i-80 Gold reports initial Nevada gold sales

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i-80 Gold Corp. [IAU-TSXV] said Wednesday it has completed initial gold sales from residual heap leach operations at its Lone Tree and Ruby Hill in Nevada. Both operations are 100%-owned by the company.

i-80 Gold is in the process of developing multiple mining operations to achieve its objective of building a Nevada-focused mining company with a goal of ultimately producing more than 500,000 ounces of gold annually.

i-80 Gold was spun out by Premier Gold Mines after Premier was acquired by Equinox Gold Corp. [EQX-TSXV, NYSE] in an all-stock deal worth $612 million. i80 Gold acquired the Granite Creek, Lone Tree and Ruby Hill properties to become one of the largest holders of gold and silver resources in Nevada.

Importantly, the company secured the ability to process all types of gold mineralization, including refractory gold-bearing mineralization, through the acquisition of the Lone Tree processing complex and also through interim processing arrangements with Nevada Gold Mines (a joint venture owned by Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX, GOLD-NYSE], Newmont Corp., [NGT-TSX, NEM-NYSE]), that provide the company with the flexibility to process material from any of the three planned underground operations until the Lone Tree autoclave is restarted.

Processing of refractory mineralization remains one of the biggest barriers to entry in Nevada and i-80 is currently one of only three companies with this capability.

To execute its “Hub and Spoke” development plan, i-80 has said it plans to construct four new mining operations over the next three years, complete multiple large-scale drill programs, advance permitting, building a tier-one exploration, development and mining operations team and restart the Lone Tree autoclave.

The company said Lone Tree will be the “Hub” of i-80s Nevada operations as the central processing facility, operations office, assay lab and warehouse for all sites. Mineralization from Granite Creek, Ruby Hill and McCoy-Cove will feed the Lone Tree Autoclave, once it is restarted.

Mineralization from the Buffalo Mountain (and Brooks) open pit will be processed at the Lone Tree heap leach facility. The Lone Tree property is strategically located on Interstate 80, the primary highway through northern Nevada.

The Ruby Hill mine is located immediately west of the town of Eureka, proximal to Highway 50, and is host to multiple deposits that i-80 believes collectively represent one of the largest gold and silver endowments in the state of Nevada.

On Wednesday, i-80 Gold shares eased 2.6% or $0.09 to $3.42 on volume of 282,450. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $3.71 and $2.26.

i-80 Executive Vice-President Matthew Gollat, described the gold pour as a “truly historic event” for the company. “We have produced our first gold from ongoing residual leach projects while we continue to execute the development of several projects within our portfolio as planned, with the goal of becoming a significant operator in Nevada,” he said.

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