DENVER, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Vista Gold Corp. (TSX & NYSE MKT: VGZ) ("Vista" or the "Company") today announced that it has revised the scope of the Feasibility Study on its Mt. Todd gold project ("FS") to incorporate the following areas of optimization.
The Company is now targeting the release of the FS in late 2012 or early 2013, which will evaluate a larger project with the hope that it will result in economies of scale, a forward shift in the production of ounces due to the optimization of the mine schedule and the increased throughput rate of the processing facility, and a mine life that results in the more efficient use of project capital.
Fred Earnest, Vista's President and CEO, commented, "Our decision to change the scope of the FS at this time has been taken in order to incorporate new information from the ongoing drilling program, the subsequent results of mining and processing engineering to optimize the mine production and plant throughput rates, as well as the heap leach testing programs. The FS we started in April of last year was based on a smaller measured and indicated mineral resource estimate and a 30,000 tonne per day processing facility. Given the increase in the resource estimate announced last September (please refer to our press release dated September 6, 2011) and our additional exploration results to date, we believe that a larger process facility will be justified.
We are very pleased with the continued results of the resource conversion drilling program. We have now completed a substantial majority of the approximately 14,000 planned meters and expect to complete an updated mineral resource estimate for Mt. Todd in the latter part of the third quarter of this year. The results continue to show that the mineralization in the Batman deposit is open to expansion along strike to the north and south, at depth and to the east. Based on the most recent assays and the drill results previously announced, we expect that the new resource estimate may result in the conversion of a significant portion of the project's estimated inferred resources to estimated measured and indicated resources. Furthermore, because of the location of the mineralized intercepts relative to the previous pit designs, we believe the new FS may result in a larger open pit.
The metallurgical testing that has been completed on material from the existing heap leach pad indicates that the evaluation of the production of gold during the construction of the main process facilities is warranted. Vista's work over the past several years leads us to believe that we have addressed the technical issues which contributed to the failure of previous operations at the Mt. Todd gold project. The revised scope of the FS will incorporate design changes to deal with these technical issues and renewed leaching of the heap leach pad."
As Vista works to finalize the FS, the Company is also advancing in parallel its permitting and project financing efforts. Vista continues to discuss the Mt. Todd gold project with, and seek the requisite project approvals on an expedited schedule from, the appropriate agencies in the Northern Territory, Australia. In addition, Vista is pleased to announce that it has appointed Endeavour Financial Limited (Cayman) to assist the Company with both the evaluation of potential debt finance opportunities for the development of the Mt. Todd gold project, as well as the appointment of a third party technical consultant to review and confirm the studies completed on the Mt. Todd gold project. This review is to be undertaken in parallel with the FS to independently verify its findings to potential third party financiers and investors.
SOURCE Vista Gold Corp.