The Bonita property is large, encompassing a district of historic copper, gold and iron workings (see
Satellite Image below). The showings are unified by a single, district-scale hydrothermal system
with a large alteration footprint within which copper sulfide and gold mineralization has been
sampled by VR over an area of approximately 4 x 5 kilometres (see Copper and Gold grab sample map in
the list of figures below).
VR has identified several large and specific exploration targets for porphyry copper-gold
mineralization at Bonita over the past three years of exploration. They are based on the integration
of geological mapping, mineral alteration vectors, rock and soil geochemical anomalies, and gravity,
magnetic and resistivity geophysical anomalies (see Exploration Targets Map in the list of figures
below). Integrated exploration targets represent the potential to discover not just one, but a
cluster of buried, porphyry copper stocks and/or breccia pipes which give rise to the various
historic surface workings of copper-gold veins, and copper-gold bearing iron oxide hydrothermal
breccias in peripheral alteration zones.
VR completed an independent NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report in January, 2017. VR’s goal is to
complete the Phase I, first-pass diamond drilling recommended in the report in order to pursue the
discovery of a new porphyry copper stock, and evaluate the potential for a cluster of deposits
within the overall system, that is, a new porphyry copper-gold camp in the western US.
First pass drilling was initiated on the Copper Queen and Hemco targets in 2017, and followed-up in
2018. VR intends to complete the first-pass drill evaluation of both targets, preceded by the
infilling of existing IP geophysical lines in both areas to improve targeting.
The Bonita property is located in Humboldt County in northwestern Nevada, USA, approximately 150
kilometers northwest of Reno. It is on the southwestern flanks of the Jackson Range, and immediately
east of the Black Rock desert.
The property is accessible by paved and gravel county roads from the town of Winnemucca located 75
kilometers to the southeast. The property itself is accessed by a network of active roads and
historic trails established for both agriculture and artisanal prospecting and mining.
Overall the terrain is hilly at Bonita. Ridges with 200–300 metres of topographic relief flank a
central, valley-covered depression. Elevation ranges from less than 1,200 metres on the western
flanks of the Red Butte Mountain range on the western flank of the property, to greater than 2,000
metres on the eastern flank of the property, which is on the southwestern flanks of the South
Jackson Mountain Range.
Climate is semi-arid to arid, vegetation is sparse and animal life is minimal. Sage brush and grasses
cover a desert gravel on gentle valley slopes. There are spaced, stunted juniper trees at higher
elevations with winter snowpack.
Outcrop is exposed over most of the property, excepting the northerly trending central valley
depression of mixed alluvial cover and Tertiary basalt. There is virtually no soil development at
Bonita. Ridge slopes are craggy outcrop and coarse colluvium. Rounded knolls and low relief slopes
have a regolith veneer typically less than 10 centimetres thick on top of weathered outcrop.
The Bonita property consists of 83 claims in two main blocks each of 847 acres covering a total area
of 686 ha (1,694 acres) within an overall area of approximately 3 x 4 kilometres.
It is on land administered by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). There are no state or
federal land use designations, or privately owned land, which impede access to the property, nor is
the property within the BLM’s broadly defined area of sage grouse protection. There is a small water
withdrawal land parcel, established in 1972, and located in the covered valley in the central part
of the property. It is just 40 acres in size, effecting portions of 6 of the 429 claims, and is not
located in an area of specific exploration interest.
The property is owned 100% by VR, registered to the Company’s wholly-owned, Nevada-registered US
subsidiary Renntiger Resources USA Ltd. The property was staked directly by the Company; there are
no associated joint venture or carried interests, back-in rights, or royalties.
A tabulated compilation of all exploration work completed by VR at Bonita during the past four years,
from 2014 to 2019 inclusive, is included in the series of maps and figures which follows this
section of text.
Exploration has been more or less continuous at Bonita since late 2014. In chronologic order, work
- Independent NI 43-101 Technical Report completed in February 2017 (www.sedar.com), summarizing ALL data collected by the Company during
three years of exploration from 2014 through 2016. The drill programs conducted in the fall of
2017 and summer of 2018 are based on the recommendations in the 43-101 report.
- Geochronology, using uranium-lead systematics on zircon. Concordant age dates ranging
from 161 -166 Ma were obtained from three different phases of the Middle Jurassic batholith at
Bonita: medium grained, magnetic gabbroic diorite; fine grained sodic diorite, and; aphanitic to
quartz-phyric leucocratic monzodiorite (hypabyssal dykes and plugs).
- The ground-based gravity survey completed in 2016 was extended in 2017 and again in 2018
based on positive exploration results. The survey now comprises 1,237 stations over an equant
200 metre station grid covering an area of approximately 6 x 7 kilometres.
