The revised plan incorporates recent metallurgical optimization test work, a redesign of the fine grinding circuit, revisions of the construction and ramp-up schedule and a thorough review of all aspects of the project. All of this resulted in greater forecasted gold recovery and increased estimated gold production at Mt Todd.
"We believe the PFS has substantially derisked Mt Todd," President and CEO Frederick Earnest said in the release. "The metallurgical programs and process area design changes completed by Vista over the past months have confirmed our belief that Mt Todd can achieve excellent anticipated gold recoveries within an attractive operating cost profile."
Specifically, for this 50,000 tons per day mine with a projected 13-year mine life, the PFS outlines a base case of an after-tax NPV5% of $823 million and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 23.4% at a $1,350 per ounce ($1,350/oz) gold price and a $0.70=AU$1 exchange rate.
At the current, and higher, gold price of $1,500/oz and an exchange rate of $0.685=AU$1, the after-tax NPV5% is an estimated $1.15 billion and the IRR an estimated 30.3%.
Production, improved over the previous PFS, is projected to be 413,400 oz of gold per year over the life of the project. This would include an average annual production of about 495,100 oz of gold during the first five years of commercial operation.
As for costs, an estimated $826 million would be needed upfront. Then over the course of the mine life, the average cash cost would be about $645/oz and the average all-in sustaining cost roughly $746/oz.
Now, with the updated PFS completed, Vista will begin looking for a partner to co-develop Mt Todd. "We are prepared to hold the project until a time when the value of the project appropriately rewards shareholders," Earnest added.[NLINSERT]
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