Waterton’s Gemfield Resources kicks off construction of gold mine in Nevada

Drill rig at the Goldfield property in central Nevada. (Image courtesy of previous owner, Chaparral Gold.)

Precious metals miner Gemfield Resources announced Monday it has received the final Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) and all other major federal and state permits required to go ahead with its namesake gold mine south of Tonopah, Nevada.

The miner, part of private-equity firm Waterton’s portfolio, now owns one of a few open-pit, heap leach gold mines in the US to be fully permitted and shovel-ready, the company said.

Waterton says it expects a feasibility study for the mine to be ready in the fourth quarter of the year. In the meantime, it has started developing key infrastructure to support the mine, which is expected to have a 12-year operating life.

Groundwork includes relocating nearly 2.5 miles (4km) of US Highway 95 and constructing certain water systems required to bring drinking water to the project.

The Gemfield project is one of a few open-pit, heap leach gold mines in the US to be fully permitted and shovel-ready.

Waterton Global Resource Management

All key infrastructure developments are expected to be completed by no later than Spring of 2020, the company says.

Waterton’s umbrella gold project is located near the town of Goldfield, one of the most prolific gold mining districts in Nevada.

The Goldfield district’s land package covers more than 15,000 acres and about 1,150 mining claims, which have been subject to extensive optimization and project development efforts. These include drill campaigns, metallurgical test work, geotechnical engineering and hydrological studies, the company said.

Total production at the Goldfield asset is expected to be over 125,000 ounces of gold a year.

Waterton made headlines last year for pushing to replace Hudbay Minerals’ (TSX, NYSE: HBM) chief executive officer and overhaul the Canadian miner’s board.

Much of Waterton’s discontent was triggered by Hudbay’s alleged intention to buy Chile’s Mantos Copper for about C$1 billion ($780 million) last year.

Both companies settled their differences in May.