The Cortez trend is the lesser-known relative of the famous Carlin trend — the Nevada site home to the most productive accumulation of gold deposits in North America.
In the last quarter of a century, the Cortez trend has been a prolific and profitable site, but experts believe that the Cortez fault corridor could be older, larger and far more valuable than Carlin over the longer term.
And with Nevada continuing to be one of the best regions for gold mining, it’s no surprise why companies operating in this region present a desirable investment opportunity. In Q2 2020 alone, Barrick Gold’s (TSX:ABX,NYSE:GOLD) Carlin project was the largest global mining operation, producing 382 koz — a 105 percent increase over Q2 2019.
A geological overview of the Cortez trend
The Cortez trend in Nevada is home to a string of gold and other mineral deposits along the southern section of the Battle Mountain-Eureka trend. The Cortez trend is similar in size to the Carlin trend, which is located approximately 50 miles to the northeast. The Carlin trend is North America’s largest gold producing region, second only to South Africa’s Witwatersrand.
The Carlin and Cortez regions are similar in many ways. Both have extremely complicated faulting systems, which makes it tricky for geologists to identify the different systems from multiple geological eras. In simple terms, the Cortez trend contains areas of mineralization in line with the lower plate of the wider Eureka-Battle Mountain area.
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