Advanced-Stage Gold and Copper Exploration and Development
The CK Gold Project was reportedly discovered in 1881, high-graded and saw limited mining. The first exploration work reported is drilling by ASARCO in 1938. Several additional rounds of drilling have been conducted since that time. In the 1972 Henrietta Mines Ltd. acquired the property and completed a comprehensive program of exploration and development. In addition to drilling, an I.P. survey, geologic mapping, geochemical sampling, and metallurgical testing were conducted (Nevin, 1973). Drilling campaigns were conducted by Saratoga since 2006 and Strathmore since 2012, with a hiatus in drill exploration until the acquisition of the project by U.S. Gold Corp. from Energy Fuels in 2014. U.S. Gold Corp. conducted drilling in 2017, 2018, 2020 and is currently concluding its 2021 drilling program, focused on data collection to support post PFS and feasibility studies in 2022.
The CK Gold Project property is located in the Silver Crown mining district of southeast Wyoming, approximately 20 miles west of the city of Cheyenne, on the southeastern margin of the Laramie Range. The property comprises about 1,120 acres (2 square miles) and is 100% owned by U.S. Gold Corp. In December, 2021, the company released the project's SK-1300 Technical Report Preliminary Feasibility Study, PFS (by Gustavson Associates LLC). The project offers the company near-term, open-pit production potential as well as compelling value.
The CK Gold Project deposit is a development stage, large-tonnage, gold-copper deposit with high-grade mineralization exposed at the surface surrounded by a large, low-grade zone with potential for expanding resources. The project's main zone deposit provides a SK-1300 compliant Proven and Probable (P1+P2) reserve and shows the highlights as follows*:
Prefeasibility Study Highlights:
- Mineral Resources – 1.58 million gold equivalent ("AuEq") ounces of Measured and Indicated (M+I) Resources
- - An additional 0.357 million AuEq ounces of inferred resource
- Mineral Reserves – 1.44 million AuEq ounces of Proven and Probable (P1 and P2) Reserves
- 10-year Mine Life at 20,000 short tons per day process rate
- - M+I includes: Gold - 1.110 million ounces and Copper - 280 million lbs
- - P1 and P2 includes: Gold - 1.010 million ounces and Copper - 248 million lbs
- - Average AuEq production: 108,500 ounces per year
- First 3-years: 135,300 AuEq ounces per year
- Initial Capital: $221 million - Potential attractive financing terms from equipment suppliers and development capital sources
- Robust Economics – 39.4% IRR before tax and 33.7% IRR after tax -
- and $266 million, before and after tax, respectively
- - Assumes $1,625/ounce gold price and $3.25/lb copper price
- Upside Potential - Aggregate sales from mine waste rock, proven to be excellent quality
- - Highly leveraged to increasing metals prices
- - FS level value engineering and plant optimization
- - Ongoing metallurgical testing to enhance recovery of gold and copper
- Permitting and Development - Project footprint under the jurisdiction of Wyoming agencies
- - Resource expansion potential at depth and to the south-east
The CK Gold Project resource is based upon 160 drill holes totaling 28,500m and contains oxide, mixed oxide-sulfide, and sulfide rock types. The CK Gold Project mineralization is characterized by an extraordinary even distribution of metal grades occurring as a large body of disseminated and vein / stockwork gold, silver, and copper mineralization.
The SK-1300 PFS study using base case prices of $1625/oz gold and $3.25/lb copper indicates a 10-year project with a manageable capital requirement of $221 million. Over the project life a total of 248.8 million pounds of copper and 1,017,000 ounces of gold are projected to be produced based on the PFS throughput assumptions. The project shows a pre-tax NPV (5%) of $323.3 million and an IRR of 39.4%. The project enjoys an ideal geopolitical location in Wyoming; the State has been very supportive of efforts to advance the project.
U.S. Gold Corp. has assembled a team to both continue expanding CK Gold Project's current gold and copper resource and to advance the project towards production. In addition, the company is developing effective community and government relations programs in order to minimize any future social challenges.