Opportunity to add significant gold ounces to the proposed conventional heap leach operation
WINNEMUCCA, Nev., Jan. 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Paramount Gold Nevada Corp. (NYSE American: PZG) (“Paramount”) announced today the positive results of metallurgical tests designed to recover gold from sulphide mineralization, which is not included in the current mine plan for its 100% owned Sleeper Gold Project in northern Nevada.
As part of Paramount’s strategic plan to advance the former high-grade producing Sleeper gold mine towards a production decision, last year the Company initiated metallurgical testing of Atmospheric Alkaline Oxidation (“AAO”) for treatment of sulphide mineralization. The objective was to increase “mineable material” to the projected conventional heap leach operation outlined in the existing Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA”) by evaluating an alternative process to oxidize gold rich, sulphide material.
The current PEA, completed in 2015, envisioned a 30,000 tonnes per day heap leach operation that would process oxide and transitional ores only. The PEA anticipated processing over 77 million tonnes of ore containing over 1 million ounces of gold and over 5 million ounces of silver, with a pretax NPV5% of $201.8 million. These figures assumed a gold price of $1,250 per ounce reflecting market conditions at the time the PEA was completed.
Recent testing concentrated on the gold rich, sulphide bearing mineralized material not included in the PEA from the West Wood Zone, with composites from core samples grading between 0.32 and 3.35g/t of gold. A total of 14 composite samples were evaluated in various lab conditions at McClelland Laboratories, Inc. in Reno, Nevada. Following successful oxidation of the sulfide material that occurred within 48 hours, initial gold recoveries in lab conditions were excellent, reaching up to 83.4%.
The next step in the metallurgical testing is to identify the optimal parameters for the AAO process including but not limited to oxidation time, temperatures, and crush size to emulate heap oxidation. Once the AAO metallurgical testing is complete, Paramount will compare the results with cyanide column leaching tests and results from bio-oxidation testing completed in 2015 that averaged gold recoveries of 76% and up to 81%.
Paramount and MDA, a division of RESPEC, will then evaluate various mining and processing scenarios with the intent of completing a new Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) that complies with new SEC SK 1300 disclosure regulations and updates the economic analysis with current gold and silver prices. The PEA will include gold recoveries using conventional heap leaching of the oxide and transitional ore, plus the selected oxidation method to process the remaining higher grade sulphide gold mineralization.
The Sleeper restart initiative is one of four value-enhancing programs now in progress at Paramount including final permitting of the high-grade gold Grassy Mountain Project, drilling on the high priority Frost Project and target identification at the Bald Peak Project where drilling is expected later this year.
About Paramount Gold Nevada Corp.
Paramount Gold Nevada Corp. is a U.S. based precious metals exploration and development company. Paramount’s strategy is to create shareholder value through exploring and developing its mineral properties and to realize this value for its shareholders in three ways: by selling its assets to established producers; entering joint ventures with producers for construction and operation; or constructing and operating mines for its own account.
Paramount holds a 100% interest in four gold projects: Grassy Mountain; Frost; Sleeper and Bald Peak.
The Grassy Mountain Gold Project consists of approximately 8,200 acres located on private and BLM land in Malheur County, Oregon. The Grassy Mountain Gold Project contains a gold-silver deposit (100% located on private land) for which results of a positive Feasibility Study have been released and key permitting milestones accomplished.
Frost is comprised of 84 unpatented lode claims covering approximately 1,730 acres located 12 miles southwest of the Company’s proposed high-grade, underground Grassy Mountain gold mine in Malheur County, Oregon (“Grassy”). An initial drill program is ongoing.
The Sleeper Gold Project is located in Northern Nevada, the world’s premier mining jurisdiction. The Sleeper Gold Project is host to a large gold deposit (over 4 million ounces of mineralized material) and the Company has completed and released a Preliminary Economic Assessment. With higher gold prices, Paramount has begun work to update and improve the economics of the Sleeper project and search for additional high-grade deposits similar to the former producer.
The newly acquired Bald Peak Project in Nevada, consists of approximately 2,260 acres.
Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements
This release and related documents may include "forward-looking statements" and “forward-looking information” (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) pursuant to applicable United States and Canadian securities laws. Paramount’s future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other applicable securities laws. Words such as "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although these words may not be present in all forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements included in this news release include, without limitation, statements with respect to the use of proceeds from the Offerings. Forward-looking statements are based on the reasonable assumptions, estimates, analyses and opinions of management made in light of its experience and its perception of trends, current conditions and expected developments, as well as other factors that management believes to be relevant and reasonable in the circumstances at the date that such statements are made, but which may prove to be incorrect. Management believes that the assumptions and expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable. Assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: the conclusions made in the feasibility study for the Grassy Mountain Gold Project (the “FS”); the quantity and grade of resources included in resource estimates; the accuracy and achievability of projections included in the FS; Paramount’s ability to carry on exploration and development activities, including construction; the timely receipt of required approvals and permits; the price of silver, gold and other metals; prices for key mining supplies, including labor costs and consumables, remaining consistent with current expectations; work meeting expectations and being consistent with estimates and plant, equipment and processes operating as anticipated. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to: uncertainties involving interpretation of drilling results; environmental matters; the ability to obtain required permitting; equipment breakdown or disruptions; additional financing requirements; the completion of a definitive feasibility study for the Grassy Mountain Gold Project; discrepancies between actual and estimated mineral reserves and mineral resources, between actual and estimated development and operating costs and between estimated and actual production; the global epidemics, pandemics, or other public health crises, including the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global health pandemic, and the spread of other viruses or pathogens and the other factors described in Paramount’s disclosures as filed with the SEC and the Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta Securities Commissions.
Except as required by applicable law, Paramount disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this document.
Paramount Gold Nevada Corp.
Rachel Goldman, Chief Executive Officer
Christos Theodossiou, Director of Corporate Communications