Comstock Mining Inc. (NYSEMKT:LODE) announced in conjunction with American Mining and Tunneling, it has completed construction of the first phase of the entire 800 foot underground exploration drift (“Harris Portal”) at the north end of the existing Lucerne Surface Mine.

As quoted in the press release:

The Company had previously completed extensive geological development and modeling, including analysis of surface drill hole results, metallurgy, proximity to the current Lucerne Mine floor, and historic mining data.  This resulted in a highly detailed geologic model for the Lucerne. The work confirmed that the lode is comprised of a group of northwest trending, sub-parallel, high-grade, mineralized structures. This structural group coalesces into a single zone in the central part of the East-side area and diverges to the north and south creating a possible structural corridor up to 600-feet. The Company also discovered dike-like masses of quartz porphyry (PQ) that have intruded into the main lode and have a direct relationship to the known mineralization.  Additionally, early this year, the Company completed extensive surface drilling on the Succor and Holman mineral patents, where structures have close proximity and potentially intersect with the PQ mass.


The first phase of the tunnel development was targeted at 800 feet and scheduled for completion by year-end. The first phase also includes approximately 20,000 feet of diamond-core and reverse circulation (R/C) definition drilling, both being closely coordinated with the drift development. Previously disclosed drill data from this PQ structure include 46 intercepts of at least 10 feet that have a grade, on average, of over 0.23 ounces of gold per ton and over 1.71 ounces of silver per ton.  The Succor vein system is being considered as an easterly extension of the first phase of development beyond the high-grade PQ target.

The Company remains on plan to invest approximately $3 million for the first phase, including the portal, drift, drilling, and certain related infrastructure for the Lucerne underground exploration and development project, scheduled for completion this December.

Comstock Mining President and CEO, Corrado De Gasperis, stated:

Our teams have now completed the targeted 800 foot segment of the Lucerne exploration drift about two weeks ahead of schedule and drilling activities are now moving into the heart of the PQ mass.  We have also recently identified an efficient path to connect the PQ development with the intersecting high-grade Succor vein system that we are incorporating into our development plans.  The Succor had historic production with grades greater than 0.65 ounces per ton of gold and represents an attractive addition to our underground targets.

We remain ahead of schedule on the first phase of the Lucerne underground exploration campaign, both in terms of time and budget, and we are evaluating the high-grade Succor vein system as an addition to our first phase of this exploration campaign, in advance of the Woodville. We are looking forward to updating and reporting on the drilling and advancement of this project frequently throughout year-end and into the first quarter.

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