Comstock Mining Inc

Pure Comstock Silver Nevada Sesquicentennial Medallion This limited edition medallion commemorates Nevada’s Sesquicentennial and is the first substantial minting of Comstock Silver since the Carson City Mint closed in 1893.
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Pure Comstock Silver Nevada Sesquicentennial Medallion

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Comstock Mining Inc


Statements contained in this blog, which are not historical facts, including statements about plans, goals and expectations regarding businesses and opportunities, new or existing business strategies, capital resources and future financial results are "forward looking" as contemplated by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, changes in government regulation, generally accepted accounting principles, taxation, competition, general economic conditions and geopolitical conditions. Accordingly, actual results may differ materially from those projected or implied in the forward-looking statements.

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CEO Blog - September 24, 2015
Thursday, September 24 2015 00:00
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The following interview with Corrado De Gasperis, CEO of Comstock Mining, was conducted by Mr. Peter Epstein, CFA of Epstein Research ( and is re-posted here with permission.

I will start with the obligatory question, can you please tell readers about Comstock Mining?

Comstock Mining (NYSE: LODE) has accumulated an unprecedented, ten square mile land position, consolidating an historic, world-class gold and silver district. We rezoned the property, identified millions of NI 43-101 compliant ounces of gold & silver, permitted and built facilities with substantial capacity, and placed our first low-cost mine into production. We are drilling in our Lucerne and Dayton Resource Areas with the objective of developing two new mines in Nevada and generating strong cash flow growth in one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world.

News of the Company’s rejuvenated capital structure was a hit, sending the stock up 58% on 15x average daily trading volume. Why is this transaction so important?
This is truly a watershed moment, opening the new Comstock Mining to a greater universe of investors. Our new capital structure eliminated all preferred stock, making it much cleaner and simpler. We now have common shares, cash and a modest amount of debt. We continue to enjoy a very high quality institutional shareholder base and have strengthened our Board’s independence.

Notwithstanding the above, Comstock Mining is perceived to be as a Company ALWAYS spending money, rarely cash flow positive, even when gold prices were higher. Can you please comment?
I appreciate that that perception is out there. The reality is that we consolidated a massive land position (100% owned or controlled), with little to no future royalties, rezoned it, successfully traversed significant environmental, social and operational obstacles, and sustainably re-positioned potentially one of the most prolific mining districts in the world back into operation. This was accomplished with a relatively small amount of capital considering the land we purchased, and the considerable logistical issues addressed. Now, we are positioned to commence development of two new mines. We hope to demonstrate solid growth in cash flow in one of the largest, high-grade properties in Nevada.

With less required explaining of the prior capital structure, and diminished funding concerns, what will you do with all of your free time?
We remain highly focused on drilling high-grade targets in Lucerne. We have positioned the mine to drill two high-grade targets and develop a drift and tunnel. We believe these two targets present the most immediate opportunity for stakeholders. We commenced an 800-foot drift development. We are targeting high-grade gold and silver structures with grades averaging 8x-10x that of what we’ve been mining. All of our painstaking work readies us to drill these targets with the objective of establishing a long-lived, profitable mining enterprise. The first phase of tunnel development began on September 5, 2015, and will continue for the next three months.
We are also drilling our Dayton area, a second deposit that we hope to be able to commence permitting on in 2016. Dayton is roughly a mile south of Lucerne.

Please comment on cost containment. Has there been a meaningful move in any parts of you cost profile?
These days, containing costs is synonymous with survival. We have dramatically streamlined and reduced mining, support and administrative costs. We have recently developed new partnerships with American Mining & Tunneling Inc. and American Drilling, moving a larger component of our cost structure from fixed to variable. This added flexibility should allow Comstock to continue delivering lower costs from existing infrastructure.

Can you comment on Mr. Winfield’s willingness to enter into this broad restructuring? Why now? Who are your pro forma largest shareholders?
Mr. Winfield remains our largest, and most supportive shareholder. These changes are a tremendous vote of confidence by him, and other shareholders, in our operating model and goals moving forward. The timing was right from every perspective. We’ve built the right team, grown our land position and proven the operating model and key economic variables (such agrade, metallurgy, strip ratios and costs). We are proud to include Century Asset Management, U.S. Global Investors, Sun Valley Master Gold Funds, Gabelli Asset Management, Loews Corporation, Solus Asset Management, and of course, the Winfield Group, in our top ten list of shareholders. They all supported the restructuring.

Do you believe that existing and new institutional shareholders will take another look at Comstock Mining after the revision of the capital structure?
Great question. It’s already happening and I’m confident that will prove to be one of the most significant results of cleaning up our capital structure. It’s important to reiterate that we didn’t just eliminate the preferred stock and dividends, but permanently dispensed with tens of millions of dollars of future obligations and royalties. We have already spoken with dozens of funds that are more interested in investing, calling us for meetings. I’m dedicated to responding and proudly explaining the new Comstock Mining in coming months.

