Aquila Resources Inc. [AQA-TSX; AQARF-OTCQB; JM4A-FSE] has provided the results of a positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its wholly-owned Back Forty Project, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, United States.
The PEA demonstrates Back Forty’s value as a high-grade, gold-rich project with compelling economics in a Tier 1 jurisdiction. The PEA builds on the company’s 2018 open-pit feasibility study and includes the currently known underground mineral resources.
Robust economics: After-tax NPV at a 6% discount rate of $176.3 million (approximately CA$235 million) with 26.1% IRR at long term consensus metal prices including $1,485 per ounce gold.
Significant leverage to gold: After-tax NPV of $316.3 million at a 6% discount rate (approximately CA$422 million) with 37.8% IRR at recent spot prices including $1,998 per ounce gold with gold generating 52% of revenue.
Includes the known underground Mineral Resources at Back Forty, increasing the life-of-mine to 12 full years. Life-of-mine production of over 1.5 million gold equivalent1 ounces with production in Year 1 of 206,000 gold equivalent ounces.
The PEA mine plan consists of open pit mining from Year 1 to Year 5. Underground development will be initiated in Year 5 and underground mining will continue to Year 11. Remaining stockpiles will be processed in Year 12 and a partial Year 13
Pre-production capital costs of $250.4 million benefitting from significant nearby infrastructure
Potential value enhancement through additional exploration as the deposit remains open at depth
Barry Hildred, President and CEO, commented: “The completion of the PEA is a significant milestone for Aquila that showcases Back Forty’s potential as a near-term producer in the United States at a time when advanced and substantially derisked projects are scarce. Back Forty is a well-defined project that also holds tremendous exploration potential. We are excited to commence work on an updated feasibility study that we anticipate will be completed next year as we advance the project through the final stages of preconstruction activities. While doing so, we plan on conducting a drill program at Back Forty to continue to expand the mineral resource at depth where the deposit remains open with numerous targets.”