As part of an ongoing feasibility study, Vista Gold has reported the initial results of a sampling and metallurgical testing program on the existing heap leach pad as well as additional results from its drilling program at its Mt. Todd gold project in Northern Territory, Australia.
Regarding the existing heap leach pad, Vista President and CEO Fred Earnest said, “The drilling and subsequent bottle roll test results from the existing Mt. Todd heap leach pad are causing us to consider some new aspects of the Mt. Todd gold project. The potential to convert what we had previously considered to be a brownfield site liability to a potential revenue-generating component of the project could represent a potentially significant source of additional value. We are in the process of evaluating the potentially favorable implications and timing of gold production from the existing heap leach pad and believe that the heap leach pad should be incorporated into the definitive Mt. Todd feasibility study. We are evaluating the impact this may have on our current feasibility study.”
As part of the current feasibility study, Vista completed a mine pit design based on measured and indicated mineral resources. In November 2011, review of the design and the location of inferred mineral resources relative to the pit led the company to initiate an 8,500-m drilling program designed to convert inferred mineral resources to measured or indicated mineral resources in areas that could expand the pit shape.
As of late April 2012, Vista had completed 13 holes totaling 7,768.8 m. Based on initial assay results and visual logging of core with pending assays, Vista has increased the drill program from 8,500 m to 14,300 m and expects to complete the expanded program in late May or early June of this year.
“Upon completion of the expanded drill program and the feasibility study on the Mt. Todd gold project, we intend to evaluate whether a larger process facility with higher throughput is warranted to improve the project’s economics by optimizing economies of scale and the project life,” Earnest said.