US BLM has accepted the Hasbrouck Gold Project’s Mine Plan of Operations and will commence the analysis of the MPO under an Environmental Assessment
West Kirkland Mining announces that the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has accepted the Hasbrouck Gold Project’s Mine Plan of Operations (MPO) and will commence the analysis of the MPO under an Environmental Assessment (“EA”). Public comments on the MPO and the BLM’s analysis must be sought before the BLM will make a final decision in accordance with Code of Federal Regulation (“CFR”) Title 43 3809.411(d).
This decision follows a 28-month process involving multiple BLM specialists who analysed the MPO. Construction level drawings, plans, and schedules have been developed for the project as part of the permitting process.
The Company’s flagship Hasbrouck Gold Project consists of the 75% owned Hasbrouck and Three Hills properties. The first phase of the Hasbrouck Gold Project is the Three Hills Mine which received a federal permit in November 2015. The BLM’s decision to analyse the MPO for the second phase Hasbrouck Mine under an EA rather than under the lengthier and more expensive Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) allows West Kirkland to expect that a federal permit for the Hasbrouck Mine may be issued in Q2 2020.
The Company is pleased to receive the BLM’s decision to commence the analysis of the Hasbrouck Mine pit and facilities under an EA and anticipates having federal permits for both the first and second phases of the Hasbrouck Gold Project in the near future. A federal (BLM) permit for the Phase 2 Hasbrouck Mine reduces project execution risk as a shovel-ready gold project in the US South-west. In an independent Pre-Feasibility Study completed for the Hasbrouck Gold Project in 2016, a sensitivity analysis at $1,500 gold resulted in an estimated after-tax IRR of 65% and a US$200M NPV(5) (see MDA’s Technical Report dated September 14, 2016, filed at www.sedar.com).
About the NEPA and EA Process
The BLM’s analysis of the Hasbrouck Mine MPO is required under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). NEPA defines the procedural requirements for all federal governmental agencies to prepare environmental assessments in response to proposed major activities on federal lands. Part of Hasbrouck Mine is on federal lands administered by the BLM, therefore NEPA requires the BLM to analyse potential environmental consequences of the planned project and any reasonable alternatives. The BLM will analyse an MPO under either an Environmental Assessment (“EA”) if it deems the project will not significantly impact the environment, or under an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) if it deems there could be a significant impact on the environment. Once the BLM has completed its analysis under an EA, it is required to publish the MPO and analysis for 30 days and respond to any comments received.
In addition to the NEPA analysis, a Reclamation Cost Estimate (“RCE”) must be submitted and approved by the BLM and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection before final approval of the MPO can be made. Nevada Division of Environmental Protection – Bureau of Mining and Reclamation (“NDEP-BMRR”) is required to review the MPO to ensure compliance with NDEP-BMRR requirements.
Various state permits and a federal eagle take permit are also required for construction and operation at Phase 2 of the Hasbrouck Gold Project. These permits will conform to the federally permitted project and are planned to be acquired during the 3 years of initial construction and mining at Phase 1 Three Hills Mine of the Hasbrouck gold project.
About the Hasbrouck Gold Project
The Hasbrouck Gold Project contains Proven & Probable Reserves of 784,000 gold equivalent oz (45,270,000 tons at 0.017 Au oz/t for 762,000 contained Au oz; 0.233 Ag oz/t for 10,569,000 contained Ag ounces) (Technical Report and Updated Preliminary Feasibility Study for The Hasbrouck and Three Hills Gold-Silver Project, Esmeralda County, Nevada, USA, Report Date: September 14, 2016 prepared by Thomas L. Dyer, P.E. and Paul Tietz, C.P.G. of Mine Development Associates (MDA)).
Waterton Precious Metals Fund II Cayman, LP holds a 25% interest in the Hasbrouck Gold Project and is participating (pro rata) in project expenditures.
Source: Company Press Release