Freegold Ventures has reported positive results from a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of its Golden Summit project 32 km northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. The PEA evaluates a two-phase, 24-year open-pit mine generating separate oxide and sulphide gold ore streams, each operating at 10,000 mt/d. Processing operations for the oxide and sulphide materials are heap leach and bioxidation, respectively.

Golden Summit’s peak annual gold production is estimated at 158,000 oz, while average annual production is estimated at 96,000 oz. Life-of-mine doré production is estimated at 2.34 million oz. Total cash costs are estimated at $842/oz of gold produced, including royalties, refining and transport.

The Golden Summit mine will produce up to 3.5 million mt/y of each ore type. Oxide ore is mined in the early years, as it forms a cap over the sulphide ore. Years in the middle of the production schedule have an overlap of oxide and sulphide ore production prior to completion of oxide mining.

Mining of the oxide material will continue through year 14 of the 24-year mine life. Mining of sulphide material will continue from year nine through the end of the mine life. Both oxide and sulphide ore materials will be transported from the pit to a primary crusher located near the pit exit. After primary crushing, oxide and sulphide materials will be transported by conveyors to their respective process areas.

Initial capital costs to develop oxide production are estimated at $88 million.

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