In speaking with contacts and analysts, some believe that Comstock’s growth profile is limited, perhaps due to city boundaries?
The perception that we are limited is a dated one. Our contiguous land position is massive and last October we received unanimous approval from local regulators to expand our permit boundaries by almost tenfold. Our progress is only constrained by the rate at which we can develop these higher-grade targets. I should add we have drilled on less than 1 mile of our 6-mile strike, and if one considers depth, we’ve probably drilled on less than 2-3%.

Presumably, you believe that being in production is a world apart from, “in production soon…” Please comment on possible lessons learned?
Production is MORE than a world apart from a stage of, “advanced development” or “in production soon.” Lead times for obtaining permits, funding and building infrastructure are measured in years not months. There’s also a huge difference between commencing production and working out the slew of unexpected issues resulting in a ramp up period much longer than management and investors expect. We have three years of continuously improving production. We continue to improve but with the majority of our growing pains behind us. We are pouring gold and silver every week, while maintaining a low-cost profile, despite operating at a small percentage of our capacity.

More importantly, our Lucerne resource area is fully permitted. This achievement is invaluable as we transition to drilling multiple, higher-grade targets with the objective over time of developing long-lived mines. Our flexibility and experience should allow for faster exploration and permitting, possibly culminating in a faster development cycle. This knowledge will be incredibly useful as we start planning activities in the Dayton and Spring Valley drill targets.

Lessons learned? It is critically important to focus on one development at a time, prudently dedicating resources through completion of each objective. For example, ensuring the lowest possible operating costs at Lucerne and maintaining a strong balance sheet. As we see other Nevada mines failing, it appears that they have taken shortcuts, under-appreciated ongoing risks and contingencies, while working with inflexible project schedules. No surprise, but attacking low-grade opportunities with higher costs, bloated overhead, excessive debt or multi-tasking projects doesn’t work well with gold at $1,100/oz!

Is Comstock a Takeout Candidate?
We believe we have built a platform for Nevada-based growth. We have the management, district and network to lead that growth, both organically and through Nevada-based acquisitions. We are attractive to investors and I’m sure once they understand what has been built, land owned, obstacles cleared, absence of royalties and most importantly, the extent of the known geology. As suitors better understand our known and blue-sky potential, we expect they will certainly take notice. Some already have.

Why invest in Comstock now instead of waiting for a higher price of gold & silver?
There are a small number of junior, mid-tier and major producers demonstrating low cash costs (critical in a downturn). Low capital and all-in sustaining costs (critical longer term) and clean balance sheets. These will be the winners, representing companies that investors should consider investing in. Waiting means possibly paying more as many risks have been mitigated. For those of us emerging safely through this downturn, there will be far fewer names to choose from. Comstock Mining will certainly be one of them.

I believe our position among surviving Nevada-based companies will continue to improve as we execute on our underground portal in the Lucerne mine and develop Dayton, our 2nd target. We will be drilling and hopefully developing even higher-grade targets. The winners are those of us that have continued advancing, slashed costs and increased operating flexibility.

Some believe that Comstock has too much corporate overhead, perhaps too many senior people. Please comment.
Yes, we’ve been asked about that. Our system was designed to handle complexities beyond the norm. With hindsight, our challenges have become one of our strongest assets. We streamlined core competencies in areas where we’ve achieved reliability. Our corporate costs have come down in line with peer Nevada-based miners, better enabling us to while achieve our growth goals.

What are 3 key takeaways that you believe make an investment in the new Comstock Mining a good bet?
Nevada-based, massive consolidated land holdings, permitted for gold and silver and continuous exploration and development.
Existing infrastructure delivering a low and flexible operating cost, enabling success even in low gold and silver price scenarios and positioned to thrive at higher prices.
Vast exploration potential on six miles of contiguous, mineralized strike in one of the historically highest grade, world-class mining districts.

Thank you Corrado for you valuable time. I believe you articulate the New & Improved Comstock Mining well. 

CEO Blog - September 15, 2015
Tuesday, September 15 2015 00:00
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Comstock Mining Receives Excellence in Mine Reclamation Award
Recognized for Outstanding Historic Rehabilitation

Last Saturday, our Company was honored with the Nevada Excellence in Mine Reclamation Award! This award represents the positive effects of a Company and a culture dedicated to preserving, protecting, reclaiming, restoring and celebrating the historic district and the communities that live here. When we applied for our first exploration permit in Storey County, we presented examples of prior excellence in mine reclamations because, frankly, that was not always the history of the Comstock Lode District, especially in the late 70’s and 80’s, when laws, ethics and practices were nowhere near what they are today.  The County and community were rightfully skeptical, since history, in this case, was working against us.  But we were committed.

