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Integration of new geologic mapping and satellite-derived quartz mapping yields insights into the structure of the Roberts Mountains allochthon applicable to assessments for concealed Carlin-type gold deposits

April 13, 2012

Geologic mapping and remote sensing across north-central Nevada enable recognition of a thick sheet of Middle and Upper Ordovician Valmy Formation quartzite that structurally overlies folded and faulted Ordovician through Devonian stratigraphic units of the Roberts Mountains allochthon. In the northern Independence Mountains and nearby Double Mountain area, the Valmy Formation is in fault contact with Ordovician through Silurian, predominantly clastic, sedimentary rocks of the Roberts Mountains allochthon that were deformed prior to, or during, emplacement of the Valmy thrust sheet. Similar structural relations are recognized discontinuously for 200 kilometers along the strike of the Roberts Mountains allochthon in mapping guided by regional remote-sensing-based (ASTER) quartz maps. Overall thicknesses of deformed Roberts Mountains allochthon units between the base of the Valmy and the top of underlying carbonate rocks that host large Carlin-type gold deposits varies on the order of hundreds of meters but is not known to exceed 700 meters. The base of the Valmy thrust sheet is a complimentary datum in natural resource exploration and mineral resource assessment for concealed Carlin-type gold deposits.