Livengood arises alongside gold prices
Mining Explorers 2020 - Published January 19, 2021
Last updated 1/17/2021 at 1:45pm
After years of quietly and efficiently optimizing a mine plan for Livengood, International Tower Hill Mines Ltd. is now ready to incorporate this work into an updated pre-feasibility study for the 11.5-million-ounce gold project in Alaska.
A 2017 PFS outlined plans for a 52,600-metric-ton-per-day mill at Livengood that would produce 6.8 million ounces of gold over a 23-year mine life, or roughly 294,100 oz annually.
This mine plan was based on 392 million metric tons of reserves averaging 0.71 grams per metric ton (9 million oz) gold. Overall, the Money Knob deposit at Livengood hosts 525 million metric tons of measured and indicated resource averaging 0.68 g/t (11.5 million oz) gold.
The all-in cost to produce an ounce of gold in the 2017 PFS, however, was estimated to be US$1,247. With the goal of bringing costs down, the Tower Hill Mines team has focused its efforts on studies to optimize the economics of mining this world-class gold deposit lying alongside a paved highway about 70 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska.
This optimization work and the coming updated PFS has the support of several big names in resource investment that own more than 65% of ITH issued and outstanding shares – Paulson & Co. (31.8%), Sprott Asset Management USA (15.1%), Electrum Strategic Opportunities Fund II (14.2%), and Kopernik Global Investors (4.6%).
Now, with the price of gold nearing US$2,000/oz and predicted to move higher as central banks and governments inject unprecedented amounts of cash into a global economy affected by COVID-19, Tower Hill Mines believes it is the ideal time to take a fresh look at establishing a mine at Livengood.
"Since 2016 we have conserved our cash to maximize optionality for ITH shareholders, and we are well positioned to embark on a new phase for the Livengood project as a result of the favorable macro-economic backdrop for gold." said Marcelo Kim, a partner at Paulson & Co. and chairman of Tower Hill Mines. "ITH owns the largest independent gold-only resource in North America and we believe that in a rising gold price, the Livengood project becomes one of the most coveted and substantial assets in a geopolitically safe jurisdiction, in a time when most gold companies are struggling to replenish their reserves."
The Livengood optimization work has primarily focused on metallurgical work aimed at improving gold recoveries and refining the project flowsheet.
"Over the last several years, we have quietly remained laser focused on improving our geological and metallurgical understanding of the Livengood Gold deposit, which reported an 11.5 million ounce gold resource in our 2017 NI 43-101," said International Tower Hill Mines CEO Karl Hanneman.
The company's four largest shareholders, all of which participated in a US$10.3 million financing closed by Tower Hill Mines in September, share this view.
"I am most appreciative of the support of our major shareholders who continue to recognize Livengood's great attributes of size, location, leverage, and value," Hanneman said.
The updated Livengood PFS is expected in the latter half of 2021.