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i-80 Gold hails “substantial” economic opportunity at Granite Creek

Open pit mining at Granite Creek occurred on the property between 1980 and 1999 and underground test mining was conducted in the early 2010s. (Image courtesy of i-80 .)

US-focused gold miner i-80 Gold Corp (TSX: IAU)( OTCMKTS: IAUCF) said on Tuesday the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for its Granite Creek asset in Nevada confirm the “substantial economic opportunity” the project offers.

The company, which spun off from Premier Gold Mines as part of the company’s acquisition by Equinox Gold’s (TSX, NYSE: EQX), began underground test mining at Granite Creek in September.

Granite Creek, one of four projects the company is advancing, is located in Humboldt county, near Nevada Gold Mine’s Twin Creeks and Turquoise Ridge mines

The program is aimed at gaining a better understanding of the optimal mining cycle required for the project and to advance underground development for a commercial production scenario.  

While a production decision for Granite Creek has yet to be made, i-80 Gold says the PEA supports the development of both open pit and underground mines on the property.

“This study contemplates constructing heap leach and CIL facilities on the property for the open pit and trucking refractory material for third party processing,” CEO Matthew Gili said in the statement.

The recent acquisition of the Lone Tree site will allow for the optimization of the facilities as the miner progresses towards a feasibility study, Gill noted. He added the integration of Lone Tree could lead to changes in the ultimate processing plans.

Based on the current resource estimates for the property, i-80 expects the mine to have a nine-year operating life, producing 1,245,900 ounces of gold with life-of-mine all-in sustaining costs of $963 per ounce.  

The gold miner inked in September a deal with Nevada Gold Mines, a partnership between Newmont and Barrick Gold, which will help it create a major mining complex in the precious metals-rich state of Nevada.