The gold is there, but whether it can be economically extracted is the million dollar question.
The Quartz Mountain Gold Mine, which was active in the 1980s, is being studied to determine if an estimated
2.85 million ounces of gold can be extracted at a cost that will turn a profit for investors.
“It’s large. It has exploration potential,” said Linda Thorstad, director of government and community relations for Alamos Gold, the Toronto, Ontario, company that now owns Quartz Mountain.
The company has 244 claims on 4,823 acres near Quartz Mountain, located in Lake County east of Bly on the Fremont-Winema National Forest’s Bly Ranger District.
Alamos acquired a 100 percent interest in Quartz Mountain and 50 percent interest in the adjacent Angel’s Camp gold property in September 2013 from Orsa Ventures.
Over the years, about $60 million has been invested into exploration efforts. Most of the previous drilling has been done at the Crone Hill and Quartz Butte deposits. Because there has been relatively little activity since the 1980s, Thorstad said studies will reconfirm that data and make recommendations on how the gold might be extracted. According to Thorstad, mining activity at Quartz Mountain, like other mines, came to an abrupt halt in the 1980s when gold prices collapsed.
She said an open house set for 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 9, at the company office in the Lake County Industrial Park is being offered to give Lakeview area residents a chance to learn about the mine’s and Alamos’ history of operations. Alamos has mines in Turkey and Mexico.
“We want to remove the potential mystery of what we’re doing,” Thorstad said of the open house. “It’s an opportunity to have more discussion.”
She said two geologists are rotating in and out of the Lakeview office. The company plans to hire locally as the staff at the Lakeview office increases. Thordstad said there is no current timetable for developing the mine, terming it a “work in progress.”
“The addition of Quartz Mountain represents a tremendous longer-term growth opportunity for Alamos. With a large prospective land package we believe there is excellent potential to increase what is already a large, established inferred resource,” the company’s website says of Quartz Mountain.
“We believe the Quartz Mountain Project fits the Alamos profile perfectly, as a low capital intensity, low cost and low technical risk project. With an already large established resource and excellent metallurgy, the Company envisions Quartz Mountain developing into a low cost, open pit heap leach operation similar to its assets in Mexico and Turkey.” For more information visit the Alamos website at alamosgold.com.