- Ground-based Induced Polarization (IP) geophysical survey: 7 test lines across eight
exploration targets for 16 line-km’s in total, using both 150 and 200 m dipole spacings.
- Ongoing geological mapping and sampling across the property. A total of 123 rock samples
have been collected for geochemistry between 2014 to 2017.
- Ongoing soil sampling across the property: 747 soil samples were collected for
geochemistry between 2014 and 2017 from 18 lines covering 37 line-km's; in 2018, an additional
180 samples were collected from 5 lines covering 9 line-km’s over the Corral target, and 93
samples from 7 lines covering 4 line-km’s in the Rattlesnake area.
A total of 1,020 soil
samples have now been collected at Bonita from 30 lines covering 51 line-kilometres.
- Airborne ZTEM electromagnetic survey, summer 2017, to map alteration: 36 lines spaced 200
m apart covering a 6 x 10 km block. Depth-slice plan maps were produced from 2-D inversions, and
a block model from 3-D inversions. First pass drilling tests integrated targets associated with
both central conductive pipes and peripheral high resistivity alteration rings as defined by
- First pass diamond drill program in the fall of 2017, including four holes on three
separate targets for a total of 1,871 metres. A total of 871 samples were taken for
geochemistry, normally on successive 1.5 m intervals. Results are summarized in the news release
dated January 9, 2017, and available on this website.
- Follow-up diamond drill program in the spring of 2018, including 4 holes at the Hemco
target for a total of 1,860 metres, to follow-up on the results from drill hole BN-17-003
completed in 2017. A total of 305 samples were taken for geochemistry, normally on successive
1.5 metre intervals through altered and/or mineralized intervals. Results are summarized in the
news release dated August 8, 2018, and available on this website.
- Expanded grid-based geochemistry covering the Hemco target was completed in the summer of
2019, in conjunction with detailed structural mapping, and mapping of mineral alteration facies
and veins. Grid-based geochemistry included 287 samples on 10 lines comprising 14 line-km’s
within an area approximately 2 x 2 kilometres in size.
Concurrent with the spring 2018 drill program, VR initiated baseline environmental surveys over the
Hemco target area for a Plan of Operations (POA) permit application to the BLM. While more drilling
is still possible under the current Notice of Intent permit (NOI), this initiative will enable the
Company to be ready to complete more detailed delineation drilling in the future.
VR’s overall objective is to complete the Phase I, first-pass diamond drilling recommended in the NI
43-101 report in order to pursue the discovery of a new porphyry copper stock, and evaluate the
potential for a cluster of deposits within the overall Bonita porphyry hydrothermal system. First
pass drilling was initiated on the Copper Queen and Hemco targets in 2017, and followed-up in 2018.
VR intends to complete the first-pass drill evaluation of both targets, preceded by the infilling of
existing IP geophysical lines in both areas to refine targeting.
Bonita is an alkaline, polyphase Middle Jurassic batholith that formed at the same time and in the
same tectonic belt as the past-producing Yerington porphyry copper camp located some 150 kilometers
to the south in west-central Nevada. As shown in the paleotectonic map at the start of the series of
maps and follows which follows this text, Yerington and Bonita are the southern end of a
continent-scale porphyry copper belt of Early Jurassic age.
Subduction dominated the western margin of North America in early Mesozoic time, including the region
now occupied by the Great Basin in the Western United States. A volcanic arc developed in western
Nevada, east of the Sierran Arc. Lower Triassic to Lower Jurassic volcano-sedimentary successions
were deposited predominantly in shallow marine but also subaerial settings, and co-genetic
sub-volcanic plutons are common.
The early Jurassic Yerington batholith and related porphyry copper deposits are located in the
central part of the Walker Lane belt, some 75 km southeast of Reno. The batholith is roughly 15 km
in diameter. There are numerous copper and gold skarn systems peripheral to the batholith, many of
which have been mined. The Pumpkin Hollow skarn system is currently being developed, with a resource
estimated at 1.1bt at 0.3-1.5% Cu (Nevada Copper Corporation, 2013). The at-surface Yerington
deposit itself was mined by Anaconda Mining Inc. between 1953 and 1965, with an original overall
geological resource estimate of approximately 1 billion tons at 0.4% Cu. Exploration is current and
ongoing on several deeper satellite deposits discovered while the Yerington mine was in operation,
including the Bear deposit (500mt @ 0.4%; Quaterra Resources, 2013), and the Ann Mason deposit (2bt
at 0.3% Cu, using 0.2% cut-off; Entrée Gold, 2013).
The Bonita Property is outside of the well-established Carlin-style gold deposit trends in
north-central Nevada, but there are several large, past-producing Tertiary epithermal gold deposits
located within 50 km of Bonita, including the Hycroft and Sleeper deposits, both associated with
Tertiary-aged volcanic rocks which are evident at Bonita.
