Perpetua Resources (Nasdaq, TSX: PPTA) announced Monday that its wholly owned subsidiary in Idaho was conditionally awarded up to $34.6 million in additional funding from the US Department of Defense under the existing Technology Investment Agreement (TIA) through Title III of the Defense Production Act (DPA), bringing its total DPA funding to $59.4 million.
Full funding of the additional award is conditioned on modifying the existing TIA to expand the in-scope work for advancing permits and construction readiness. The modification is anticipated to be completed in the first quarter of 2024, the company said.
Antimony trisulfide is essential to national defense as a key component for munitions, yet no domestic mined supply currently exists. China, Russia and Tajikistan control 90% of the global antimony supply chain.
Perpetua’s proposed Stibnite gold project in Idaho is designed to re-establish a US source of the critical mineral antimony as a byproduct of one of the highest-grade open pit gold resources in the country.
According to Perpetua’s January 2021 FS, the project has total proven and probable mineral reserves of 104.6 million metric tonnes grading 1.43 grams per tonne gold. The mineral reserves include 14.2 million tonnes of high-antimony ore grading 0.42% antimony.
The average annual metal production during the first four years of operation is expected to be approximately 463,000 ounces of gold and 18.4 million pounds of antimony per year.
The additional funding will allow the company to continue advancing the construction readiness of the Stibnite gold project and support the environmental and technical studies related to the project’s progress through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process, led by the US Forest Service.
Under the modified TIA, Perpetua may request reimbursement for certain costs incurred through June 30, 2025 related to environmental baseline data monitoring, environmental and technical studies and other activities related to advancing Perpetua’s construction readiness and permitting process for the project. The DPA funding does not interrupt the ongoing NEPA review.
“This latest award from the Department of Defense brings us a step closer to realizing our vision for the Stibnite gold project,” Perpetua’s CEO Laurel Sayer said in a statement.
“Establishing a domestic source of the critical mineral antimony is more important than ever, and we stand ready to responsibly produce critical resources here at home and help strengthen America’s national and economic security.”