Atna Receives Approval for Development of Reward Gold Mineadmin
Monday, August 24th 2009
Atna Resources Ltd. announce that the US Bureau of Land Management has signed the Record of Decision and Finding of No Significant Impact to approve development of the Reward Gold Project located near Beatty, Nevada.
“This decision is a major milestone and a positive outcome for the development of Reward. We look forward to breaking ground on the project and have initiated discussions with various groups to arrange project financing for construction,” states James Hesketh, President & CEO.
The Reward operation is expected to produce approximately 126,000 ounces of gold over a five year mine life at an estimated average cash cost of US$435 per ounce of gold produced. This production would provide an undiscounted cash flow of US$34 million at a US$850 gold price. Gold production from Reward combined with production at the existing Briggs Gold Mine should yield the Company an annual gold production rate of 70 – 90 thousand ounces annualized by 2010 year end.
Work is ongoing with state agencies to finalize reclamation bond calculations and other required permits. Major permits, including the Class II Air Quality Operating Permit, Water Pollution Control Permit, and a Permit to Change Point of Diversion, Manner of Use and Place of Use of The Public Waters, were previously issued by the State of Nevada.
The Company completed a positive economic feasibility study for the Reward Gold Project in March 2008. The feasibility study demonstrated an attractive return on investment from development of a conventional open pit mining, ore crushing, and heap leach gold production operation. Operating synergies and cost benefits from the nearby Briggs Mine will positively impact the operation. Details are contained in a technical report dated March 21, 2008, prepared by Chlumsky, Armbrust & Meyer, LLC., titled “NI 43-101 Technical Report – Reward Gold Project, Nye County, Nevada,” which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Proven and probable mineral reserves estimated in the feasibility study total 6.4 million tons averaging 0.024 ounce per ton containing 157,000 ounces of gold based on a gold price of US$700 per ounce, a cut-off grade of 0.01 ounce per ton and a strip ratio of 2.2 tons of waste per ton of ore. The feasibility study includes capital costs for crushing and process plants, facilities and infrastructure, mining fleet and pre-production stripping of US$25.4 million. Undiscounted pre-tax net cash flow changes by US$12.5 million for each US$100 change in gold price without allowance for reserve expansion. Final reclamation and closure cost, which is included in overall production cost, is estimated at approximately US$2.5 million and the cost for reclamation and closure bonds is estimated to be approximately US$5.1 million. The Reward deposit remains open for expansion both along strike and down-dip.
Mining operations at Reward would utilize conventional 100-ton open pit trucks and compatible loaders. Mined ore will be crushed to minus 3/8 inch and placed on a lined pad for leaching and gold recovery. The gold contained in process solutions will be extracted by the carbon recovery process with the loaded carbon subsequently transported to either the Briggs Mine in Inyo County, California, or to a third party processing facility for production of dore containing gold and silver.