Tuffnell holds a 100% option on 1,560 acres on the Little Butte property via 73 unpatented mining claims and 5 patented claims in the north-west area of the State of Arizona located in the world famous gold producing Walker Lane Gold Trend. The Walker Lane gold belt has historically produced over 50 million oz of gold and 400 million oz of silver.
Little Butte lies in the historic Plomosa District, 20 miles north of the town Quartzite, Arizona and approximately 150 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. Based solely on historical records and drilling data from the former claim holder, the Company believes its property has the potential to host up to 1.0 million oz of gold.
Exploration History of the Little Butte Property
The first gold discovery in the region was made near the town of Bouse in the La Paz county Arizona. Historical records show 5,000 oz were produced from high grade ore early in the 20th century and it was also worked as an underground copper mine. Most of this production had a recovery grade averaging over 0.4 oz/ton. The Little Butte property then lay idle until the late 1980’s when Homestake Mines (now Barrick Gold) explored the district. Homestake drilled over 50 holes (average depth < 400 ft per hole) over a 4 year period. They found significant gold mineralization at the Little Butte underground mine and open pit. Homestake eventually dropped the project when gold prices weakened, but a lot of their drill data and project information is available for the Company.
Little Butte is a mere 13 miles east of the famous Copperstone mine, the biggest gold discovery in Arizona in recent history. Cyprus Gold profitably open pit mined 500,000 oz of gold between 1987-1983. American Bonanza Gold Corporation is presently exploring the remaining underground resource, which contains a 10.3 g/t oxide gold resource with 313,000 ounces of gold in the Measured and Indicated categories and 256,000 ounces of gold in the Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves category.
Geology of the Little Butte Property
Basement rocks at Little Butte consist of Precambrian age granite, gneiss and to a lessor extent, schist. Tertiary age sediments and volcanics were deposited on the Precambrian rocks beginning with a basal conglomerate derived from the basement.
Above the conglomerate is a thick section of arkose-rich sediments. This section, which also contains siltstone, limestone and a few tuffaceous units is often calcareous. The arkosic portion of the section hosts the bulk of the copper-gold mineralization tested by Homestake.
Doming, caused by the inferred emplacement of a Tertiary age intrusive, has tilted older Tertiary sediments and erosion has exposed Precambrian basement rocks. This doming has a northwest elongation parallel to the regional bedding trend. Regionally, rocks dip southwest, but around the dome rocks dip off of the former high. The most prominent structures trend northwest, with northeast faults less conspicuous and north-south faults common but poorly defined. The northwest and northeast sets appear to be tensional features while the north-south set is strike slip in origin. The northwest set is dominant, probably younger than other trends and may be in part post-mineral. Rotation along half-graben faults is evident especially along northwest trending faults in the northeastern portion of the district. The north-south and northeast structure sets appear most mineralized.
Quartz-hematite-sulfide (oxidized) stockworks and sheeted vein structures are found within the granitic basement rocks over a 3,000 feet by 4,000 feet area. A recently completed study of stockwork veining within this area shows alteration and mineralization characteristic of the Grasberg mine in Indonesia. Early widespread intense potassic alteration is cut by hematite veins and then by quartz-sulfide veins. Grab samples used in the study and containing quartz-sulfide veins assayed as high as 1.05 oz/t (36 g/t) gold. The gold seen at surface could be leakage from a much larger mineralized cupola occurring above an intrusive body at depth.
Plotting of all known rock chip and drill hole geochemistry for the district shows a distinct metal zonation. A molybdenum rich core (>50ppm) is surrounded by a generally northeast trending copper-gold zone where many samples average greater than 0.1 % copper and 0.15 ppm gold. This zone as currently defined is 6,500 feet wide and 13,000 feet long, and is open ended. Anomalous lead-zinc-silver is found south of the copper-gold zone.
Copper-gold mineralization occurs as two basic types at Little Butte. High angle faults, shear zones, and stockworks (as mentioned above) contain copper/gold mineralization in the form of quartz-hematite-sulfide (oxidized) veinlets. This structure hosted mineralization was slightly tested by Tenneco whose stated target was actually flat lying detachment fault hosted gold. Scattered drilling in the granitic basement found several narrow intercepts of 0.01-0.08 oz/ton gold.
Secondly, copper/gold mineralization also occurs in arkose of Tertiary age just above the contact with Precambrian granite. A 1988-91 gold exploration program by Homestake found several ore grade drill intercepts (best hole contained 21 meters averaging 0.127 oz/ton) gold hosted by the arkose. Several other +0.04 oz/ton intercepts occur across the tested area. The mineralization is all oxide and appears to be heap leachable as shown by the few bottle roll tests done.
No copper analysis of drill cuttings was done by Homestake. MinQuest obtained the drilling pulps and have analyzed some holes for soluble copper. Of 11 holes studied, scattered over nearly 3 square kilometers, 6 were found to contain greater than 30 meters averaging greater than 0.10 % acid soluble copper. The best hole contains 93 meters averaging 0.25 % copper.
The immediate target at Little Butte is gold associated with arkosic sediments. The arkose hosted mineralization discovered by Homestake has a resource potential of approximately 1.0 million ounces of heap leachable grade gold (+0.01 oz/ton). Homestake tested only a small portion of the 13,000 feet by 6,500 feet zone which is open ended. This target is located peripheral to the altered quartz-hematite stockwork area. The same area has oxide copper potential as shown above. Finding major feeder structures, which channel mineralization into the arkose, is the key to finding the targeted size and grade.
Geological Exploration Program
The Little Butte property has previous exploration history indicating that resources are present and the prospect for economic recovery of gold support management's decision to proceed with further exploration. The property is located in close proximity to other major deposits along the same geological formation, and has the potential to exceed the reserve deposits of other companies located in the area. Based solely on historical records and drilling data from the former claim holder Homestake Mines, the Company believes its property has the potential to host up to 1.0 million oz of gold.
