Revival Gold sees heap leach restart scenario at Beartrack-Arnett in Idaho

Drill rigs at Revival Gold's Arnett gold property northwest of Salmon, Idaho. Credit: Revival Gold Inc

Revival Gold (TSXV: RVG; US-OTC: RVLGF) has released a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on a restart of its flagship Beartrack-Arnett project in Idaho, which outlines a 12,000-tonne-per-day first-phase heap leach operation for the brownfields site.

The scenario includes an initial seven-year mine, producing an average of 72,000 oz. gold annually at all-in sustaining costs (AISCs) of US$1,057 per oz. gold. With a pre-production capital cost estimate of US$100 million and life-of-mine sustaining capital pegged at US$61 million, the after-tax net present value estimate for the project comes in at US$88 million, at a 5% discount rate and based on US$1,550 per oz. gold, with a 25% internal rate of return.

According to Hugh Agro, Revival’s president and chief executive, the PEA suggests a low-capital intensity restart opportunity.

“This PEA supports Revival Gold’s plans to resume meaningful heap leach gold production from Beartrack-Arnett with low restart capital and robust economics,” Agro said in a statement. “Beartrack-Arnett ranks as one of the largest independently-owned undeveloped gold deposits in the United States.”

He added that since Beartrack-Arnett is a past-producing site, the property includes existing baseline environmental data and infrastructure, which should help expedite the permitting process.

Over the next two years, the company plans to continue its exploration efforts across the project, expand the resource base, and advance the first-phase heap leach project towards a production decision.

In addition, Revival intends to “evaluate the potential for a second phase sulfide milling project so that we might fully realize the inherent value of all the gold resources identified at Beartrack-Arnett to-date,” Agro said.

In the PEA, only oxide and partially oxidized mineralization are included in the mine plan, which represents less than a third of the available mineralized material.

The early-stage study has defined additional opportunities to improve the economics of the project. These feature additional exploration drilling –to expand the heap leach and millable resources – as well as additional technical studies on the segregation of transition and sulphide material on the leach pads for potential future reprocessing in a mill.

The PEA follow-up recommendations include moving on to a prefeasibility study for the heap leach development, in addition to completing a PEA on a mill development option at the site.

Resources across Beartrack-Arnett total 36.4 million indicated tonnes, at 1.16 grams gold per tonne, containing 1.4 million oz. gold, and 47.2 million inferred tonnes, at 1.08 grams gold per tonne, for a further 1.6 million ounces. This includes heap leach resources of 14.2 million indicated tonnes, grading 0.58 gram gold, for 264,000 oz. gold. Inferred resources add 18.3 million heap-leachable tonnes to the company’s inventory, at 0.54 gram gold, for a further 316,000 oz. gold.

The 54-sq.-km Beartrack-Arnett project includes a past-producing heap leach operation on the Beartrack portion of the property, which, between 1994 and 2000, generated approximately 600,000 oz. gold.

 — This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal, part of Glacier Resource Innovation Group.


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