2022 will be a “catalyst-rich” year for i-80 Gold, as the company launches its plan to build a comprehensive Nevada mining complex, in line with an objective to ultimately produce about half-a-million ounces a year of gold.
Having completed multiple transactions in 2021 – the first year of it being a publicly traded company – i-80 Gold would now execute its “hub-and-spoke” development plan.
The Toronto-listed company intends to construct four new mining operations over the next three years, complete multiple large-scale drill porgrammes, advance permitting, build a tier-one exploration development and restart the Lone Tree autoclave.
Lone Tree would be the ‘hub’ of i-80’s Nevada operations, as the central processing facility, operations office, assay lab and warehouse for all sites, i-80 said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mineralisation from Granite Creek, Ruby Hill, and McCoy-Cove would feed the Lone Tree autoclave, once restarted, and mineralisation from the Buffalo Mountain (and Brooks) openpit would be processed at the Lone Tree heap leach facility.
Through the acquisition of the Lone Tree processing complex – and an interim processing agreement with Nevada Gold Mines – i-80 has the flexibility to process material from any of the three planned underground operations until the autoclave is restarted.
Processing of refractory mineralisation is one of the biggest barriers to entry in Nevada and i-80 Gold is one of three companies with this capability.
In the current quarter, i-80 would award a contract to complete a detailed engineering study for the restart of the autoclave and secure key personnel to execute the restart plan. Additionally, permitting for the development of the Buffalo Mountain openpit mine was under way, where gold mineralisation would be processed at the Lone Tree leach pad facility.
An initial resource for Buffalo Mountain is expected to be complete in the first half of the year.