Picture2This award is important for us in so many ways because it honors the standards we have established for ourselves. It shows that the full cycle of mining and reclamation can occur more currently than it did historically, when in some cases reclamations were not done at all and highlights the dramatic progress made in the industry. Perhaps most importantly, it celebrates a quality system, that operates more efficiently and effectively when things are done properly, the first time.

We received the Nevada Excellence in Mine Reclamation Award for the full restoration of the Keystone Mine, in the Comstock Lode Historic Mine District, that represented a full open cut land restoration.   This award recognizes some of the most progressive Nevada miners, elevating the standards of excellence in mine reclamations and restorations.  These recognitions highlight best practices, increase the industry’s (and the public’s) awareness of these sustaining activities, and encourage innovation in reclamation techniques, thus raising industry standards, and resulting in better plans of operation and reclamation.  We could not be prouder of our role in achieving these critical objectives. 

We never considered reclamation sufficient.  We sincerely look to include protection, preservation and restoration when operating in such a precious and historically profound territory.  We were also recognized, along with the Comstock Foundation for History and Culture, for Outstanding Rehabilitation of the historic Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist Works.  The emergency restoration of the Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist Works saved an iconic landscape feature on the National Landmark.  The Foundation, a not-for profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the historic district, identified, facilitated and funded the restoration. 

Our combined award and three others were presented at the Nevada Mining Association Convention. All awards were the result of unanimous decisions by the Awards Committee with members including representatives from the U.S. Forest Service (Elko), Bureau of Land Management (Reno), Nevada Division of Minerals (Reno), Nevada Division of Wildlife (Reno) and Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (Carson City).  We could not be prouder of the results shown below: 

Picture3Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist and Ore Chute, before and after

Through the direction and facilitation of the Foundation, we provided funds for the restoration of the historic Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist works and ore chute, located directly above the tracks of the V&T Railroad in Gold Hill.  The wooden hoist served to lift ore carts and miners from the famed Yellow Jacket which was one of the richest mines in the history of the Comstock.  Without the restoration efforts, we do not believe this historic structure would have survived another Comstock winter.  Special thanks go to Ron James, Pam Abercrombie and the entire Comstock extended team.

Keystone Mine reclamation, before and afterKeystone Mine reclamation, before and after

The Keystone Mine is located adjacent to State Route 342.  It is the first part of the active mining area that you see when you travel south on State Route 342 from Virginia City.  Our environmental and operating teams recognized the significance of both the initial impression to visitors in the area and the importance of the “viewshed” to all admirers living and or passing through the district.  Our teams performed extensive regrading and shaping of the Keystone Mine area and even included patches of boulders and rocks to mimic the appearance of the surrounding native hills.  We then reseeded and regraded landscape using an approved seed mix and high quality hydroseeding techniques.  Once the vegetation started approximating the surrounding vegetation density, it was difficult to distinguish the regraded terrain from the surrounding native hills.

Our sincere thanks throughout the entire Comstock system, SRK Consulting, the independent and international mining and earth/water resource company that nominated Comstock Mining for the award and Storey County and the entire Comstock community, for being diligent and partnering for a better, most excellent and sustainable outcome.

Kindest regards,

Corrado DeGasperis
President & CEO

CEO Blog - May 19, 2015
Tuesday, May 19 2015 00:00
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State Route 342 Continues On Schedule; Local Company Wins First Phase Road Bid

Paving has commenced on the bypass portion of the realignment of State Route 342 (SR-342) and roadway should re-open timely for tourism season. Comstock Mining Inc. announced that Cruz Construction (“Cruz”) of Mound House won a competitive bidding process to complete the final portion of the first of three phases of road construction. Comstock Mining has managed most of the excavation and sealing of the historic Silver Hills mine shaft internally. Cruz will now provide the base rock, grading, asphalt and striping for the first phase of new road construction that enables the return of traffic onto the State Route. Cruz began work on Monday, May 11th, 2015, with a target completion date of approximately June 8th.

Cruz Construction 2

The first phase completion allows traffic to travel on the state route using a bypass while Comstock Mining begins the second phase of the project. The two phases will overlap for a short time. Cruz’s first week on the job was spent finishing the subgrade. They will then move on to installation of base rock and asphalt. On Thursday, May 14th, Comstock Mining began removing dump material from the south end of the historic waste dump in order to make room for the second phase. The second phase will result in an extended, realigned and newly constructed stretch of road.

Cruz Construction’s general manager Kale Peery stated, “We are proud and happy to work with Comstock Mining, NDOT and Storey County on this project. We are a local company that hires locally; uses local subcontractor’s and we buy our materials locally too.”

Ken Joy, Director of Mining and Processing, commented, “At this point we have been able to overcome a few small obstacles and stay well within our schedule. Much of this is due to the willingness of our mining personal to work overtime for this project.” Joy added, “We are pleased with Cruz Constructions qualifications and with their familiarity of the area.”

