New Jersey Mining Company (OTCQB:NJMC) (“NJMC” or the “Company”) announced today that gold production has resumed at its Golden Chest Mine and New Jersey Mill in north Idaho.
Since commencing open pit operations in August and restarting the mill in late September, both the mining and milling plans are advancing as expected. The Company anticipates the resumption of underground mining by December and is currently forecasting gold production (from combined operations, open pit and underground) of 8,000 to 10,000 ounces in 2017. At $1,200 per ounce gold, the Company expects to generate approximately $9.6 million in revenue and $2.1 million of profit on gold production of 8,000 ounces.
NJMC President John Swallow stated, “We continue to view the Golden Chest as one of the most advanced and easily-expandable gold projects in the western United States. Resuming production at the Golden Chest and ore processing at the New Jersey Mill demonstrates the dedication of our team and our commitment to the project. We have a highly-motivated team whose interests are aligned with our shareholders, and we believe our strategy has us well-positioned to take advantage of rising gold prices.”
The open pit is located in an area of Idaho Vein outcrop, about 200 meters directly above the recently built mine portal. The open pit contains an estimated 13,000 tonnes of mineralized material at an average grade of 4.99 grams per tonne (gpt) gold, or approximately 2,100 ounces of recoverable gold, with potential for expansion.
Pit excavation has revealed three veins, a hanging wall vein thought to be the Jumbo vein, the Idaho vein, and the newly-recognized Stevens Vein in the footwall, with which most of the higher grade ore is associated. Additionally, widespread low-grade gold mineralization, below the current cutoff grade of 1.8 gpt, has been observed in a halo around the veins.
Open pit mining operations have progressed from the 1116 level down to the 1087 bench. Approximately 6,000 tonnes of ore have been mined and stockpiled either at the mine or at the Company’s nearby New Jersey Mill. Blast hole assays from each bench are reconciling well with the block model.
Approximately 1,000 tonnes of ore have been processed at the New Jersey Mill over the last few weeks. Various processing techniques have been implemented to optimize recovery, concentrate grade, and operation of the paste tailings circuit as the partially oxidized ore from the open pit has different characteristics than the ore mined from underground that was milled during prior operations in 2015.
Recent production assays indicate gold recovery of approximately 80-percent, from feed grades ranging from 3.5 to 4.9 gpt gold, yielding concentrate grades of 1,200 gpt gold. Feed grade and recovery are about as planned, though concentrate grades are much higher than planned.
Underground dewatering activities continue on schedule, recently reaching the bottom of the first manway raise at an approximate elevation of 870 meters. Preliminary inspection of dewatered areas reveals good ground conditions in the ramp and associated workings. The necessary infrastructure, equipment, and trained personnel are in place so that NJMC can commence underground mining upon completion of dewatering.