Moss Gold Mine, NW Arizona, USA
- 100% owned Moss Gold Mine in northwest Arizona, USA
- Low cost, open pit mine with heap leach processing
- Gold recoveries of 82% with silver recoveries of 65% (2015 Feasibility Study)
- 2017 PEA outlined a 10-year mine life, $133 NPV and a 63% IRR (before taxes)
- Crushing throughput consistently exceeding 2015 Feasibility Study of 5,000 tonnes per day (tpd)
- Excellent exploration upside adjacent to open pit and within the Oatman mining district
Northern Vertex's 100% owned Moss Gold Mine is located in Arizona, approximately one hour and a half drive south of Las Vegas, Nevada. The Company optioned the Moss Property in 2011 and advanced the project by completing a pilot plant test facility in 2014. In 2015, the Company completed a Feasibility Study and subsequently a Preliminary Economic Assessement in 2017, which featured an extension to the mine life from 5 to 10 years. Shortly after a successful construction and the commissioning process in 2018, Northern Vertex declared commercial production at the Moss Mine, effective September 2018.
MINING & PROCESSING
The Moss Mine is an open pit gold-silver operation, with a favorable strip ratio of approximately 1.85:1 (waste to ore) and minimal haul distances to the crushing plant. The most economic and effective way to process the ore is through crushing, agglomeration and heap leaching followed by processing at the on-site Merrill Crowe metal recovery plant and refinery to produce gold and silver doré bars. According to the Company's Feasibility Study (2015), throughput at the Moss Mine was expected to be 5,000 tonnes per day (tpd), however since commissioning was announced in 2018, throughput has been significantly higher due to exceptional performance of the crushing plant and operational team, which set a one-day throughput record of 13,000 tonnes.
Moss Mine Mineral Resource Estimate as at December 31, 2019:
|Measured and Indicated||20,560,000||0.0175||0.2171||360,000||4,463,000|
NOTES: Mineral Resources are reported inclusive of Mineral Reserves. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Mineral Resources for the project were classified under the 2014 CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves by applying a cut-off grade that incorporated mining and metallurgical recovery parameters. Pit constrained Mineral Resources are based on commodity prices, metallurgical recoveries and operating costs. The mineral resource includes depletion from mining activities up to December 31, 2019. Long-term metal prices of $1,400/oz and $18/oz for gold and silver respectively were used. The updated Mineral Resource estimate for the Property was prepared by David G. Thomas, P.Geo. (the “QP”) of Mine Technical Services Ltd. (“MTS”). Resources have an effective date of December 31, 2019 and are reported at a 0.006 oz/st gold cut-off grade.
The updated mineral resource estimate incorporates the results of the 2019 reverse circulation infill drill program (the “Program”) carried out at the Property, totaling 14,140 feet over 29 holes, disclosed in the Company’s press release dated December 18, 2019. Drilling within the western area of the Moss Gold Mine and west of the current mining operation successfully demonstrated that there are significantly more resources hosted within and nearby the current pit. Compared to the previously disclosed mineral resource estimate contained in the Company’s most recent technical report for the Property dated November 22, 2017 (the “Technical Report”), the updated mineral resource estimate of the Property constitutes a non-material increase in total tonnage and contained gold metal, with additional new resources identified from infill drilling more than offsetting depletion from mining activities.
The resource estimate update found that from the start of operations to December 31, 2019, mining operations depleted approximately 71,000 ounces of gold, however with drilling success, these mined ounces have been more than offset by an addition of 86,000 ounces of gold in the inferred category. In comparing the updated December 31, 2019 resource estimate to the resource estimate in the Technical Report, aggregate measured and indicated gold ounces fell by approximately 8% primarily due to depletion from mining activities, while inferred gold ounces grew by almost 300% due to the identification of new resources from infill drilling.
Exploration upside potential at Moss is excellent as the deposit continues to remain open for resource expansion along strike (at both ends) and at depth.