Nevada Department of Transportation’s engineering technician, Gary Johnson, has been observing the project throughout the process. NDOT and Storey County have remained close collaborators during the process to ensure construction meets state road standards.

NDOT closed SR-342 to vehicular traffic in early February following heavy rains that resulted in accelerated cracking and visible sinking of a portion of the road around a historic mining shaft. Extreme road collapses have occurred in the same location on four separate occasions beginning in 1965 and the latest happening in 2006. In early March, Comstock Mining agreed to complete a realignment of roadway over its property in full collaboration of NDOT and Storey County. This project is designed for a safer, more permanent solution funded by Comstock Mining.


CEO Blog - March 23, 2015
Friday, March 20 2015 00:00
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To Our Shareholders:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience during 2014. This was certainly one of the most difficult years on record for precious metal equities and we share your disappointment in the share price.  But 2014 also marked a year with some of the most significant, fundamental achievements by our team. We acquired strategic properties, rezoned our key mining properties, expanded our permits and significantly reduced our costs, positioning our Company to lead forward in creating higher value and higher returns for our shareholders. 

We acquired over 800 acres of private lands, expanding our mineral claims and potential for greater mining and processing.  We also restructured our ownership of the mining claims in our Dayton Resource area, eliminating all future royalties there and then rezoned those lands for multiple uses, including mining. In the same context, we rezoned the remainder of our Storey County properties and gained approvals for a landmark expansion of our most strategic operating permit over our most expansive gold and silver resource. Further modifications to our primary Air and Water permits authorized increased operating hours, material processing rates and leach pad capacities.  The land position has never been bigger, better or stronger.

We exceeded our targeted 2014, $10 million cost reduction program, realizing annual savings of approximately $11.7, while enhancing the core competencies of our team and increasing ounces produced.  We also identified and targeted an additional $6.5 million in cost reductions for 2015 as compared to 2014.

We recently launched our 2014-2015 drilling program, targeting significant discoveries.   We already reported additional high-grade intercepts that further define the broadening zone of high-grade gold mineralization on the Eastside of Lucerne. There is much more to come as the program is designed to expand the Eastside of Lucerne’s gold and silver resources, accelerate underground feasibility studies and develop high-grade, underground mine plans.

In 2014, we turned cash flow positive from operations and we are now building on that success with lower strip ratios, better yields and absolute lower costs across all activities.  We believe these actions, driven by better mine execution and more substantial development, position the company for profitable growth now, in the first half of 2015, and stronger equity valuations.

Corrado De Gasperis
President and CEO
Comstock Mining Inc

CEO Blog - March 20, 2015
Friday, March 20 2015 00:00
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The following interview with Corrado De Gasperis, CEO of Comstock Mining, was conducted by Mr. Peter Epstein, CFA of Epstein Research ( and is re-posted here with permission.

Please describe Comstock Mining (LODE) to readers not familiar with your story. 

We are a Nevada-based, permitted and producing gold and silver mining company, trading on the NYSE MKT exchange under the symbol LODE.  The Company has already achieved unprecedented results, like consolidating substantially all of the historic, world-class Comstock Lode mining district south of Virginia City, with approximately 8,300 acres (over 10 square miles) along an approximately six-mile long, contiguous mineralized trend. The Comstock Lode district is best known for producing over 8 million ounces of gold and 192 million ounces of silver, primarily in the late 1800’s, including 33 bonanzas, but no one has ever been able to take this massive, fragmented, complex property position with all of its dynamics, and put it under one roof, until now (not to mention permitting it and going into production).

There’s been a lot of local press reports about a road adjacent to your property that needs to be re-routed. Is this a big a deal, will it impact production? 

The road in question is a state route, SR-342, that was built on loose fill and eroded from weather events to the point that it needs to be re-routed.  We will move the road as we were planning on doing anyway, but it will help the State, help the County and accelerate many of our business and reclamation plans.  Classic win-win-win.

Some shareholders feel that production growth has been slower (or even much slower) than expected. Do you agree? 

Yes, we had originally planned for ramping up Lucerne to a 40,000 gold equivalent ounce run rate per annum last year, but those mine plans, and a lower gold price, required us to modify.  We increased our economic cutoff rate and we also invested significant resources on enhancing the geologic controls, resulting in a much more reliable and predictable mine plan.  These cumulative changes initially resulted in much higher strip ratios before we worked through that section of the mine and reached the flatter, lower strip sections of the Lucerne Mine.

Concurrently, we also dramatically reduced costs, by over $11 million dollars, year on year.  Today, we not only have a drastically improved strip ratio but we can also leverage a much lower and more flexible cost structure as we expand. During this same period, we received permitting approvals to expand the scope of the initial mine area, going from about 180 acres under permit to approximately 1,300 acres under permit. I am proud of how our team responded to the adversity and we feel we are much better positioned for profitable growth by working through that adversity.

