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Premier gold project, US – update

Rock at Premier mine showing gold mineralisation

Photo by Ascot Resources

12th April 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Premier gold project (PGP).

British Columbia, Canada, adjacent to the border with Alaska, in the US, in the Golden Triangle gold mining district.

Project Owner/s
Gold and silver explorer Ascot Resources.

Project Description
An independent feasibility study has outlined a low-capital restart plan for the  project, based on a proven and probable reserve of 6.2-million tonnes grading 5.9 g/t gold and 19.7 g/t gold.

The study is based on four underground mining operations – Silver Coin, Big Missouri, Premier and Red Mountain – feeding a centralised 2 500 t/d processing facility at the project. The mining operations will be sequenced over eight years to initially produce 1.1-million ounces of gold and three-million ounces of silver.

Mining will start from the Silver Coin and Big Missouri deposits, which will be followed by the Red Mountain deposit in Year 3, and then the Premier deposit.

In the four planned operations, access for production will be through new and existing adits (side hill portal access) using a combination of new ramp development and the refurbishment of existing underground infrastructure.

Mining methods will largely comprise low-cost longhole stoping for most of the ore, with limited use of inclined undercut longhole, room-and-pillar and cut-and-fill mining methods in specific shallow or flat-lying stopes. Ore will be trucked to the processing facility and mining waste will be used underground as a combination of rockfill and cemented rockfill.

The existing processing facility will be refurbished within a construction period of about 40 weeks. The process plant will use conventional crushing, grinding and gravity circuits, followed by a standard carbon-in-leach process to produce gold doré.

The plant refurbishment will comprise a combination of existing, new and repaired equipment and supporting plant infrastructure. Prior to ore from the Red Mountain project being treated, the plant will add an energy efficient fine grinding mill, as well as an additional preleach thickener, to accommodate the processing of harder-ore feed and the finer grind required for recovery purposes.

The project has an existing tailings storage facility (TSF) and water treatment plant. The independent feasibility study proposes two key enhancements to the existing infrastructure:

The tailings dam will be raised using centreline lifts throughout the mine life, with about 1.2-million cubic metres of nonacid-generating rock excavated from a nearby quarry; and

The water treatment plant will be modified to nearly double the existing capacity to accommodate additional water treatment from the Big Missouri and Silver Coin operations, and will also include an ammonia treatment plant, a water clarifier and a lime high-density sludge system.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The April 2020 feasibility study highlighted an after-tax net present value (NPV), at a 5% discount rate, of C$341-million and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 51% at $1 400/oz gold.

The project has an estimated after-tax NPV, at a 5% discount rate, of $546-million and an IRR of 73% at current gold prices of $1 740/oz gold.

Capital Expenditure
Capital costs, including mining costs, incurred as of December 31, 2023, are C$292-million. The remaining project construction capital required to achieve first gold pour is about C$47-million.

The total project capital cost will, thus, amount to C$339-million, which is slightly higher than the most recent total project budget of C$334-million reported in the third quarter.

Planned Start/End Date
First gold pour is expected in the first half of 2024.

Latest Developments
Ascot Resources has started ore processing at the PGP, marking a key milestone in commissioning the new mine.

Rock was introduced into the grinding circuit of the mill on March 31, and the first ore was introduced into the mill on April 5.

President and CEO Derek White has reported that the project construction activities are substantially completed, and commissioning activities are ongoing throughout the processing plant with the aim of pouring first gold this month.

Commissioning activities are currently focused on the remaining components of the processing plant – the gravity concentration and intensive leaching circuit, the carbon regeneration circuit, the elution circuit, cyanide destruction, and the gold room.

The TSF, new water treatment plant, tailings thickener and pipeline systems are ready for operations.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Sacre-Davey Engineering (overall coordination, infrastructure and the economic evaluation in the independent feasibility study); InnovExplo Inc and Mine Paste (mining); Sedgman Canada (metallurgy and processing); Knight Piésold (tailings and water management); SRK Consulting (water treatment plant); Paul Hughes Consulting (site geotechnical); McElhanney (access roads); Prime Engineering (electrical substation); Palmer Environmental Consulting Group (geochemistry, hydrology and water quality modelling); Falkirk Environmental Consultants and EcoLogic Consultants (environmental studies); Farnell-Thompson Applied Technologies (semiautogenous grinding mill ball mills and related parts); and Procon Mining & Tunnelling (underground mining services).

Contact Details for Project Information
Ascot Resources, tel +1778725 1060 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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