Goldbanks is composed of 874 unpatented
mining claims (about 16,500 acres or 6,680 hectares), all located on federal
The earliest recorded gold production in
the Goldbanks district was in 1907, at the Goldbanks Merger mine located on the
eastern margin of Goldbanks Hills. Mercury was discovered in 1913 in the
central portion of the district, which quickly led to the commencement of the
Quicksilver Mine. The mine produced mercury from 1914 through 1969.
Additionally, the Pronto Plata mine, located 7 kilometers northwest of the
Quicksilver Mine, also produced small quantities of mercury (Percival, 2010).
Numerous gold exploration companies have
operated in the Goldbanks district, including Bear Creek Mining (Kennecott),
Santa Fe Gold, USMX and others through the mid-1980’s with little success. The
majority of these programs focused on zones below or along strike of
cinnabar-bearing opaline silica. In 1988, G. L. Grauberger discovered a large
area of low-grade mineralization that would become the Main Zone of the
Goldbanks deposit. The smaller KW deposit was discovered in 1994 and is located
3 kilometers north of the Main Zone. Kinross Gold Corporation acquired the
project in 1997 from Restoration Minerals, a company founded by G. L.
Grauberger, with the goal of delineating a bulk-tonnage open-pit resource.
Kinross optioned the project to Newmont in 2000, then later to Desert Gold
Ventures Inc. in 2004.
Prior to 2013, drilling outside of the
resource areas had primarily been vertical RC condemnation holes. Kinross re-acquired
100% of the project in 2012 and has been conducting exploration since that time.
Project exploration expenditures through 2015 exceed US$25 million (Ellis
and Stroup, 2015).