Thursday, 22 March 2012

International Tower Hill unveils update for Livengood, PFS expected in Q3

International Tower Hill Mines (TSE:ITH)(AMEX:THM) gave Thursday an operations update for its Livengood gold project near Fairbanks, Alaska.
In addition to advancing its pre-feasibility study towards expected completion in the third quarter, the company is carrying out around 12,000 metres of drilling in support of permitting activities, engineering design, condemnation of proposed infrastructure sites and district-wide exploration.
The company also said it will postpone all further studies for placer gold extraction on its recently-acquired placer claims, including a resource report and preliminary economic assessment, to focus on advancing the Livengood gold deposit towards development.
"Investigating the possibility of placer gold production from our recent placer claims acquisition was a key part of our mandate to explore all opportunities to create value for shareholders in the short-term," said president and CEO, James Komadina.
"However, the results of our investigations indicate that the greatest benefits will be to optimize site facility locations for the Livengood Project."
"In the past three months, our Manager of Mining and Livengood placer team worked diligently to look at ways of getting into short-term production as quickly as possible," continued Komadina.
"And while we would have relished the opportunity to produce gold as early as 2013, our highest priority remains our 16.5 million-ounce Livengood gold deposit."
The pre-feasibility study now underway at Livengood will include the current mineral resource estimate of 933 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.55 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold, at a cutoff grade of 0.22 g/t gold, for 16.5 million ounces of gold contained in the measured and indicated categories. The report will also incorporate results from geotechnical studies, metallurgical testing, updated capital and operating cost estimates and other relevant studies, the company said.
While the bulk of engineering studies for the PFS were completed in November, the company is currently carrying out detailed metallurgical testing, after a review of the preliminary economic assessment flow sheet indicated that further optimization is possible.
Due to the this additional testing, the study is now expeced in the third quarter of this year.
With regards to its 2012 drilling program, which started in February, the aim is to target potential new gold discoveries along the mineralized trend of the existing Livengood deposit, with results expected throughout the summer and fall of this year.
The campaign consists of three parts: a $2.1 million, 6,000 metre condemnation drill program, a $5.2 million, 3,000 metre geotechnical drilling program, and a $1.1 million, 3,000 metre district-wide exploration program.
Earlier this month, the company's board approved a C$68.3 million budget in support of the programs.
International Tower Hill Mines controls a 100 percent interest in the Livengood property, accessible by paved highway 70 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

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