Why isn’t your second mine, Dayton, not in production yet? 

The Dayton is our second, high priority target area. Our original drilling, although limited, quantified over 0.5 million gold equivalent ounces of initial resource. Last year, we restructured the purchase to completely eliminate the royalty (it’s 100% owned and royalty free) and rezoned all the lands to a mining designation.  We have since done geophysical, structural and core drilling, with significant continuity of the mineralized structure confirmed and further discoveries identified.  We are planning to complete the exploration and development drilling this year, formalize our feasibility for the full mine plan and facilitate the permitting, all in 2015.

What is the biggest pushback you get from prospective investors in Comstock Mining?

Investors have been waiting for cash flow and are excited to see that cash flow reinvested in exploration and development with positive results. Our recent drill results on the Eastside of Lucerne are the first example of that.  The last three quarters, we were cash flow positive from operations, yet the Company was still reducing costs, expanding permits, acquiring and very effectively re-zoning land, developing the mine, and expanding the heap leach pad.   With dramatically lower costs, we guided to full profitability for the first half of 2015.  The stronger that track record, the stronger the investment interest will be.

Can you give us a snapshot of your latest capital structure including cash, preferred shares and debt? 

Our capital base has been strong since we recapitalized in 2010, with an exceptionally high quality base of institutional investors.  We have 89.8 million shares outstanding, with $48.6 million of additional permanent equity in a preferred stock, which, if converted, represents another 53.6 million common shares, for a little over 143.4 million fully diluted shares. At the end of 2014, the Company had approximately $1 million drawn on a $5 million Revolver, $6.9 million in equipment financing and $3.6 million for notes payable on land purchases. The Company also had $5.3 million in cash.

What are the terms of the preferred shares? Do you believe the preferred shares are an overhang on Comstock’s stock?

No, not since our preferred stock represents permanent equity capital that has no debt-like features. The holders of the preferred stock have been investors for between 5-10 years, and have provided significant funding for the initial consolidation and production growth phases of the Company. The preferred stock is convertible to a fixed underlying number of common shares. The average conversion price is $1.10 (ranging from $0.65 – $1.65).

To the extent that you think Comstock is undervalued, why do you think that might be? 

Investors want to see sustainable positive cash flows. We are confident we are on that mark now and coupled with a better appreciation of our significantly lower costs, driven by improved mine planning, better grades, lower strip ratios and excellent yields, should result in much better valuations. Overall, the market is valuing gold equities as if gold was closer to $850. We feel the best upside will come from those few companies that have their permits, producing with good cost structures and yet retain tremendous exploration upside potential (remember we control the entire district).  It’s these types of companies, like ours, that will deliver the most significant equity upside.

Can you name any of your largest shareholders? What percentage of your shares are owned by management & the Board? 

We have one of the strongest capital bases with funds like Van Den Berg Management (Century Asset), US Global Investors, Inc., Sun Valley Gold LLC, The Vanguard Group, Inc., Gabelli Funds LLC, Solus Asset Management, Wedbush Securities, with the largest holder being the Winfield Group.  Our management and board have about 4%, and when you include our Chairman, it’s over 35%.

Please describe Comstock’s all-in costs for gold equivalent ounce for the latest reported quarter or for 2014.

During the fourth quarter of 2014, our all-in cash costs was $1,243, with all cash mining costs at $843 per gold equivalent ounce, general and administrative at $261 and capital at $139 per gold equivalent ounce. In December, we achieved our cash mining cost target of less than $750. For the first six months of this year, we anticipate being below the $750 per ounce with our all-in costs below $1,000 in the second quarter.

What are the catalysts to watch for in 2015? 

In Lucerne, we are expanding our mine eastward, based on recently received permits and rapidly developing feasibility for a higher grade, underground operation.  We also plan a second expansion in the Dayton Resource Area.  For Dayton, we plan on further drilling, expanding the known resource, finalizing a mine plan and permitting and commissioning our second mining operation.  Our most important catalyst, is our cash flows. In 2014, we turned positive with cash flow from operations and we are now building on that success with lower strip ratios, better yields and absolute lower costs across all activities.

Assuming smooth sailing in 2015, roughly how many ounces of gold equivalent ounces might you be able to produce in 2016?

Optimally, in 2015, we would have two sources of ore, from Lucerne (surface and underground) and one from Dayton.  This would ensure a consistent 40,000 ounce run rate, per annum, scaling up to potentially 75,000 ounces, from all three sources. There is still some drilling and development to do but the path is there. Ultimately, there is capacity to do much more, but it’s a good growth path for 2016.

Are there any misconceptions about Comstock Mining that you would like to address?

The obstacles associated with mining in the historic district had more to do with regulatory complexity and developing a strong social license to operate, more than anything else.  We have done that. The historic Comstock Lode’s geology extends much further than previously understood, and by all modern definitions, is significantly under explored. Our land position continues to grow in size and value and we will build on the historical and current geological data to produce a robust model for practical, responsible economic development.


