ADELLA HARDING Mining Correspondent
CHEYENNE, Wyo.– According to the company’s chairman and co-founder, Luke Norman, US Gold Corp.’s CK Gold project.
He said the project is “very clean”, has the potential to become a water reservoir for the town of Cheyenne after mining ends, has the potential to become a global operation in the future as as another source of revenue and will provide royalty revenue to the state designated for education.
The State of Wyoming owns the mineral rights for the CK Gold Project site, and the State would receive a 5% royalty on production.
The gold and copper ore deposit starts on the surface, which Norman says is another good point, as the first haul trucks from the new mine would haul ore, not waste rock.
People also read…
“It was key to the economic viability of the mine,” he said.
The mine located about 20 miles west of Cheyenne would also have economic benefits for the Cheyenne region and provide about 150 to 200 permanent jobs. The company opened an office in the city in early 2021 and reached out to the community.
Norman said the Martin Marietta aggregate mining a few miles south of CK is an example of what the CK gold project could do because “the waste rock is actually high-grade aggregate,” but he said that “we will jump one hurdle at a time.”
Norman said permit applications would be filed with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality at any time.
Keith Guille, the DEQ’s outreach program manager, said that “once applications are deemed acceptable,” the agency will issue public notices explaining what will happen and how to comment.
One provision will allow through the Wyoming Industrial Siting Council, which reviews community impacts around proposed projects that cost more than $253.88 million, he said.
Kyle Wendtland, administrator of DEQ’s Land Quality Division, said his division will be involved when US Gold files a mining permit.
Plans call for open pit mining at the CK Gold Project site, crushing the ore, producing concentrate through an on-site flotation system, and shipping the concentrate to a smelter, such as the Brigham Canyon Mine. of Rio Tinto near Salt Lake City.
“It’s a very simple type of mine,” Norman said. “That’s the key. We won’t have cyanide or chimneys. We will be a very carbon friendly operation.
Kevin Francis, vice president of exploration and technical services, said plans call for nine trucks per day to haul the concentrate in large bulk bags.
He said the water will be “pushed out of the waste material so it can be used” and the dry, piled up residue will be salvaged for grazing.
When US Gold formed, “we were primarily focused as an exploration company in Nevada,” Norman said, and the company’s focus then was to explore the Keystone property in Eureka County. Now the focus has shifted to the CK gold project, and he said no drilling is planned in Nevada this season.
US Gold also owns the Maggie Creek exploration project on the Carlin Trend and the Challis exploration project in Idaho.
Initially, US Gold was considering selling CK, then called Copper Canyon, to “use that money for exploration at Keystone”, he said, explaining that the company was concerned about the proximity of the Copper King site. with the Curt Gowdy State Park recreation site. and the lower ore grades of the deposit.
Norman said George Bee, who was once managing director of Goldstrike Mine in Nevada and is now president and CEO of US Gold, was brought in to do a “deep dive” on the project,” and he said that you’re crazy to let go of the asset. It could be a real cash cow.
US Gold then agreed to refocus on project development at Copper King and renamed the project CK Gold Project. Bee joined US Gold in 2020 “and really took the bull by the horns,” beginning pre-feasibility study and confirmatory drilling, Norman said.
Bee then “allayed concerns” about whether US Gold might license the project, Norman said.
Bee said in an interview at Cheyenne’s office that he was “very optimistic” about the CK Gold project.
“We believe this is not only a benefit to our stakeholders and the future of the business, but we believe it will be a benefit to the community and a lasting impact on the infrastructure.”
The company has begun talks with the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities about the possibility of the CK open pit mine becoming a reservoir for the city’s water system once mining is complete.
“I would say we’re at least close to a potential and viable option,” Norman said.
According to the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities website, 70% of the city’s water supply comes from the mountains west of the city, with the rest coming from wells.
In the first part of the system, the Board of Public Utilities collects water from streams west of the Continental Divide and transports the water to the east side of the Continental Divide through a tunnel. Two reservoirs, Hog Park and Seminoe, store water until it is used for commercial purposes.
The system then exchanges water from Hog Park Reservoir and Seminoe Reservoir for water in Rob Roy Reservoir. Commerce exchanges water on the west side of the North Platte River watershed for water on the east side, the website says.
The system then transports water from Rob Roy to the Granite Springs and Crystal Reservoirs, and the water is gravity fed to the Medicine Bow Mountains, through the Laramie River Valley and the Laramie Mountains. Once at the top of the Laramie Mountains, the water flows by gravity to the granite and crystal reservoir.
Bee said US Gold began groundwork in September 2020, and “we believe we understand surface and ground water, wildlife, and air quality and we’ve captured weather data from the site to check the data points we have around the property”.
He said drilling in 2021 has been successfully completed to complement drilling done in 2020 to characterize hydrology and geotechnical features.
“We are not focused on further exploration at this stage. We have prioritized permits and development of initial reserves, but we have results from a few holes that confirm that we have extensions of the mineral deposit at depth and to the south of the current deposit.
Norman became chairman of the board of US Gold at the request of the board, having originally been one of the company’s founders. He replaced Bee as chairman, and Bee said in May that “Luke is a welcome addition to the board and provides exceptional capital markets experience at a time when CK Gold Project is rapidly progressing towards a ‘ready to go’ project. to start up “.”
Norman operated a consulting firm for the metals and mining industry, co-founded Gold Standard Ventures Corp., is president of Silver One Resources, which explores the historic Candelaria silver mine in Nevada, and is CEO of Leviathan Gold ltd.
He said US Gold’s board still includes former US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is running for the newly created second congressional seat in Montana and is expected to step down if elected. . Zinke joined the board in 2019.
“I’m very confident it will be a successful venture,” said Norman, who said in May when he became chairman that he had invested millions of his own money in US Gold.
Norman said, however, that the pre-feasibility study for the project used gold at $1,625 per ounce and copper at $3.25 per pound, so price changes in those commodities could affect the project.
Historical underground mine workings at the CK mining project site would likely be mined, Norman said. According to the history of the area, a well was dug in the 1880s and a mill and foundry were built but only operated for a short time.
Later owners included Hecla Mining Co., which mined the property probably in the 1930s, and several companies have drilled the property from the earliest days to the present day. ￼