Grassy Mountain Gold Project
Overview and Location
The Grassy Mountain Gold Project is located in Malheur County, Oregon, approximately 22 miles south of Vale, Oregon, and roughly 70 miles west of Boise, Idaho. The project site is situated in the rolling hills of the high desert region of the far western Snake River Plain and consists of 3 patented (private) lode claims where the deposit is located, 418 unpatented lode claims, 9 mill site claims, 6 associated placer claims, and various leased fee land surface and surface/mineral rights, all totaling about 9,300 acres. The local terrain is gentle to moderate, with elevations ranging from 3300 to 4,300 ft. above mean sea level. Paramount owns 100% of the private land in which the gold deposit sits and controls all mining claims within the 9,300 acres land package.
On May 24, 2018 Paramount announced the results of a positive PFS for its proposed underground mining operation at Grassy.
Highlights of the PFS are as follows:
• Measured plus indicated resource containing 1.06 million ounces of Au at 0.034 opt (1.17 g/T ) plus 3.3 million ounces of Ag at 0.107 opt (3.67 g/T);
• Proven and Probable Reserves containing 362,000 ounces of Au at 0.21 opt (7.20 g/T) plus 516,000 ounces of Ag at 0.30 opt (10.3 g/T);
• Average mill head grade of 0.206 opt of Au (7.06 g/T) and 0.29 opt of Ag (9.94 g/T);
• Cash operating costs of $543 per ounce gold ;
• Total costs of $868 per ounce gold3 produced including all capital
• Total operating cash-flows of $249 million;
• After tax IRR of 27% and NPV (5%) of $84.5 Million at the base case metal prices ;
• Annual production of approximately 47,000 ounces of gold and 50,000 ounces of silver for 7.25 years;
• Initial infrastructure capital expenditures of $69.9 million for a 750 ton per day mine and milling operation;
• Total initial capital costs of $110 million including $12.2 million in mine development and pre-production costs, $13.6 million in owners and working capital and $14.2 million in contingencies; and
• Pay back of 2.6 years from the start of production.
(1) T (tonnes) = metric tonnes; t (ton) = short tons
(2) Resources are inclusive of reserves
(3) After silver credits
(4) Base case metal prices of $1,300/oz of Au and $16.75/oz of Ag
Glen Van Treek, Paramount’s President and CEO, stated that “the PFS clearly shows that Grassy Mountain is a mine worth building. The results demonstrate a low-cost operation that would deliver exceptional cash-flows over its mine life at the current gold price. The scale and simplicity of the proposed operation is one that we are very confident Paramount can build and manage. The PFS also identifies significant opportunities for improving project economics and finding more ore to extend mine life.”
Paramount is now focused on the remaining steps of the permitting process for Grassy Mountain.
“The PFS is an important piece in the permit approval process. This process is well advanced and has been marked by a transparent regulatory environment and a receptive, positive response from the Oregon state government. Having proved the basic concept of a profitable underground mine at Grassy Mountain, we will now work on optimizing the PFS and expanding our resource base with targeted exploration,” said Van Treek.
Paramount plans to submit a Consolidated Mining Permit Application with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (“DOGAMI”) later this year and to provide the remaining information required by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) to continue with the federal Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) in accordance with the Plan of Operation (“POO”) filed by Paramount in September 2017.
In addition to continuing with permitting, Paramount is planning to conduct targeted exploration at Grassy Mountain. The goal is find additional mineralized material that can extend mine life and enhance the economics of the operation. Through geophysics, resistivity, and shallow drilling, Paramount has identified several high priority targets, which are all in close proximity to the existing mineralized material deposit and is planning an exploration program to test them in the second half of 2018.
These targets include:
• The Wally/Wood target has a similar resistivity feature as the Grassy deposit. To date there has been limited shallow drilling and Paramount plans to test this target with additional and deeper drilling;
• Crabgrass, located 2.4 km southwest of the Grassy deposit has a historic non NI 43-101 compliant estimate of 0.6 million tonnes grading 1.35 g/t Au containing 24,473 oz Au; and
• Bluegrass is another high priority target as previous shallow drilling has had positive results including 24 meters of 1.1 g/t Au.
Finally, Paramount will work on a number of initiatives which could further optimize the new PFS. For example, the study assumes all new equipment but suitable, high quality used equipment could likely be purchased in the western U.S at a significant saving.