Chinese working on the US transcontinental railway discovered gold on the Lovitt Mine property in 1865. They made ladders to reach the veins in the cliffs, then panned their rock chippings for gold in Squilchuk Creek in the valley below. Apparently they did well, because there are hundreds of pits in the cliffs of D reef as silent witness to their activity.
The mine property was first staked in the 1890’s and a small gold operation was run for about three years prior to 1900, about one thousand feet from the main ore body.
The property changed hands several times prior to Ed Lovitt appearing on the scene in 1949. Lovitt immediately recognized the potential of the property and in 1950 he raised the financing required to take the property to production. For eight years the company shipped ore grade rock averaging .5 to .9 oz of gold per ton to the Asarco smelter in Tacoma.
Lovitt employed contract miners who shared in the profits. In 1959, the miners discovered “Nellie’s Room” a very rich pocket of ore in a room of 15x15x20 feet. In today’s dollars, about $ 40 million in gold and silver was recovered and the company was raided by the IRS before any payouts could be paid out to the miners to make sure the proper federal tax was deducted.
The Lovitt Mine mineralization is mostly epithermal micron gold, much like that found in the Carlin trend in Nevada, and a local Wenatchee World newspaper article quotes Ed Lovitt saying “the gold is so fine that it can’t be seen, even at 100 oz. per ton”. However, there were occasional zones of very high grade like Nellie’s Room where the gold was visible and Lovitt made a side business of selling the gold and electrum specimens discovered in the mine.
In 1960 Lovitt entered into a joint venture agreement with the Day brothers of Idaho, who were experienced mill operators. Lovitt felt that he could do better by milling the ore, then delivering the resulting concentrate to a smelter. The partnership was known as L-D Mines and the partnership was in effect until the mine suspended operations in 1967, with gold fixed at 34.00 per oz. and expenses rising.
Historic records show production of 410,480 oz of gold and 625,850 oz of silver between 1951 and 1967. At today’s gold price of 1,700 per oz, this would be equivalent to a gross revenue of over $ 700,000,000.
After the mine suspended operations in late 1966, Cypress Anvil optioned the property, and spent about three years exploring for gold in the area. They were interested in developing the open pit potential of the Lovitt Mine, and they completely missed the potential of the Cannon Mine adjoinsing the Lovitt Mine to the north with product ion of 1.1 million ounces of gold in the late 1980’s early 90’s. Taken together, the Lovitt and Cannon Mines produced in excess of $ 2 Billion in gross revenue in today’s dollars and gold price.
The Cannon Mine was optioned by a Vancouver mining promoter in 1982 as a proximity play to the Lovitt Gold Mine. By 1984 diamond drill results were achieved with gold intersections and grades that the world mining community recognized the potential of a world class gold camp. One diamond drill hole intersected 60 feet of over 1 oz gold per ton and the gold rush was on. Prior to the news release, Breakwater ‘s stock had closed at around 3.50, and after release of the news of the spectacular drill intersection, it opened around $16.00. Breakwater, a junior exploration company, had brought in Asamera Minerals Inc., a more senior company with deep pockets to finance the investment required to explore and take the mine to production. Ultimately Breakwater owned 49% of the Cannon Mine, and Asamera owned 51%.
Back to the Lovitt Mine
Since the Cannon mine diamond drilling indicated a possible gold camp, mining major Teck Corporation became interested in the Wenatchee area and used our Vancouver company, then known as Grange Gold Corporation, to finance a minority equity interest in the Lovitt Mining Company. Once again, the focus was upon developing an open pit resource. Teck spent several millions to finance an exploration program in the 80’s and in a follow up effort Asamera spent several millions exploring the Lovitt Mine property from between 1985 to 1992. A major oil company bought Asamera, and closed Asamera Minerals Inc. not wanting to be in the mining bisineess since it was a small part of their overall assets. Other well known mining companies explored the Lovitt Mine after operations were suspended, including Cyprus Anvil, United Mining, Newmont Mining and Tenneco. The data assembled by these companies is a major asset of Lovitt Resources Inc.
In 1994, consulting geologist A.A. Burgoyne wrote a non-compliant 43-101 summary of the Lovitt Mine mining data and concluded that the Lovitt Mine had a geological resource of over 400,000 oz of gold. Also Wright Engineers prepared multiple summary reports for Teck Corporation and Asamera between1982 and 1992. It would be impossible to duplicate the 7 miles of tunnels, over one thousand engineering drawings, diamond drill data and scores of engineering reports without a budget in excess of 40 million dollars.
In 2008 the Lovitt Mining Company commissioned an updating report by Watts Griffis and McQuat of Toronto, released in July 2009, available here.
Lovitt Mine historic data shows a terrific blue sky potential, since the history of the mine indicates numerous high grade gold pockets. There are hundreds of narrow veins in the mine that were never sampled. All early exploration involved long hole drilling of typically 80 feet, and most post 1967 drilling was directed to collect open pit information. The Lovitt hydro-thermal gold deposit is also open to depth and southward, since the exploration focus post-1967 was mainly to develop broad shallow reserves. The current focus is on high grade gold and silver zones offering bonanza potential.
Grange Gold Corporation, the original name of our public company, became Lovitt Resources Inc., when rising gold prices returned our focus to the Lovitt Mine asset. In looking at potential future development, a large part of the permitting process may be bypassed or accelerated due to the fact that our mine workings are on patented mining claims. Lovitt Mines owns the patented Gold King and MacBeth mining claims subject to a 5% net smelter royalty interest in favor of former minority shareholders, plus 100% of the mineral rights in 200 acres and 70% of the mineral rights to 350 acres in the Wenatchee area, subject to the same net smelter royalty. Contained within the mineral interest is a freehold land inventory of approximately 270 acres close to the city limits of Wenatchee, which is a major off balance sheet asset of the company.
Between 2008 and 2012, work was concentrated on the 1250 level of the mine, exploring other levels where accessible, sampling prospective areas inside and outside the mine, reviewing engineering maps and reports, and entering this information into 3D format. The company has placed further activity on hold as its consultants study permitting options.
The Lovitt Mining Company has a very rich history dating from its incorporation in 1949, and its best days are yet to come, led onward and upward by its publicly traded 100% owner, Lovitt Resources Inc. (TSXV: “LRC”).