VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gold Standard Ventures Corp. (NYSE AMERICAN: GSV) (TSX: GSV) (“Gold Standard” or the “Company”) today announced updates on its permitting progress, Feasibility Study, and construction capital financing process.
Jason Attew, President and CEO, commented, “Tremendous work has been accomplished by the Gold Standard team in advancing the key value drivers for our company. We anticipate releasing the final 2021 exploration holes drilled at the Pinion SB Zone in the coming weeks and look forward to a catalyst rich 2022, kicking off with the release of the South Railroad Project Feasibility Study in Q1.”
The Company is currently in the Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) process pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. SWCA Environmental Consultants (“SWCA”) has been engaged to manage the EIS process on behalf of the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”).
Preparation of the Notice of Intent has commenced and is anticipated to be submitted to the BLM in Washington, DC, in Q4 2021. Once the Notice of Intent is published in the Federal Register, public scoping meetings can commence.
Based on the EIS timeline developed amongst the Company, SWCA, and the BLM, the timing of the Record of Decision permit is anticipated to be in Q1 2023. In conjunction with the permitting process, work is advancing to secure site access and water rights.
Feasibility Study (“FS”) development, led by M3 Engineering, continues to advance.
As previously reported, the Company has been working on the conversion of certain Inferred Mineral Resources to Mineral Reserves to support a longer mine life. In-fill drilling results at Pinion indicate the possibility of converting approximately 350,000 contained ounces of gold for inclusion the FS mine plan (“Pinion Phases 4 and 5”).
The results of mine plan optimization work indicates that 200-ton capacity haul trucks will likely provide more economic benefit than the 150-ton capacity haul trucks that were contemplated in the 2020 Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”). The larger sized haul trucks provide the potential benefit of lower mining unit costs through increased efficiency and reduced labour costs.
Metallurgical and processing studies are ongoing and focused on leach kinetics, leach pad design, and metallurgical recovery models. Although it is anticipated that the FS will include the construction of a high-pressure grinding rollers (“HPGR”) crushing facility in future years, metallurgical studies indicate the possibility of processing all Dark Star and Pinion ore as a run-of-mine heap leach operation. This scenario has the potential of unlocking significant savings on expansion capital expenditures, sustaining capital expenditures, and processing unit costs than what was contemplated in the PFS, with an offsetting impact of slightly lower estimated gold recoveries. The Company will continue to explore this option with its consultants.
Although toll processing of approximately 32,000 ounces of gold in transitional and sulphide material at Dark Star was contemplated in the PFS, this is not expected to be included in the upcoming FS. The Company believes there remains an attractive opportunity to extract value from this material, in addition to the potential for new mineralization directly under the Dark Star North PFS pit boundary as described in the Company’s news release dated September 13, 2021. However, the economic analysis necessary to support the processing of this material will not be completed to a feasibility level for the upcoming study.
Certain changes to initial capital expenditure estimates of direct costs, indirect costs, and contingencies are anticipated in the upcoming FS, as expected in relation to the planned increased scope and scale of the project compared to the PFS. Gold Standard is committed to responsible mining and is focused on building and operating in the most environmentally sensitive way possible.
Based on the timing of ongoing metallurgical column tests of drill core that represents Pinion Phases 4 and 5, it is anticipated that the Feasibility Study will be released in Q1 2022.
Construction Capital Financing Process
Preparatory work continues to advance on Gold Standard’s construction capital financing process, along with our advisor Cutfield Freeman & Co. Lending capacity for the South Railroad Project (“SRP”) is anticipated to be robust, due to strong forecasted free cash flows over the first five years during the mining of the Dark Star deposit as outlined in the PFS.
As announced in the Company’s news release dated July 16, 2020, Orion Mine Finance has committed to providing Gold Standard with a term sheet to provide up to US$200 million of construction financing support. In addition, the Company has received interest from the following capital providers about participating in the SRP construction capital financing process: mining focused alternative lenders, commercial banks, streaming and royalty companies, and multinational precious metal producers.
Gold Standard anticipates commencing the construction capital financing process in conjunction with the release of the SRP Feasibility Study in Q1 2022. The Company will prioritize a construction financing package that provides the most attractive long-term benefits to Gold Standard shareholders.
About Gold Standard
Gold Standard is developing the South Railroad Project, an open pit, heap leach gold project located in Elko County, Nevada. The project is part of a +21,000 hectare land package on the Carlin Trend, and is 100% owned or controlled by Gold Standard. The goal of the Company is to become the low-cost junior producer of choice in Nevada, one of the premier mining jurisdictions in the world.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements, which relate to future events or future performance. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements herein include, without limitation, statements regarding the timing of the Company’s submission of the Notice of Intent and the Company’s receipt of the Record of Decision permit; the ability of the Company to add contained gold ounces to the mine plan; the contents and results of the FS, including the possibility of using larger sized haul trucks and processing all Dark Star and Pinion ore as a run-of-mine heap leach operation and the expected benefits therefrom; the timing of the publication of the FS; the Company’s ability to extract value from transitional and sulphide material at Dark Star; the nature and extent of mineralization at the Dark Star deposit; the financial profile and benefits of the SRP, included expected cash flows from the SRP; the expected size and dimensions of the planned pit and area of demonstrated mineral resources SRP; and about the potential financing and construction of the SRP, including the expected timing thereof and the expected nature of the SRP’s construction financing package. Such forward-looking statements reflect management’s current beliefs and are based on assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company, including that the Company will complete its submission of the Notice of Intent to the BLM and that the BLM will provide its Record of Decision permit on the timeline currently anticipated, that the Company will successfully convert certain Inferred Mineral Resources at Pinion to Mineral Reserves for inclusion in the FS to support a longer mine life, that the contents and results of the FS will conform materially to the Company’s current expectations, that the Company will publish the FS on the timeline currently anticipated, that the Company will realize the expected economic benefits from the SRP, and that the Company will be successful in the financing and construction of the SRP in the manner currently contemplated by the Company. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, among others: that the Company may not submit its Notice of Intent to the BLM on the timeline currently anticipated, or at all; that the BLM will not issue a Record of Decision permit, on the timeline currently anticipated or at all; that the Company will not be successful in converting certain Inferred Mineral Resources at Pinion to Mineral Reserves; that the contents or results of the FS will be different than currently expected; that the Company may be unable to complete the scientific and technical work necessary to publish the FS; that the pit and the area of demonstrated mineral resources at SRP will be different than that set out in the Preliminary Feasibility Study for SRP, as a result of the FS or otherwise; that the Company may not be successful in financing and constructing the SRP; that the SRP may never be placed into production; global financial conditions and volatility of capital markets, uncertainty regarding the availability of additional capital, fluctuations in commodity prices; title matters; and the additional risks identified in our filings with Canadian securities regulators on SEDAR in Canada (available at www.sedar.com) and with the SEC on EDGAR (available at www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml). These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and, except as required under applicable securities legislation, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances.
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Vice President, Corporate Development & Investor Relations