The active MacFarlane hot spring is located 5 km west of the southern part of the Bonita property. It
is delineated by an east-west carbonate ridge some 170 m long, and is co-spatial to a regional-scale
structural dislocation that is evident at Bonita.
The Bonita Property is underlain primarily by a diverse Early-Middle Jurassic igneous complex, with
lesser volcano-sedimentary cover successions.
The spine of the south Jackson Range itself is dominated by weathering resistant, dark weathering,
medium grained, magnetic gabbroic diorite. Fine-grained sodic diorite is more abundant in the Red
Butte Mountain area in the western part of the property. Both intrusive phases are intruded by
numerous dykes, stocks and plugs of hypabyssal, locally quartz-phyric, leucocratic monzodiorite.
Happy Creek volcanic rocks of inferred Triassic age are mainly undifferentiated andesitic volcanic
successions best exposed in the western part of the property, including well-bedded,
limestone-bearing sedimentary successions lower in the section. Folded metasedimentary rocks and
phyllite are below the Happy Creek volcano-sedimentary successions in the southwest part of the
property, and might be Paleozoic in age. The Cretaceous King Lear formation unconformably overlies
the Happy Creek andesite volcanic succession in the northwest part of the property, where it
consists of locally-derived pebble and boulder conglomerate and interbedded siltstone and greywacke,
and lenses of limestone. Tertiary volcanic rocks are mostly layered assemblages of andesite,
trachyte and basalt flows, with lesser crystal ash flow tuff and tuffaceous sedimentary rocks
exposed in the central and southeastern part of the property, filling the central valley depression.
The large alteration footprint at Bonita is clearly delineated by airborne magnetic and hyperspectral
surveys, and refined by detailed mapping of alteration zones on the ground, including outer
propylitic, argillic, sodic, and phyllic. Recognition of potassic alteration is limited to diorite
fragments in iron oxide breccia in the eastern part of the property (Copper Queen – Iron Chief
workings), and in quartz veins in drill core in the same area. Copper and gold mineralization at
Bonita are generally associated with occurrences of iron oxide breccia, in areas of increased
intensity of leucocratic monzodiorite dykes and sheeted quartz veins in sodic diorite.
Silica-specularite hydrothermal breccia and iron-carbonate – chlorite hydrothermal breccia is
extensive in the Hemco area west of the central valley, and in the Copper Queen – Whiskey Bottle
area east of the central valley.
Copper and gold mineralization are generally associated with quartz veins in argillic and phyllic
alteration zones in fine grained sodic diorite. Iron oxide breccia commonly has disseminated
tetrahedrite in the matrix, and remobilized iron oxide and copper oxide is common in veinlets with
quartz, and along fractures. Vertically-oriented hydrothermal vein breccia with quartz-pyrite veins
in phyllic-altered sodic diorite is evident in drill core from both the Hemco and Copper Queen
targets on the western and eastern sides of the property, respectively.
Overall, the attributes of the Bonita hydrothermal system are most similar to the alkaline porphyry
copper-gold deposits located in the belt of Triassic and Jurassic porphyry deposits in western North
America as shown on the Early Mesozoic Paleotectonic map on this website below this text.
Because the scattered historic workings for copper, gold and iron on the Bonita Property do not
appear in the various regional geology reports and mineral compilation studies published by the USGS
and the Nevada Bureau of Mines covering northwestern Nevada, the area has attracted little
attention. The South Jackson Range has been “off the radar” of modern exploration because it is
outside of the established gold districts in Nevada such as the Walker Lane Belt and the various
trends of Carlin-type deposits, and because it is located away from the areas of known porphyry
copper deposits at Yerington and Ely.
There are historic surface workings from the early 1900’s scattered across the Bonita property, with
underground development including shafts, tunnels, drifts and adits at several locations, including:
1936 Mine; Copper Queen; Bonita South; Red Butte North; Bonita Spring; Hobbit, and; Hemco. Most of
the workings target copper oxide on fracture and gold and copper sulfide in quartz veins within
sodic- or phyllic-altered sodic diorite or leucocratic monzodiorite dykes.
More recent work, thought to be from the 1940’s - 1960’s era, include surface pits and sort piles for
iron at Iron Chief in the eastern part of the property, and an array of pits, trenches and roadcuts
within a large goethite colour anomaly covering several square kilometres in the northwestern part
of the property.
There is minor drill core from a few, scattered drill collars thought to be completed during the
1980’s at the Bonita South and Red Butte North mines located along the eastern margin of the central
valley through the property. The drill holes targeted gold-bearing quartz veins and quartz vein
breccia that were the focus of the historic workings, hosted within intensely clay- and
albite-altered sodic diorite.