Wildcat Silver Corporation’s latest news release states that as a result of its recent drilling
operations on its private land in the Patagonia Mountains it has found significant zinc-lead-silver sulfide mineralization. On May 13, an article in the Bulletin referred to that zone of
mineralization as a “significant high-grade ore body”. But a zone of mineralization and a high-grade ore body are two different things. Unlike a solid ore body, (highly concentrated mineralized rock), mineralized zones are intervals of mineral-bearing rocks within areas of
rock containing little or no minerals.
In Wildcat’s press release, they show drill depths of this mineralized zone ranging
from 500 – 3400 feet, and within that range, there are zones with little to no minerals present or the grade is too insignificant to have value. The disadvantage of mining mineralized zones is that a lot more rock has to be processed. That means higher costs, lower return per ton of rock, and a lot more waste rock dumped into Corral and Goldblaum Canyons. Referring to a mineralized zone as a high-grade ore body suggests a promising outcome for Wildcat’s investors, but is very misleading. It harkens back to the call, “Thar’s gold in them thar hills!”
In the same Bulletin article it also stated that “Wildcat representatives have said in the past
that “area residents should support its plan of operations, mainly because of the hydrological study the mining company plans to conduct and even pay for.” This hydrological study comprises numerous drill holes that surround the proposed project area. The study will determine water flow rates, depth and quantity. This information might be useful to add to a complete study of the Town of Patagonia’s watershed, which comprises over 80,000 acres. However, in and of itself, the study’s data would not be sufficient to contribute to a comprehensive analysis of the town’s watershed. Wildcat Silver is doing this hydrological study because they need the data for the Mine Plan of Operation that they have to file with the US Forest Service in order to move forward with their open pit mine.
Wildcat’s claims about its recent discovery of high grade ore are far-fetched and say nothing about the cost of extracting these deposits. In much the same way they have promoted the hydrological study by saying it will serve Patagonia, when, it too, will provide no more than a small piece of the watershed picture.
Wildcat’s tendency to provide disingenuous information in order to boost investment capital is not unlike many other companies who make unrealistic claims about their product in order to boost sales. Informed consumers protect their interests by reading the fine print.