Liberty Gold Corp. announced the approval of a plan of operations at the Black Pine Project, one of its three principal gold projects located in the prolific Great Basin of the United States. Located in southern Idaho, Black Pine is a past-producing, run-of-mine, oxide-heap-leach gold mine that contains a large, shallow, district-scale, Carlin-style sedimentary rock-hosted gold system.
The plan of operations will allow Liberty Gold comprehensive access to the 7.3-square-kilometer core of an estimated 12-km² gold system. A total of up to 141 acres can be disturbed under the permit, including up to 49 km of new roads and 370 drill pads, subject to a staged annual reclamation plan. The main gold zone encompassing the historic Black Pine mine is not subject to seasonal closures and can be accessed year-round, weather and road conditions permitting. A previously granted plan of operations allows Liberty Gold access to an additional 71 drill sites.
“This is the largest permit we have obtained in terms of size and scope, and we are excited about the prospect of a comprehensive drill test of the Black Pine gold system starting in Q2 2019,” Liberty Gold Vice President of Exploration and Geoscience Moira Smith said. “We were impressed with the timeliness and professionalism of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Sawtooth National Forest-Minidoka Ranger District throughout the process of producing the Environmental Assessment and adhering to all of the timelines and milestones necessary to permit this project.
“There are very few opportunities left in the Great Basin with multi-kilometer-scale oxide gold targets containing hundreds of gold-bearing drill holes, surrounded by undrilled gold-in-soil anomalies.”
In May 2017, Liberty Gold submitted an application for a new plan of operations to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and worked diligently with the USFS and Stantec Consulting Services Inc. to complete wildlife, archaeological and other surveys to assist in producing a new plan of operations and comprehensive environmental assessment. The USFS issued a Finding of No Significant Impact on December 12, 2018, and approved Plan of Operations on February 12. Liberty Gold acquired Black Pine in 2016.
Weather and snow conditions permitting, drilling is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2019, and continue through early November. Approximately 16,000 m to 20,000 m of reverse circulation drilling in 80 to 100 holes is planned.