CEO Blog - November 10, 2014
Monday, November 10 2014 03:00
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Nevada Day 2014
Celebrating the 150th year statehood

Throughout its history and long before it became a state, Nevada was known for its silver and gold. The Comstock Lode was the richest silver discovery in history. Precious metals mined from Virginia City, Gold Hill, and surrounding areas, now known as the Comstock Historic District, created enormous wealth that played an instrumental part in Nevada becoming a state, funding the Civil war, the expansion of the West and building much of old San Francisco.

In that tradition, it was a great honor for Comstock Mining to participate in the celebration of Nevada’s sesquicentennial.  We would like to share some of those photos with you, courtesy of dKer photography.


The Company got special permission to drive our haul truck down C Street for the Virginia City Parade!


Comstock Mining’s float complete with an ore cart and future Comstock Miners.


To honor Nevada's sesquicentennial the Comstock Foundation for History and Culture and the County hosted a special reception at the Gold Hill Depot.  After extensive restorations by Storey County, the Virginia City Tourism Commission, and the Comstock Foundation for History and Culture, the rarely-seen interior was open to the public.  Many visitors were present for the unveiling of “Nine Cheers for the Silver State,” a painting by Nevada artist Steven Saylor that takes its title from a Gold Hill Daily News headline that appeared on October 31, 1864.  Visitors were also able to see the limited edition collectable, pure (.9999) Silver Medallion, expressly created by Comstock Mining, to commemorate and celebrate the occasion.  This represents the first substantial minting of Comstock Silver since the Carson City Mint closed in 1893.


Unveiling of “Nine Cheers for the Silver State” at the Gold Hill Depot


Pure Comstock Silver Medallions featuring Gold Hill, NV on the obverse and
the Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist and Ore Chute on the reverse.
CEO Blog - July 14, 2014
Monday, July 14 2014 03:00
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On July 8, 2014, the Nevada Mining Association (NvMA) announced that Comstock Mining Inc. had been awarded a FIRST PLACE SAFETY AWARD for 2014!!

The Nevada Mining Association’s 2014 Safety Awards honor the individuals and operations throughout the mining industry dedicated to fostering a culture of safety throughout their mine site and supporting the industry-wide credo to send every mining employee home safe and healthy after every shift.

The NVMA Safety Awards are given annually to mine operators and individuals in several categories. Data for the 2014 awards are based on performance in the 2013 calendar year. Comstock Mining had no reportable, safety related accidents in 2013, and won a first place honor in the medium mine operations category, between 100-299 employees.

Comstock Mining Safety Director Randy Harris attributed the award to a Company culture that placed “the safety of our people and the protecting of the environment first, from day one, even before production started up.” The tone at the top and throughout the Company prioritizes the safety of Comstock’s employees and stakeholders in the work place and the protection of the environment and the Landmark.

“We work diligently to insure the safety of our employees and that of the surrounding communities” Harris says, “We have also been proactive in developing a knowledge based relationship with the Mining Safety and Health Administration, (MSHA) and all of our state and local emergency management personnel.”
“This year’s honorees have spent the last year teaching, drilling and applying best practices related to safety on the mine site, and it’s time to pay tribute to their dedication to safety,” said Tim Crowley, NVMA president. “Every single employee on a mine site plays a pivotal role in ensuring Nevada mines are safe. These awards recognize those companies and professionals that stand out above all others.”

This year, 27 awards will be given to mine operators and 44 awards will be given to individuals during an event at NVMA’s annual convention in Lake Tahoe on Saturday, Sept. 6th.

CEO Blog - June 11, 2014
Wednesday, June 11 2014 15:54
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Comstock Mining Inc. is giving the old Keystone Mine back to Mother Nature.  It is the first major reclamation project for Comstock Mining, Inc.  The Keystone surface mine has been completely filled in, contoured, and then covered with growth media.


Pictured is the site being landscaped with rock to imitate outcroppings.


In October, it will be hydro seeded with native plants and shrubs just in time for the winter moisture.


Conceptual Keystone Mine site post reclamation

The Keystone project is an example of Comstock’s concurrent mining and reclamation procedure where it mines one area while reclaiming another.



CEO Blog - April 30, 2014
Wednesday, April 30 2014 17:22
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Comstock Mining Recognized As:

“Best Company for Leadership – Gold & Silver Mining - USA”


iair logo


To our Entire Comstock Team and extended Community:

Our entire community –based team, county and statewide, courageously leads and promotes breakthrough innovations in mining, reclamation and restoration, specifically by promoting a culture of continuous learning, wealth creation and a genuine integration into our communities, despite significant resistances and obstacles. It is for this reason on April 15, 2014, Comstock received the IAIR Award for “Best Company for Leadership – Gold & Silver Mining - USA.” I am not surprised a Nevada-based community, especially from the Comstock, won this award.
IAIR® honored Comstock Mining with this leadership award amongst American miners…“for its important role in the Gold and Silver Mining in the Comstock District of Nevada since 2003. Thanks to its operating model and its understanding of the geology of the area, Comstock Mining was able to bring its exploration project into production.”

