Canadian and US-listed junior Vista Gold has opened a door to possible smaller-scale redevelopment of the Mt Todd gold project in Australia’s Northern Territory, saying an internal study points to favourable economics for a 150,000-200,000 ounce-a-year operation.
Its 2022 feasibility study had a 17.75 million tonnes per annum plant producing an average 395,000oz a year at AISC of US$928/oz over 16 years, and up to 479,000ozpa at $860/oz in the first seven years.
That venture had a US$892 million capital cost attached to it.
Vista says for a more moderate $350m it could build a 5Mtpa plant, producing less gold at a higher AISC. The company has a current market value around $64m.
It described results of its internal scoping study as “promising”. Operating costs would “remain very competitive in today’s environment”. However, it didn’t offer a range.
“Vista intends to make these results available to potential strategic partners and other parties who have signed confidentiality agreements,” the company said.
CEO Frederick Earnest said: “Our conservative approach, which includes the use of the 2022 feasibility study’s advanced engineering, gives us confidence that a smaller and easier-to-build initial phase of the project is viable and economically attractive.”
Vista had not yet undertaken studies to assess throughput expansion or staged development.