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Scorpio: Heap leach material processing to add 5 years to Mineral Ridge life

Scorpio Gold Corp.'s feasibility study to reprocess the heap leach residual material at its 70%-owned Mineral Ridge gold-silver property in Nevada estimated that the project will add five years of additional mine life.

The "economically positive" study was aimed at recovering some of the 122,000 ounces of gold resources contained on the heap leach pad, the company wrote Oct. 10.

The study estimated a net present value, discounted at 5%, of US$16.5 million for the project, with a 22.5% internal rate of return and 2.9-year payback period from the end of construction.

The life-of-mine sales from the project are expected to be 106,000 ounces of gold. The average annual sales are estimated at 22,600 ounces of gold and 5,900 ounces of silver.

The initial capital expenditure was estimated at US$34.9 million, with total cash costs of US$716.54 per ounce.

Meanwhile, Scorpio is proceeding with a third-party analysis of its other known mineral resources, which is expected to add additional reserves and further extend the mine life for Mineral Ridge.

Elevon LLC holds a 30% joint venture interest in the project.