Vista Gold has reported positive results from a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of its Guadalupe de los Reyes gold-silver project in Sinaloa, Mexico. The PEA evaluates the potential viability of a 1,500-mt/d processing facility producing a total of 327,681 oz of gold and 4.39 million oz of silver over an 11-year mine life, including average payable production of 35,031 oz/y gold and 253,223 oz/y silver over the first five years.

Gold and silver recoveries are estimated at 93% and 83%, respectively, through a conventional CIL recovery circuit. Gold-equivalent cash costs are estimated at $631/oz over the life of the mine, including average gold-equivalent cash costs of $568/oz over the first five years. Initial capital costs are estimated at $88.9 million, and life-of-mine capital costs are estimated at $124.3 million. Capital payback is estimated at 3.6 years using gold and silver prices of $1,480 and $28/oz, respectively.

Vista President and CEO, Fred Earnest, said, “This PEA demonstrates the potential for a small but profitable project with low estimated initial capital requirements… The completion of the PEA culminates a successful step in the evaluation of Guadalupe de los Reyes, which we believe represents an interesting opportunity to potentially initiate operations with a small-scale, open-pit mining operation that would provide cash flow from operations to continue exploring for high-grade mineralization at depth.

“We have completed and published the results of this PEA as we indicated to the market we would do last year; however, our focus remains on completing the preliminary feasibility study on the Mt. Todd project in Northern Territory, Australia,” said Ernest. “For the remainder of 2013, Vista’s expenditures on the Guadalupe de los Reyes project will be restricted to property holding costs and community support initiatives, as the company remains primarily focused on the continued evaluation of the Mt. Todd project.”