Russell Noble is the editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication.
Historic U.S. gold belt offers new opportunities for Canadian miners
With a name like “Holy Terror,” one can only speculate what the founders of this mine in The Black Hills of South Dakota were thinking when they named it in the late 1890s?
Even to this day, visitors to the Keystone area of the historic mining communities in the famed Black Hills still wonder where the name came from and why was the mine tagged with such a menacing monicker?
Sketchy historical documents and old wives’ tales* spell out some of the myths behind the name but nevertheless, the mine is real and the name lives on as a legally registered claim with the U.S. Bureau of Mines.
The Holy Terror Mine is located in the Keystone Mining District of the Black Hills, about 35 km southwest of Rapid City and is one of no fewer than a dozen high-grade mines that formed a chain along the historical Keystone gold belt. Mining in the Keystone district dates back to 1874, with the most notable deposit being the famous Homestake Mine which produced nearly 40 million ounces of gold, making it the richest, deepest and most successful gold mine in U.S. history.
Holy Terror, just 60 km southeast of Homestake and in the same greenstone belt, was also a respected gold producer of approximately 62,000 ounces during its years of operation and by 1903, it had reached a depth of 1200 feet. That same year, however, the mine was plagued with excessive underground water and litiga¬tion due to fatalities and, as a result, it was closed and allowed to flood.
Typical of many historical mines revisited by new investors looking for old reserves, Holy Terror was no exception and over the years there have been sporadic attempts to revive what was once known as “one of the richest gold producers in the country.”
Today, thanks to Vancouver-based Mineral Mountain Resources, the Holy Terror Mine is back in the headlines as result of this Canadian company taking over with the first drilling program on the property in decades.
In fact, Company President and Director Nelson Baker (former President and CEO of Rainy River Resources) says the Holy Terror Project is one of the more exciting projects he’s undertaken in his 40 years of exploration and mine development.
“Since acquiring the property a couple of years ago, we’ve been confirming his¬torical grades and through new technologies involving airborne geophysics, a LIDAR survey, plus good-old-fashioned, on-the-ground sampling and diamond drilling, we’re convinced that site holds great promise for new development.”
Supporting Baker’s enthusiasm from recent drill targets on the 5,100-acre prop¬erty are recent high-grade results that will enable the company to go forward to define a 43-101 compliant resource and do more exploration drilling for yet undis-covered targets within the same trend.
Historical data at Holy Terror had averages of 9 g/t Au whereas the latest drill results from Mineral Mountain include 5.54 g/t over 6.92 m, 7.02 g/t over 2.97 m, 7.14 g/t over 4.82 m, 10.02 g/t over 3.90 m, 17.07 g/t over 5.00 m, 24.00 g/t over 3.0 m and 10.04 g/t over 8.0m.
Encouraging to say the least, but what also makes Baker and his team from Mineral Mountain excited about the Holy Terror Project is the potential it has to once again be one of the richest gold pro¬ducers in the country thanks to data that shows that grades and widths of ore increase with depth.
With more than 6,900 m of diamond drilling already punched into the proper¬ty, the degree of high-grade gold mineralization continues to display many similarities with the historic Homestake ores, a sign that convinces Mineral Mountain that a new mine is a true possibility.
Given the condition of the Holy Terror Mine, including shafts, adits, head frames, buildings and portal entrances, Mineral Mountain has a clear picture of historical work at the site but what’s even more encouraging is the existing infrastructure that will enable the company to perform future work.
As mentioned earlier, the mine is locate about 35 km southwest of Rapid City with ready access to Interstate Highway I-90 and a regional airport by a series of sec¬ondary and tertiary gravel roads offering access to most portions of the property.
With ease of access, plus a nearby source of power and water resources, the Holy Terror Mine shows all the potential to be back in production and thanks to Mineral Mountain Resources’ know-how and understanding of exploration and development, the once-popular Keystone Mining District of South Dakota could once again be the envy of gold miners around the world.