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
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
"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
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.