CEO Blog - December 19, 2011
Monday, December 19 2011 04:28
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Question: What is the status of the Air Quality Permit? Does this impact when we go into production?

Answer: Thank you for your question. This blog also updates my blog posted December 7, 2011.

We just moved into the final stage of the Air Quality Permit process. We understand, from the Bureau of Air Pollution Control of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), that our Air Quality Permit will be offered to public comment Wednesday. Official notice has been sent to local newspapers and a preliminary date for the Public Hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, January 26th..

The Air Quality Permit is the last major step in the regulatory approval process that enables final construction activities and the commencement of mining. The permit assures compliance with all engineering and environmental specifications applicable to our operation and, accordingly, we anticipate a smooth, final transition from public notice to public hearing to final issuance.

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This permit is required before we can construct the remaining components of our production system and production can commence. We have scheduled a complete set of prerequisite activities that can occur prior to construction. These are all currently in progress (for example, the completion of our new process solution pond, final design of the expanded Merrill Crowe and Metallurgical Lab, final Starter Pit Core Drill tests and Environmental Sampling in the Starter Pit Area) that will ensure an immediate transition to post-Air Quality Permit activities, including our new crushing facility, our new expanded Merrill Crowe processing facility and the final expansion on our Heap Leach and Process Solution Ponds. This allows for an efficient transition into a gold producing mine.

About eight weeks ago, we commenced construction on our new three-million+ gallon process solution pond. We have now completed the excavation and initial lining of this pond and we are currently installing the final layer. Construction remains on track for completion before year-end and the weather appears to be cooperating.

 

 I have included a short video here showing the recent work on the process pond.

Process Pond at American Flat (video by Scott Jolcover)

Once the Air Quality Permit is issued, the Company has approximately five months of remaining construction activities including land clearing, excavation and leveling, primarily associated with pre-stripping, mine preparation and stock piling, the installation of the crushing facility and installation of the expanded Merrill Crowe facility.

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American Flat Process Pond (photo taken 2011 Dec 19)

We are in a very exciting march towards production and we are enhancing our website to reflect this. We are adding to the Plant & Production area of our website, a “March to Production” section that will document our progress with photos, articles and video. Once the permit is received, activities will accelerate. We feel this new channel on the website will be informative for anyone interested in watching the journey towards our first of many, many pours.

Kindest regards,

Corrado De Gasperis
President and CEO