mineralization and alteration occur in Upper and Lower Plate rocks of Paleozoic age; however, the generally more attractive Lower Plate stratigraphic rock series has not been tested sufficiently by drilling on the property. Historic drilling indicates that multiple areas contain strongly anomalous gold. Most of the previous drilling was designed to test near-surface gold mineralization for open-pit mine potential, with most holes drilled vertically. Mineralization in Upper Plate rocks is often hosted by vertical to high-angle structures, so vertical drill holes may have missed significant mineralized features. The 11 deep RC holes drilled in 1993 did not adequately test the deeper targets.
Some of the extensive historic drill data has been acquired; however, that data has not been verified to 43-101 compliant standards. The Company is using the historic data only as a guide for exploration efforts. If this data is verified in the future, it may be used for resource calculations.
Sampling and Analysis
No new sampling has been completed by the Bravada to date. A review of the historic data suggests that surface-sample spacing was determined by the distribution of rock exposures and float of altered rock, and not by a grid with pre-determined sample spacing. The purpose of the surface-sampling program was to identify and confirm the presence and strength of gold anomalies on the property in order to identify prospective drill targets and to determine if metal zoning is present. The samples, generally 1 to 4kg, are believed to be representative of mineralized material. Some samples were collected over measured distances along road cuts and in the previous mine operation. Extensive soil grid sampling was also completed by FMC in the early 1980's.
Security of Samples
It is assumed that the previous exploration efforts were completed utilizing standard protocol for sample security; however, the procedures utilized by the historic efforts have not been independently verified.
Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Estimates
No NI-43-101 -compliant resources or reserves have been calculated for the property. The Quito property has produced 174, 460 ounces of gold from a combination of open-pit and underground mines that ceased operation in 1988. This gold production came from 1,007,305 tons at an average recovered grade of 5.92 grams gold per tonne. The previous operator calculated a remaining gold resource inventory as of January 1991 of 64,120 ounces at a grade of 5.31 g/t gold. In addition, 90,000 ounces remain in Section 36 of the resource at a 1.71 g/t gold cutoff.
The AGV built a 1,000tpd mill to process ore from the open-pit operation initially and, ultimately, from the underground mine. The mill processed mixed oxide and sulfide gold ore utilizing sulfide flotation followed by carbon-in-leach treatment. The flotation concentrate was shipped to various smelters and the CIL circuit carbon was stripped and the gold refined on site. Recovery of contained gold by floatation was 83-87%. Tailings were impounded in a clay-lined pond with a clay-core earth-fill dam. All equipment has been removed and reclamation completed of the mill and pit sites. Work since the closure is all exploration focused.
Exploration and Development
The Quito Project is a sediment-hosted gold property. The prospect has potential to host significant sediment-hosted gold mineralization typical of other large gold deposits of this type in Nevada. Gold was produced from a small open-pit mine in the 1980's. Shallow deposits within the Upper Plate rocks are possible, but the most significant potential is believed to be within the Lower Plate rocks that underlie portions of the property at reasonable depths. The area controlled by the claim position is large enough to host all, or a significant portion, of a major gold deposit of several million ounces. Access is good and topography is favorable for relatively inexpensive drill testing. Should an economic discovery be made, improvements to necessary infrastructure (power, water, access, housing, etc.) should be reasonably inexpensive. The former operation is still under mitigation between the USFS and Yamana for closure and reclamation. There are no known new environmental, social or logistical impediments to developing a new underground mine at Quito.