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Friday, 16 November 2012
Northern Vertex targets Moss project PEA for early in the new year
Northern Vertex Mining Corp. (CVE:NEE) updated investors Friday on exploration and project development plans for its Moss gold-silver project in Mojave County, Arizona, saying a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) is underway - expected early in the new year.
A three-phase mine development model is planned, the company said, adding that it believes the project is amenable to low cost, heap leach, open pit mining, with a low strip ratio in initial mining areas possible.
Currently, the project holds an NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource of 956,800 gold equivalent ounces in the measured and indicated category, and 266,340 ounces in the inferred category.
Additional resource definition drilling is now underway to increase resources next to the proposed pits, and for data use in mine design and planning, with the company targeting another 250,000 gold equivalent ounces.
The three phase model approach in place is set to minimize initial capex and ensure technical and economic objectives are met for subsequent phases prior to proceeding.
The company said the application for an aquifer protection permit for a 90,000 tonne pilot, phase 1 quarry/leach pad will be submitted to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) by the end of this month. The phase 1 pilot plant operation is expected to begin in the second quarter of next year.
Phase 2 of the development plan, anticipated to start in the first quarter of 2014, will have a production target of 5,000 tonnes per day, with phase 3 having a target of 10,000 tonnes per day expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The Moss gold-silver property is located in the northern part of the Oatman Mining District. The deposit has an outcropping surface trace that has a strike length of 5000 feet. It hosts low sulphidation epithermal vein-type gold mineralization.
The project has easy access to supplies, accommodations, workforce, infrastructure and power, Northern Vertex noted. Las Vegas, the nearest major city, is located only 80 miles northwest of the Moss property and is a short 2 hour drive.
Metallurgical test work at the asset is also underway, as is an exploration program at the mine itself, with a planned campaign on the surrounding property as well. The mine exploration campaign is the company's current exploration priority, it said.
Drilling to expand the resource is expected to continue into 2014. The target to add 250,000 ounces of gold equivalent adjacent to the currently planned pit areas would extend the mine life by three years or enable expansion of the current design capacity from 10,000 to 13,300 tonnes per day.
The surrounding property exploration program will start in early 2014 and will be ongoing throughout the first few years of mine operation. This will be a property wide program looking to add a million ounces to the company's resource statement.
The target for the Moss property as a whole will be 2 million ounces of gold equivalent, Northern Vertex said.
Earlier this week, the Vancouver-based company announced a non-brokered private placement financing, for up to $7.5 million in new funds. The miner said it plans to use the new funds to advance its Moss project in Arizona, as well as to maintain other projects and for general corporate purposes.
Another private placement financing is anticipated in the first quarter of next year, to supplement funding for phase 1 of the business plan, and to fund the detailed design studies for phase 2, the company said.
The upcoming PEA for Moss will include designs, cost estimates, and economic analysis for phases 1 and 2, while a scoping level analysis will prepared afterward for phase 3.