Corvus Gold Inc. announced results for its Preliminary Economic Assessment of the company’s North Bullfrog project near Beatty.
Results outline the potential for a large, standalone Nevada mining project with attractive preliminary production and financial performance statistics. This project will be the initial mine development target for Corvus because of its expected low initial capital requirements, potential high margins and anticipated strong free cashflow generation that could provide development capital for the company’s potential second mining project at the Mother Lode deposit.
The PEA results indicate robust economics at a gold price of $1,500 per ounce with free cash flow of $763 million and post-tax net present value 5% of $452 million with an internal rate of return of 47% and strong leverage to higher gold prices with a $1.36 billion pretax cash flow at a $1,900 gold price and post-tax NPV5% $815 million with an IRR of 70%.
The financial performance of the North Bullfrog project PEA as a standalone project, at its base case $1,500 gold price, produces comparable results to the overall previously announced combined North Bullfrog-Mother Lode project PEA reported in November of 2018 at its base case, $1,250 gold price. The North Bullfrog Project could be an excellent development option for Corvus to advance gold production in the Bullfrog Mining District.
Corvus Gold’s potential of becoming the first producer in the Bullfrog Mining District could position it for expanding organic production growth and possible further district consolidation of other assets. The North Bullfrog property is considered to be a separate standalone project for the company.
The North Bullfrog PEA is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
“The results from our PEA study of the North Bullfrog project are encouraging,” Corvus President and CEO Jeffrey Pontius said. “The potential projected annual gold production during the first seven years is significant, especially as a new open pit deposit in Nevada. The PEA demonstrates the potential for the project to produce nearly 147,000 ounces of gold and 400,000 ounces of silver per year at a projected low cost, which could result in high margins.
“This analysis, in conjunction with our continued positive Mother Lode and district-wide exploration drill results, is encouraging for expanding and improving the economic model as our programs move forward. Furthermore, the greater Bullfrog District is seeing a resurgence of exploration activity with multiple mining companies conducting large-scale drilling programs and making new discoveries.”
The North Bullfrog Project is modeled as a large open pit, run-of-mine, heap leach operation with a grinding circuit for gravity gold recovery of the high-grade YellowJacket vein and stockwork deposit. The mining plan utilizes standard mining practices and has a production scale that is currently being used by many operating open-pit mines in Nevada.
The new PEA study also includes a number of changes to the prior North Bullfrog project configuration which enhance the project. These include incorporating new NBP metallurgical testing results that indicated that the high-grade vein and vein stockwork mineralization at YellowJacket can be processed by a simple gravity mill; defining a starter phase of mining at NBP that focuses on the higher-grade YellowJacket vein and higher-grade heap leach mineralization to begin the project, increasing project returns and cash flow in the early mining phase; and improved open-pit mining and development plans to enhance project economics.
The PEA only includes drill results completed through May 2020. In addition, Corvus will continue follow-up mineral resource expansion work and new discovery drilling on priority targets at both the North Bullfrog and Mother Lode properties through 2021.