This week, U.S. Gold Corp. published a prefeasibility study (PFS) for its CK gold project in southeast Wyoming. A gold-copper-silver orebody has been defined with 70.4 million tons of proven and probable reserves that would contain 1.44 million ounces (oz) of gold equivalent (AuEq) at an average grade of 0.02 oz/ton AuEq. The study considers an open-pit mining operation with a small convention concentrator. The open-pit operation currently under consideration would produce 20,000 tons per day (t/d) or 7.3 million tons per year. At this production rate, the mine life would be approximately 10 years.

Speaking with analysts and reporters on a call on December 1, Chairman, President and CEO George Bee outlined some of the highlights of the study. “The NPV is a $323 million project with an IRR of 394%,” Bee said. “It comes in with a two-year payback and, during the course of the project, we have all-in sustaining costs of $800/oz.

“The study was prepared using prices of $1,625/oz for gold and $3.25/lb for copper. At the current spot prices, the NPV jumps to $580 million and the IRR to 60%. It shows the leverage that this project has to rising metal prices as well as its robustness on the downside.”

With the PFS completed, the company continues to advance the CK Gold project toward a production decision. “We have just concluded the 2021 field season and we are advancing to full feasibility,” Bee said. “The feasibility study should be out in the first half of 2022. We’re also collecting the data and finalizing a permit application, and that application should be presented to the authorities in the first half of 2022.”

U.S. Gold could potentially receive permit approval by mid-2023. With permits approved, the company believes it could construct the project in 12 months. The CK Gold mine could be operational by the end of 2024.

“There are many aspects of the study, which we’re still continuing to move forward into feasibility,” Bee said. “One of those aspects is the aggregates that could be associated with the mining of the copper and gold mineralization.”

He added that the rock was tested and it is a suitable source of aggregate material, which could serve the needs of the local market.

“The deposit is open at depth and to the southeast, and while we’ve announced our proven probable reserves, there are resources yet to be fully identified,” Bee said. “We believe that this project has substantial economic upside and it’s our intent to continue to refine the project as we move forward.”