The award was presented at the IAIR award ceremony held at the Yale Club in New York, NY.
IAIR AWARDS® is one of the world's leading ranking and prizes for excellence in global economy and sustainability. It is made up of the scientific committee of IAIR® and along with a team of dedicated legal, economic and financial journalists in over 120 countries worldwide.

The IAIR AWARDS® is focused on the Global Economy and Sustainability and in particular in the following categories: Green Economy, Leadership, Alternative Investments, Business Opportunities, Global Corporate Excellences, FX, ETFs and Commodities, Law, Asset Management, Family Office and Wealth Management, Philanthropy, Private Equity, Real Estate and Property, Succession Planning and Family Businesses.

Some of our past winners and top ranked companies include: FedEx, Rothschild, ABB, 3i Group, Aviva, Vodafone, Christian Dior, Cartier, Morgan Stanley, Bank of China, Rockefeller, BNP Paribas, IBM, HDFC Ergo, Freshfields, UBS, Novartis, BlackRock, Deutsche Bank, Russel Investments, ReMark, BASF, Daimler, Royal Dutch Shell, APAX Partners, Bridgepoint Capital, Allen & Overy, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, DLA Piper, and CMS.

I would like to congratulate the entire Comstock team for its caring patience, courage, persistence, wisdom and absolute will to make the Comstock an even more amazing and better place. These are the leadership qualities that have enabled these advancements and I want to thank each and every one of you personally.

Sincerest and kindest regards,
Corrado DeGasperis
President & CEO

CEO Blog - October 9, 2013
Wednesday, October 09 2013 14:42
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Comstock Mining Hosts Students from UNR

Comstock Mining hosted 11 graduate and undergraduate students from our local university along with their professor, Tommy Thompsen, for a detailed tour and lecture of the Lucerne and Dayton resource areas on Comstock Lode late last week.  

The University of Nevada Reno (UNR) geology students met at the Company’s Gold Hill Hall, on Gold Hill, Nevada, for a presentation by Mr. Larry Martin, the Company’s Chief Geologist and Jason Merchant, its Cartographer.  The students were engaged, inspired, and thoughtful as they listened to the story of Comstock’s history and plans for the future.  At the end of the presentation, these future geologists kept Larry on his toes as they asked a full range of questions, from the expected to the quite challenging.


Like many of the tours the Company has offered throughout the year, students were presented a view of the Lucerne Resource Area with fellow student and mine geologist, Ken Coleman, offering his take on the mine.  The scholars listened intently, evaluating the geology and taking pictures.


However, this was a less than typical tour; the students were taken to the Dayton Consolidated Mill area for a more “hands-on” learning experience.  As soon as they unloaded from their van, they became geologists; with chisels, sample bags, and a desire to find gold, they scoured the hills.  For almost two hours they picked up rocks, discussed them, compared them and withstood the wind.


We all enjoyed the day and always seem to have a great time on The Comstock.



CEO Blog - July 2, 2013
Wednesday, May 08 2013 15:35
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Q: You have mentioned the “Chute Zone” in recent communications and I understand it was a topic of discussion during last week’s Annual Meeting. What are the real implications of this discovery?

A: Thank you for the question. The Chute Zone is one of the most substantial and significant findings in our most recently published NI 43-101 Technical Report (the “Report”).

Overall, the Report, published in January 2013, declared a mineral resource estimate of Measured and Indicated Resources containing 1,824,000 ounces of gold and 17,100,000 ounces of silver, for a total of 2,150,000 gold equivalent ounces[1], and an estimate of an Inferred Resource containing an additional 870,000 gold equivalent ounces. The Report also includes an additional 200,000 gold-equivalent ounces outside of the modeled area, in the Historical Resource Category.

Since 2008, the Company’s geologists have recognized the enhanced grades of precious metals when northeasterly striking mineralized structures intersected the Silver City fault zone. We have now identified a specific, wedge-like, structurally bounded zone that hosts significant gold and silver, that we are calling the ‘Chute Zone’.

Comstock geologists believe that the structural intersection and geometric shape of the Chute Zone is similar to highly mineralized zones that were historically mined in the Comstock District as bonanzas (that is, the 1878 definition of bonanza grade ore: > 0.5 ounces of gold per ton and 10 ounces of silver per ton). There were 33 mined bonanza ore zones located along the Comstock mineral belt. The historic production records relating to these bonanza deposits account for most of the 8.2 million ounces of gold and 192 million ounces of silver produced during 1859 thru 1962 from the world class Comstock Mining District (Bonham,H.F., and Papke, K.G.,1969). See a summary of the Principal Bonanza Deposits of the Comstock Lode below.


