Northern Vertex is a Canadian based exploration and mining company focused on the development of precious metals deposits in Canada and the United States. The Company’s objective is to acquire, develop and advance precious metal projects that demonstrate near term production potential and long term sustainable growth.
In the last 12 months Northern Vertex has successfully negotiated the acquisition of two US based properties that fit within its mandate and implememted a strategy designed to convert historical resource estimates into National Instrument 43-101 standards.
The Moss Gold-Silver Project in Arizona was acquired in March 2011. Since the acquisition, Northern Vertex has completed an extensive 27,000 foot drill program, which has resulted in the delineation of a substantial NI 43-101 compliant gold-silver resource. As a result of the success of the program, Baseline and Scoping studies have been initiated to fast-track the project towards its ultimate goal of gold-silver production.
The Company is targeting a low-cost heap leachable gold-silver resource at Moss in the order of one million ounces of gold equivalent. A recently released 43-101 Independent Resource Calculation conducted by the engineering firm Scott E. Wilson Consulting, Inc. pegs the total indicated and inferred resource at Moss at 590,400 Gold Equivalent ounces (483,792 indicated ounces and 106,628 inferred ounces.
Upcoming drilling on the western extension of the resource offers significant potential for even further resource expansion. This is an area where an extensive, previous surface sampling program by Northern Vertex returned promising gold-silver values extending an additional 1,135 feet on strike and beyond the current 43-101 resource.
A 25,000 foot drill program is now underway on the Project.
The Lemhi Gold-Silver Project in Idaho represents a milestone acquisition for the Company. Northern Vertex plans to mirror the success of the Moss program on Lemhi with a similar 30,000 foot infill drill and resource definition program to begin aggressively validating the property’s non-compliant historical gold resource.
The Lemhi Property has a historical non-compliant 43-101 resource of 32.36 million short tons at a grade of 0.0375 ounces per short ton for 1.21 million contained ounces of gold, as reported by Pincock Allen & Holt in 1996 (the “PAH Report”).
Northern Vertex and ISGC (the “JV Partners”) have agreed to an initial funding commitment totaling US$15 million that will cover the cost of the Acquisition and the initial work program in connection with the upcoming 30,000 foot drill program.
The Company’s Copley Gold property is situated in the emerging Nechako Plateau of Central British Columbia, Canada. The 2,926 hectare property, which contains a large gold-bearing epithermal system measuring 7 kilometers long x 2 kilometers wide, lies on trend to the recent Blackwater-Davidson bulk-tonnage discovery 40 km to the south.
A recent 1100 meter, 11 hole drilling program conducted on the Copley property was successful identifying several large gold bearing structures encountering significant gold intersections over a large area and promising gold values in 9 out of 11 holes.
Further to the news releases of March 28, April 19 and June 6, 2013, Northern Vertex Mining Corp. has now filed at SEDAR an amended preliminary economic assessment of its Moss mine gold-silver project dated June 18, 2013. The amended PEA is responsive to comments received from staff at the B.C. Securities Commission and is now compliant with NI 43-101 (disclosure standards for mineral projects). In particular, the amended PEA provides for:
- Enhanced disclosure of the qualifications of the responsible qualified persons who co-authored the report, as well as the addition of Robert Lambeth, PEng, to the QP team;
- Augmented information about the rationale for the channel-shaped trench open-pit model for the near-surface Moss vein stockwork system versus using underground mining methods to mine the deposit;
- Additional description of the geology of the Moss vein stockwork mineralized system to assist the reader further in assessing the open-pit mining model used in the report versus using underground mining methods;
- Further disclosure about the prior underground mining and its minimal effect on the estimated resource base;
- Additional information about the choice of a 0.3-gram-per-tonne cut-off for the resource estimates included in the PEA;
- Additional explanation of the oxide/non-oxide nature of the deposit and the influence of that on metallurgical recoveries;
- Further explanations of the extensive surface, and subsurface, geotechnical work carried out on the Moss mine rock structures;
- Effects of the approximately 2-per-cent net smelter return royalty on the Moss mine gold-silver project economics;
- Additional sensitivity analyses to show the effect of percentage changes in metals prices, capital costs and operating costs on the project's base-case economics;
- The inclusion of updated consensus price forecasts information as part of the $1,500-per-ounce-gold- and $30-per-cent-ounce-silver-price assumptions;
- Information about the tax structure in the jurisdiction in which mining would take place and recognition that while tax effects are not quantified, they will reduce project net present value and internal rate of return;
- A revised recommendation to increase drilling (and related assaying and reporting) from 2,200 to 3,700 metres at an approximate cost of an additional $442,000 ($904,000 total cost of drilling). The PEA conclusions are not dependent on the outcome of the drilling, which is designed with the goal of upgrading resources lying outside of the first two phases of the project.
The principal conclusions of the amended PEA are generally consistent with the original PEA, which are fully disclosed in the March 28, 2013, news release. The effects of the inclusion of the 2-per-cent net smelter return royalty reduce its net present value (100-per-cent ownership model) from the previously announced $110-million (pretax) to approximately $105-million (the internal rate of return is reduced from 118 per cent to 113 per cent). The amended PEA continues to recommend a pilot plant operation ($7.3-million capital and operating) along with the drilling referenced herein. Any revenue from the pilot plant will reduce the capital cost. This work would be followed by an NI 43-101-compliant report upon completion of the foregoing, which will analyze the results of the pilot operation and assess the risks of proceeding to the operational phase, which formed the basis of the economic assessment for which the previous conclusions were announced.
The company reiterates that the amended PEA is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves and that there is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized. The company also corrects and withdraws any reference to a minable resource. While that term was only intended to convey the portion of the resource potentially believed to be technically capable of being mined by the proposed method, it could have been confused with reserves.
Northern Vertex chief executive officer, Dick Whittington, PEng, commented on the amended PEA filing: "We were pleased to see that the principal conclusion of the original PEA remains intact, namely that the Moss mine gold-silver project appears to show the potential for positive economics even under some negative assumptions such as lower metals prices and higher capital and operating costs. We look forward to implementing the recommendations of the amended PEA and to work towards establishing a pilot operation to test the technical and economic assumptions, which form the basis of the report."