Blackberry exploration activities are co-ordinated from the small town of Nieves (now re-named Francisco R. Murguia) where they maintain an office and a house. The town of Nieves is accessed via Highway 49, a paved, two-lane toll highway approximately 200 km north of the city of Zacatecas. The town of Nieves is accessed via a 17 km paved road from Highway 49. The nearest major population and service center to Nieves is the mining town of Fresnillo located ~90 km to the south. Fresnillo has a population of approximately 75,000 and services the Fresnillo Mine run by Peñoles. Fresnillo offers a substantial professional work force experienced in mining and related activities in addition to most other supplies and services.
International airports are located within approximately a three-hour drive of the Property in the city of Zacatecas to the south, and in Torreõn (Coahuila state) to the north. Road access to the Property is excellent with the main paved highway to Nieves running along the northern portion of the Property. A network of dirt roads and trails provide access to the historical mining operations and extend southward to all areas of the Property. Drill and access roads can be easily built as most of the Nieves Property is flat-lying with only a few dry creek beds.
The Nieves Property lies within the Mexican Altiplano or Mesa Central region. This region is flanked to the west by the Sierra Madre Occidental and to the east by the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain ranges. The Altiplano in this region is dominated by broad alluvium filled plains between rolling to rugged mountain ranges and hills reaching up to 3,000 meters above sea level and average elevations in valleys of approximately 1,700 meters. Elevations on the Nieves Property range from 1,900 meters to 2,000 meters. The terrain is generally flat-lying with a prominent north-south trending ridge along the eastern portion of the Property with moderate to vertical slopes. There is very little human habitation on the Property, with only a few widely scattered farm houses, although the town of Nieves directly borders the Property to the northeast.
The climate in the region is continental, warm and arid with temperatures ranging from 0°C to 41°C, averaging ~21°C and less than 1,000 mm of annual precipitation. Due to the limited precipitation, vegetation is sparse and hardy consisting mainly of grasses, low thorny shrubs (including mesquite) and various cacti, with scattered oak forests at higher elevations. Surface water is rare but ground water is readily available. Drilling is feasible year round. Rain in the wet season, May to October, can make drilling conditions difficult due to muddy ground conditions, but not impossible.
Dirt road accessing property.
Typical landscape looking north.
Typical outcrop in an arroyo near the Chicharrona Hills.
Looking SSE towards Chicharrona Hills.