Cash that came to i-80 Gold from South Arturo will be replaced initially with revenues from Ruby Hill and residual leaching at Lone Tree, he said.
The Lone Tree Mine along Interstate 80 west of Battle Mountain was a Newmont Corp. operation that ceased active mining in 2006, but Newmont and then NGM continued to keep the autoclave facility on care and maintenance.
NGM is a joint venture of Barrick Gold Corp., which is the operator and owns 61.5%, and Newmont, which holds 38.5%.
The large milling complex at Lone Tree is “in terrific condition,” Downie said, also stating that the facilities at Lone Tree — including the autoclave, flotation mill, heap leach facilities, warehouse, offices and training room, assay lab, fire station and railroad access — will save i-80 Gold the money it would take to build new facilities.
He estimated the cost to retrofit the autoclave facility for i-80’s needs at $150 million but to build a new one would cost up to $1 billion.
Lone Tree will become Reno-based i-80 Gold’s “company hub,” Downie said.
He said Lone Tree, which also has additional mining potential, is midway between i-80’s Granite Creek site and its McCoy Cove property. The company is completing test mining this year at Granite Creek, which is on the site of the former Pinson Mine.