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Gold mine project underway in in rural Nevada

Updated September 29, 2019 - 11:34 pm

A large-scale mining project is charging ahead near the town of Goldfield.

Toronto-based private equity firm Waterton Global Resource Management Inc., through its portfolio company, Gemfield Resources LLC, announced in mid-September in a news release the receipt of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its Gemfield project, near Goldfield.

“The progress at Gemfield is a testament to the support of the local community and Esmeralda County,” said Isser Elishis, chief investment officer at Waterton, in the company’s release. “We want to thank the local elected officials, environmental departments and the countless residents who worked with us to meet the milestones that brought Gemfield to a point where construction of the project can be commenced.”

Waterton also received, through its Gemfield Resources portfolio company, all other major permits at the state and federal level that are required to move forward on constructing and operating its Gemfield project, where the company plans to mine for gold, according to the release.

The Gemfield project is expected to drive the creation of hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, Waterton stated in its release.

Project moves ahead

Infrastructure projects are currently underway for the Gemfield project and are expected to be completed by spring 2020.

One of those major infrastructure projects is the relocation of approximately 2.5 miles of U.S. Highway 95, which is being done in partnership with the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The construction of certain water systems that are required to transport “consumptive” water to the Gemfield project is also being worked on; the water systems project is being done in partnership with Esmeralda County.

Gemfield Resources held a groundbreaking ceremony in early August during the Goldfield Days celebration.

According to information on the department of transportation’s website, “To minimize travel and service disruption, the existing facilities (U.S. 95, access roads, power lines, water lines, pump house and water tank, fiber-optic lines, etc.) will remain in place and active until the new facilities are constructed and operational.

“Once the new facilities are constructed, they will be connected to the existing facilities at the north and south ends of the realignment with minimal impact.”

“To optimize public safety, existing U.S. Highway 95, within the project limits, will be re-striped as a no-passing zone with a double yellow solid line,” said Kyle Kubovchik, Nevada public involvement manager for Horrocks Engineering, a company supporting Gemfield Resources on its project, in an email.

According to Kubovchik, “Also to optimize safety, a portion of Dump Road will be temporarily closed to public traffic during construction. Cemetery Road can be used to access the dump. Detour signs have been placed to direct traffic from Dump Road to Cemetery Road.” This month (September), Ames Construction, the general contractor for the Highway 95 realignment project, is “working on clearing/grubbing, excavation, and embankment,” Kubovchik said in the email.

“Storm drain pipe installation under the new highway has begun, and road base material production” is expected to begin at the end of September, according to Kubovchik.

The highway realignment project is pegged for completion in April 2020.

Gemfield project

“Over the last five years, the Gemfield project has been subject to project development and extensive optimization efforts including, but not limited to: multiple drill campaigns, substantial metallurgical test work, geotechnical engineering and hydrological studies,” Waterton said in its release.

Nevada State Sen. Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, stated in the release, “As a state senator representing the communities of Goldfield and Tonopah, I’m greatly encouraged by the completion of the permitting process for the Gemfield Project.

“The residents of Goldfield and Tonopah have persevered through tough economic times and this project will infuse the local economy with much-needed revenue and job opportunities to improve local quality of life,” he said.

Hansen said the project will bring a combined total of 350 temporary and permanent jobs and bring improvements to Goldfield’s municipal water system in the release.

“We are thrilled to see our collective efforts come to fruition with the (Gemfield) project’s receipt of its final federal and state permits, said DeLon Winsor, chairman of the board of the Esmeralda County Commissioners, in the release.

“The Gemfield Project represents a major economic benefit that will accrue to the local economy of the Goldfield area in the form of public revenues and indirect and direct jobs, including approximately 200 contract workers for varying periods during mine construction and approximately 150 employees during the project’s mine life,” Winsor said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Gemfield/Waterton team in the development of this great project,” Winsor said.

Waterton is expecting a payback period of under two years with a projected average annual production in excess of 125 koz (one thousand ounces) of gold. “The Gemfield project has pit-constrained measured and indicated mineral resources in excess of 1.5 Moz (million ounces) of gold…,” Waterton’s release stated.

Independent consultants will complete a feasibility study in the fourth quarter of 2019 for the Gemfield project, the results of which are “expected to be consistent with” those metrics, according to Waterton’s release.

The Gemfield project is “comprised of the primary Gemfield deposit and the McMahon Ridge and Goldfield Main deposits,” according to the release.

Waterton owns approximately 15,000 acres and holds approximately 1,150 mining claims in the Goldfield area.

Waterton, an investment firm that manages capital for global institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds and endowments, has approximately $2 billion under its management. The firm focuses “solely” on the metals and mining sector, according to the company’s release.

For more information on the project, head to gemfieldresources.com

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com on Twitter @MeehanLv

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