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US Gold Corp. (NASDAQ: USAU) (âUS Goldâ or the âCompanyâ), a gold exploration and development company, is pleased to provide an update on its CK gold project located in Southeast Wyoming. The Company has seen significant activity at the CK Gold Project over the summer, which currently continues in the fall of 2021, and plans to advance the project until a clearance and development decision is made on an accelerated basis. Here are the highlights of recent activities:
- Following the study of the site’s wetlands, the CK gold project received a non-jurisdictional decision from the US Army Corps of Engineers.
- Signed land and right-of-way agreement ensuring the project’s footprint and access to private and state lands (no federal land is involved).
- Extensive local engagement and a new project-specific website, located at www.ckgoldmine.com, was launched.
- Pre-feasibility study (“PFS”) expected by the end of 2021, being optimized.
- Advance the Feasibility Study (âFSâ) fieldwork, building on the ESP for the planned completion of the FS by mid-2022.
- Continuous monitoring of the baseline environment for the potential filing of a mining permit application in 2022.
Kevin Francis, vice president of exploration and technical services for US Gold Corp. said, âWe are currently on track to complete our CK Gold Project PFS by the end of the year. By design, we went well beyond what would normally be required for a PFS so that we could move on to FS-level project appraisal by mid-2022. Our field and field studies labs are designed to fill any gaps in the PFS, which will allow us to move seamlessly towards a full feasibility study. continue to collect the additional data needed at the project site during the summer and fall 2021 field season, which is expected to end in November. Basic environmental monitoring continues, having started in September 2020, with the goal of being able to submit an application permit to the state of Wyoming once a development decision has been made. Although a development decision depends on many factors, we are very encouraged by what we have seen.
In February 2021, the Company received a notice from the US Army Corps of Engineers that the CK Gold Project footprint, as described in the submission, is not jurisdictional for United States of America waters. This means that the only regulatory authority for the project is the State of Wyoming. Wyoming has extensive experience in the extractive industries and management of the Company believes this determination gives the project a potentially faster route to approval.
Summary of the land agreement
In September 2021, US Gold announced that it had signed a land agreement with a local rancher to secure an option to lease additional land and a permanent right of way to support operations should the project move to development and production. . The new agreement allows for an additional access road into the project off County Road 210, approximately two miles from the paved Happy Jack Road to the west. This will reduce approximately 2.5 miles of travel on County Road 210 to reach the CK Gold Project location from the causeway.
Project website summary
A new CK Gold project specific website has been created and serves to inform local stakeholders and investors of project specific developments and potential operating methods. The site is accessible at the address www.ckgoldmine.com. In addition, outreach to state and local officials, local authorities, chambers, immediate neighbors covered more than 44 separate meetings reaching over 120 people since February 2021 explaining aspects of the project including the potential, l employment, investment, taxes and royalties, and the relatively simple, clean nature of the project.
Update of the pre-feasibility study
The Company continues to optimize several PFS inputs. With Kevin Francis joining the management of the Company, a new independent qualified person has been recruited for the modeling and calculation of PFS resources. Additional engineering studies are underway, aiming to optimize the processing rate up to 20,000 tonnes per day. In addition, concepts for the beneficial use of the site rock and the post-exploitation use of the site are under consideration. Management now expects the PFS to be released in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Summary of the 2021 field program
The PFS was designed for the rapid development of the project. Therefore, field activities progressing this summer and fall at the CK Gold Project are aimed at allowing the project to evolve towards a full FS in 2022. Highlights include:
- Up to 3 drilling rigs on the project, covering site geotechnics (foundations), pit geotechnics (stability), hydrology and improved water monitoring.
- Plan to drill a total of 47 holes in 2021, some of which could extend the resource beyond FS data capture.
- Drilling fills in the gaps and reduces uncertainty in hydrology, geotechnics, geochemistry, engineering, resource expansion and mine planning.
- Discovery of an enriched chalcopyrite / pyrite sulphide zone in hole CK-21 within the current resource, potentially improving contained copper values. (See the photo of the kernel in photo 1 below).
- The beneficial use of the mined non-mineralized ore offers a significant potential benefit to the project. Market and engineering studies are underway to investigate the potential value of the project rock as an aggregate. The benefits include additional revenue for the project, royalties to the state, and a source of rock that has already been mined that will have a lower carbon footprint, displacing other mined rock specifically for aggregate.
- Studies are continuing to assess the viability of long-term water storage in the completed surface mine, addressing the provision of greater storage capacity at little or no cost to local taxpayers.
Photo 1 shows an interval of CK21-01c which intersected a sulphide zone of 245 ft to 254 ft. At about 250 ft, we estimated the total sulphides to be about 10 to 25% of the total rock. The sulphides are mainly chalcopyrite (CuFeS2, 34.5% Cu) on pyrite with about 75% chalcopyrite to 25% pyrite and higher proportions of chalcopyrite in some areas. The rock type harboring massive sulphides is a weak mylonite with some silicification and weak phyllic alteration. There is an important system of vertical fractures directly under the sulphides with moderate potassium and phyllic alteration which increases in intensity from the sulphide zone. In general, gold and copper mineralization at CK Gold is widely disseminated, so the company is encouraged by the semi-massive sulphide zone.
The 2020 and 2021 drilling programs include viewer surveys of geotechnical core holes and surface mapping. The data generated from this work allowed the development of a more sophisticated fault model for the CK Gold deposit. The importance of these faults is to form hard boundaries to the gold-copper mineralization, as well as lithological alteration boundaries and to determine the hydrological properties of the rock mass, which without faults is nearly impermeable. Perhaps the most important is the verification of the position of the Copper King fault on the east side of the deposit, forming a clear and hard boundary to gold-copper mineralization. Whether this fault is post-mineral or syn-mineral and grade control remains to be determined, requiring drilling beneath the White River post-mineral formation southeast of known mineralization. Photo 2 shows the sunrise at the CK Gold project with the wind farm in the background.
Quality assurance and quality control procedure (“QA / CQ”)
US Gold employs a rigorous QA / QC protocol on all aspects of the sampling and analysis procedure. The drill core is checked, recorded, marked for sampling and sawn in half. Half of each drill core is kept for future reference and the other half of each drill core is sent to ALS, an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory in Elko, Nevada to complete all sample preparation and analysis. Samples are analyzed by fire assay with atomic absorption finish for gold and four-acid ICP-MS analysis for silver and copper. For QA / QC purposes, certified standards, blank samples and duplicate samples are inserted into the sample stream. US Gold Corp. Also periodically submits pulp samples to another independent laboratory for control analysis.
Note on the qualified person
This statement has been reviewed by Kevin Francis, P Geo, SME Registered Member, Vice President – Exploration and Technical Services of US Gold, who has inspected the data provided in this announcement and is aware of the activities described in the Project Update CK Gold. Acting within the framework of his expertise, Mr. Francis, as a qualified person, has examined the information provided and finds it accurate and reflecting the facts.