The Company has utilized all historical work done to date on the property and has launched a drilling program to expand on Homestake's previous drilling. This is an advanced stage project. The exploration program has consisted, so far, of a drilling program along with extensive geophysical and trenching work.
Our current phase of drilling is to determine the extent of the ore boundaries and to collect appropriate samples to conduct a resource study. After the drilling program, the Company will conduct a full resource study to determine the grade, quantity, and preferred recovery method of the ore. TUFF believes the project has the potential to also host a significant copper resource as the region is well known for both Gold and Copper. If the copper numbers are high enough, the project could ultimately be a dual-purpose mine, producing gold and copper in valuable quantities.
The entire area is made up of mostly oxidized rock with comparatively little sulphides - meaning the rock leaches very easily in the presence of cyanide. The Company believes that the project has the potential to have favorable metallurgy for a heap leach mine, meaning extraction costs could be low if the project hosts a significant deposit.
Board of Directors and Technical Team
Robert Coale, Director
From 1999 until 2003, Mr. Coale was a senior project manager for A. E. Schmidt acting as design and construction coordinator for various waste-to-energy and alternative fuelling projects. In this role he was responsible for the technical design, permitting, and construction oversight for numerous projects. During this time he was also a metallurgical technical advisor to Andean American Corporation.
Since 2004, Mr. Coale has been a consulting engineer continuing to work in the natural gas fuelling area, as a consultant to various mining and mineral projects, and as a consultant for evaluating means and methods of silt removal from hydroelectric reservoirs. During this time, his primary client has been Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA), a Santa Monica, California based environmental consulting firm specializing in alternative fuels. He has been responsible for all technical aspects in the design, equipment specification, scheduling, estimating, and construction oversight for more than 30 compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects as well as the production of LNG from landfill gas and waste treatment plants Additionally during this time, Mr. Coale has provided technical oversight to Patriot Gold Corporation during the exploration and evaluation of properties in Arizona and Nevada. He was responsible for the development of metallurgical studies and reports on various gold properties. From October 2005 to September 2008 Mr. Coale was the President of Patriot Gold. More recently he has served on the Board of Directors of Patriot Gold and became President and CEO on October 18, 2010 and continues in this capacity today.
Richard Kehmeier, Director
Mr. Kehmeier is a Certified Professional Geologist with nearly forty years of international experience in all phases of resource development for the mining industry. Mr. Kehmeier is currently a Senior Geologist for Vector Engineering Inc. in Golden, Colorado. During his career he has held such positions as Vice President of Exploration at Gold Reserve Corp and Atlas Corporation and has worked for companies such as Union Carbide and Anaconda. He is responsible for the discovery of nearly 15 million ounces of gold in his career. Mr. Kehmeier graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering and a Master of Science in Geology. He is a member of the American Institute of Professional Geologists, the Society of Economic Geologists, and the Geological Society of Nevada.
Jared Beebe, Director
Mr. Beebe, is an exploration geologist with over 20 years of experience working in the mining industry. He is currently the Regional Exploration Manager with Alexandria Minerals of Val D`Or Quebec. From June 1997 to December 2009, he was a Senior Geologist and Project Manager for Whistle Pig Exploration Inc. and worked with such clients as Endeavor Silver, Clifton Star Resources, Freewest Resources, Noront Resources, Kootenay Gold, Soho Resources and Unigold Resources. Mr. Beebe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Metropolitan State College, Denver, Colorado in 1981. He is a member of the American Institute of Professional Geologists, the Geological Society of Nevada, the Ordre du Géologues du Québec, and the Society of Economic Geologists.
NOTE: We do not anticipate going into production ourselves but instead anticipate optioning or selling any ore bodies that we may discover to a major mining company . Most major mining companies obtain their ore reserves through the purchase of ore bodies found by junior exploration companies such as the Company. Although these major mining companies do some exploration work themselves, many of them rely on the junior resource exploration companies to provide them with future deposits for them to mine. By optioning or selling a deposit found by us to these major mining companies, it would provide an immediate return to our shareholders without the long time frame and cost of putting a mine into operation ourselves, and it would also provide future capital for the Company to continue operations.
NOTE: At September 30, 2011, the Company had limited capital resources and will rely upon the issuance of common stock and additional capital contributions from shareholders to fund future exploration and administrative expenses pending full implementation of the Company’s business model.
NOTE: On March 18, 2011, the Company filed a certificate of change with the Secretary of State of the State of Nevada which increased the authorized number of shares of common stock from 75,000,000 shares to 300,000,000 shares, $.001 par value.
On April 8, 2011, the Company closed a private placement of 1,500,000 units at $.20 per unit for a total offering price of $300,000. The units were offered by the Company pursuant to an exemption from registration pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Each unit consists of one share of common stock of the Company and one non-transferable share purchase warrant. The warrants are exercisable at a price of $.25 per share and expire on April 15, 2013. The private placement was fully subscribed by a non-U.S. corporation.
On September 19, 2011, the Company closed a private placement of 866,666 units at $.09 per unit for a total offering price of $78,000. The units were offered by the Company pursuant to an exemption from registration pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Each unit consists of one share of common stock of the Company and one non-transferable share purchase warrant. The warrants are exercisable at a price of $.11 per share and expire on September 12, 2012. The private placement was fully subscribed to by a non-U.S. corporation.
On November 3, 2011, the Company closed a private placement of 2,000,000 units at $.05 per share for a total offering price of $100,000. The units were offered by the Company pursuant to an exemption from registration pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The private placement was fully subscribed by a non-U.S. corporation.