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DAILY NEWS Sep 14, 2012 6:24 PM - 0 comments

Vista keeps growing Mt. Todd

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Vista Gold (VGZ-T, VGZ-X) has bulked up its resource estimate for its Batman deposit at the company’s Mt. Todd gold project in Australia’s Northern Territory.

The Batman deposit now hosts 7.01 million oz. gold in measured and indicated based on 261 million tonnes grading 0.83 gram gold per tonne. It has another 2.09 million oz. in inferred from 88.7 million tonnes of 0.73 gram gold. A cutoff grade of 0.40 gram gold was used, which is the same as in its previous estimates.

Gold ounces in the updated measured and indicated resource grew 17% or a million oz. compared to last September’s estimate and by 37% or 1.8 million oz. over a 2011 prefeasibility study.

The current increase in gold count resulted from the Denver-based company incorporating 18 holes or roughly 13,000 metres from its ongoing infill drill program.

The company’s president and CEO Frederick Earnest said the continued drilling success at the Batman deposit supports the company’s decision to explore a project larger than the 30,000-tonne-per-day operation envisioned in the prefeasibility.

The prefeasibility study, published last January, estimated annual production of 240,000 oz. gold throughout the project’s 14-year life. Capital costs were pegged at US$676 million.

Batman also has gold reserves of 149.8 million tonnes at 0.85 gram gold for 4.1 million oz.  

“The results of our past and ongoing drilling programs combined with technical evaluations currently in progress support my belief that Mt. Todd is becoming a world-class gold project in one of the world’s more favourable mining jurisdiction,” commented Earnest.

In Mexico, another popular mining destination, the company is advancing its Guadalupe de los Reyes gold-silver exploration project in Sinaloa. In early August, it reported the final 25 holes from its 48-hole initial drill program. The miner started the program in April and completed around 7,200 metres with a goal of updating the existing resource and completing a preliminary economic assessment by year-end.

The project currently has a measured and indicated gold resource of 485,000 oz. and 316,000 oz. in inferred.

A few highlights from the drill program include: 2.8 grams gold and 32.8 grams silver over 8.1 metres, including 6.6 gram gold and 50.1 grams silver over 2 metres; 38.7 grams gold and 201 grams silver over 2 metres; and 3.5 grams gold and 132 grams silver over 23.7 metres, including 12.7 grams gold and 348 grams silver over 4 metres.

Earlier this year, Vista entered a 60% earn-in agreement with Mexico-based Invecture Group, where the latter could earn up to 62.5% of its Concordia gold project in Baja California Sur, Mexico, for US$2 million. The right expires in February 2014.

On the resource update, the stock added 4% to close Sept. 4 at $3.18. More recently, it ended at $3.38, within a 52-week range of $2.34 and $4.37. 

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