A source inside the mining industry says that CODELCO, the Chilean government-operated mining company has expressed interest in a Yerington mine that could mean billions of dollars for the area.
"Yerington is one of the few sites in the world with mega deposits," said John Whitney of Whitney & Whitney. The company is completing the Fulstone Project right now and has a confidentiality agreement with the large mining companies that have interest in the project. However, a source close to the company did confirm that CODELCO is one of the players. As the world's largest copper producer CODELCO supplies 21 percent of the world's copper.
Chile doesn't fall far from Whitney background. He worked on United Nation's economic and mineral development projects in Bolivia from 1986-94.
Chile's interest in the Yerington stake is not surprising.
"In the exploration business you would call them (these deposits) elephant-sized deposits and there are several of them in the districts. So it is one of the few places left in the world that is not developed."
He says that the mining giants are interested in it because it is right here in Nevada where we have the skill, rail lines and workforce to do it.
The Fulstone Project in the Yerington Mining District has expanded its claim staking by 45 percent to more than 8,400 acres, approximately 13 square miles. That is up from approximately 5,780 acres, or 9 square miles.
Whitney says it could take years to come up with an agreement, but when they do, each project, and there are three in development could mean 500 million to a billion dollar investment.
"Which is huge for a little tiny community and yerington has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation," he said.
The economic impact would be long-term as well he said, lasting 50 to 100 years.
"We are basically working on completing the staking so that we have all the ground we want and at that point we will seriously work to see who and how much they want to invest and that kind of thing."