(Principal Bonanza Deposits by R. Carrington)

Further regarding the Chute Zone, Behre Dolbear stated, “this intersection zone hosts elevated grades of gold and silver that consistently average 0.095 ounces of gold per ton over drill intercepts of 45 to 270 feet and has mapped dimensions of 100 to 150 feet by 100 feet by 450 feet”(p. 4). Although early in its development, and still open to further resource development on most sides and at depth, the Chute has already quantified almost one-half a million tons of mineralized material. The following picture shows a map draped over topography, showing the historic Justice (top left, in green), historic Woodville (top center, in green), & the Chute (center stage, in gold) zones in plan view.


Geology Map Draped over Topography

The following picture depicts the same Chute Zone (yellow) in 3D:



The following table 7.2 (extracted from the January, 2013 NI 43-101, Behre Dolbear) lists selected drill hole intercepts located within the Chute Zone.


(Selected Chute Zone Assay Results)


The next pictorial is a scale-to-scale, looking west, cross sectional view of the historic Con Imperial Bonanza (far right, blue shape), Crown Point Bonanza (lighter blue shape, left and deeper than the Con Imperial) and the Belcher Bonanza (blue shape, farther left and deeper than the Crown Point Bonanza) after R.G. Carrington (2003 & 2011).

These historic mine shapes of the northerly-located bonanza deposits illustrated by the upper cross section are compared in a lower cross section that depicts mined geometric shapes of the historic Justice and Woodville (southern most bonanza mined on the Comstock mineral belt) and the Chute Zone as depicted by our geologists and extended engineering teams.


This comparison shown above was chosen to display the perceptual similarities of dip angle and spatial distances between each of the selected historic Comstock bonanzas (Con Imperial, Crown Point and Belcher) to the near perfect correlation to the dip angle and spatial distance separating the Justice (far right green shape lower cross section), Woodville (positioned left and deeper than the Justice) and Chute Zone (colored yellow). The red coloring on the drill holes of the lower cross section represent assay values equal to or greater than 0.05 ounces of gold per ton. The green shapes are stopes of historic mined zones.

The Woodville shaft operated in the Woodville bonanza zone from 1872 to 1875. During this time, 7076 tons of material were mined, as documented in “Nevada' Metal and Mineral Production 1859 thru 1940.” The specific dimensions that we believe represent the Woodville bonanza were estimated by reviewing the historic underground workings, giving us a volume of approximately 25 feet by 25 feet by 150 feet. The reported production from just over 7,000 tons of material was almost $8 million of gold and silver equivalent, in today’s dollars.

When you consider that the current mining operation sends approximately 4000 tons a day to the crusher (slightly over half the volume of the Woodville bonanza), you can appreciate the enthusiasm of the geologic team, that this Chute Zone, a highly mineralized structural intersection, could host a similar bonanza grade pocket with in an already defined, larger resource.

The discovery of the Chute Zone is the result of many months of hard work, drilling, analysis and interpretation by the geological team. The geologic team hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the controlling geologic attributes of the Chute Zone, allowing for even more efficient identification of such structures in future exploration campaigns along the Comstock.

As Behre Dolbear concludes in the exploration developments section: “Based upon the structural controls of the newly discovered higher-grade Chute zone, CMI has recognized structural similarities in higher-grade zones at Dayton and other mineralized areas within the CMI property position. Expectations are high that further drilling at the appropriate azimuth will allow for important extensions to these higher-grade zones” (Behre Dolbear, 2013, Technical Report on the Comstock Project, p.49).

The team is currently assessing how best to mine this ore body, as it represents the first real opportunity for an underground development. We have already asked our engineers and consulting engineering firms for conceptual designs of underground mining options, as shown below.


(Conceptual Decline Design)

The primary goal of the 2012 drill program was definition drilling for the mine plan. Discovery of the East-side Chute Zone represents the potential for an expanded mine plan and potentially, an underground mining target on the Comstock. We will be working diligently to assess the economic parameters for making this exciting discovery part of a tremendous expansion for our mine planning and operations. The Chute Zone discovery and development is tremendously rewarding for our team. Quantifying such a significant resource, on just a fraction of our land position, provides us with significant confidence in the long-term future of the Lucerne Mine and our overall resource goals.

Best Regards from the Comstock,

Corrado De Gasperis

President & CEO

[1] Gold equivalent ounces were calculated using January 31, 2013 London PM prices of $1,664.75 per ounce of gold and $32.03 per ounce of silver, as published by This resulted in a ratio of 51.97 ounces of silver per equivalent ounce of gold, without taking into consideration the relative recoveries of gold and silver. The Company’s current estimates for heap leach recovery are 70% for gold and 45% for silver.

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