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Published January 27, 2022
Nadia Dworian, a University of Wyoming undergraduate student from Anchorage, Alaska, will work with U.S. Gold Corp. on the Copper King (CK) Gold Project, located near Curt Gowdy State Park in southeastern Wyoming.
“I’m really excited and honored to be presented with this opportunity,” says Dworian, who is completing her bachelor’s degree in geology and geophysics. “I am interested in this site and look forward to seeing what the project will yield. This also is a tremendous opportunity to take what I have learned in the classroom and apply it to a real-life situation, which will aid my career in geology.”
Dworian will be tasked with identifying, describing and documenting mineralization and associated alteration assemblages from the CK Mine. The project will then fund a UW graduate student to collect subsequent data and provide supporting analysis over a two-year period.
Recognized as an outstanding student, Dworian was the recipient of the Mineralogical Society of America’s Undergraduate Prize and brings knowledge and experience that are distinct to the project. Last summer, she worked directly on the CK Gold Project as a junior geologist for Hard Rock Consulting. She conducted fieldwork including mapping, core logging, core cutting and chip logs.
For the current project, Dworian will work with supervisor Simone Runyon, a UW Department of Geology and Geophysics assistant professor, and Fred McLaughlin, the interim director of UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER) Center for Economic Geology Research (CEGR).
“Nadia is a talented, hard-working student,” Runyon says. “Opportunities like this for interesting research will help continue attracting high-quality students to Wyoming.”
SER also will play a part in the joint industry project. CEGR research scientists will coordinate with U.S. Gold Corp. to develop mapping and sampling strategies; collect and document critical samples; and process samples for geochemical, geochronological and petrological analysis.
“The School of Energy Resources plays an important part in bridging the gap between traditional academic research and industry,” McLaughlin says. “We are pleased that we can help facilitate this collaboration and provide a unique and interesting opportunity for promising UW students to gain some real experience in the field.”
The CK Mine is part of the Silver Crown Mining District -- a series of historic mines in Wyoming. Originally developed in the late 1800s, operations on the CK Mine ceased before World War II with no further development.
The prospect of reopening the hard rock mine -- while employing modern technology and mining methods -- will allow the company to recover more mineral resources, protect the area and stimulate economic growth and revenue for the state.
“We are excited to advance the CK Gold Project, not only because our studies suggest that restarting mining in this historic mining district will benefit our shareholders and investors, but also to create good and meaningful jobs; contribute to the state through royalty and tax contributions; and set standards for responsible mining -- diversifying the state’s natural resource sector,” says Kevin Francis, vice president of exploration and technical services for U.S. Gold Corp.
Francis believes the project could have even greater implications, enhancing the domestic supply of important resources and strengthening U.S. infrastructure.
“U.S. Gold Corp. contributing to U.S. production of over 248 million pounds of copper and over 1 million ounces of gold -- with the likely beneficial use of our non-gold and copper bearing rock as aggregate -- contributes to the country’s needs at a time of global supply chain insecurity,” he adds.
A prefeasibility study was completed and released in December 2021. The study indicated favorable conditions for recovering valuable mineral resources, including gold, copper, silver and zinc.
The next stage of the project will consist of a feasibility study, where Dworian’s research will play a vital role characterizing the site.
“I will be examining thin sections obtained from the site of the potential mine to better understand the formation conditions of the deposit and contribute to a classification of deposit type,” Dworian says. “By identifying the rock types though mineral assemblages, it is our hope that we can better understand how the system was formed.”
Dworian will begin preliminary examinations for the mine site this spring before full-scale fieldwork will begin and continue through 2023. If all goes according to plan, the planned open-pit mine will officially break ground in 2025.
“The U.S. Gold Corp. team and our consultants were impressed by Nadia’s hard work, positive attitude and ‘self-starter’ approach to her assignment on the CK Gold Project,” Francis says. “In fact, we had a very good experience with all of the students who helped us during our field season geological program from the University of Wyoming. We cannot say enough about the quality of the young folks that the university is turning out.”
To learn more about the proposed project, visit www.ckgoldmine.com.