High gold prices spur activity at historic Sleeper Mine near Winnemucca
Nevada News Group
WINNEMUCCA, Nev. — Paramount Gold Nevada Corp. announced Dec. 8 that in response to higher gold prices, it has initiated a program to evaluate restarting the historic Sleeper Mine.
Paramount owns 100% interest in the Sleeper Gold Project, a former high-grade open pit gold producer located roughly 25 miles northwest of Winnemucca.
The famed Sleeper Mine was operated by AMAX Gold Inc. from 1986 until 1996, producing 1.66 million ounces of gold — at costs well below $400 per ounce — and 2.3 million ounces of silver during its life span.
The 38,300-acre property in Humboldt County currently hosts 3 million ounces of measured and indicated gold resources, according to Paramount, as well as nearly 1.5 million ounces of inferred gold resources and “a considerable silver resource.”
“Gold at current levels makes Sleeper a much more valuable asset,” Paramount CEO Rachel Goldman said in a Dec. 8 statement. “Located in one of the world’s best mining jurisdictions, with excellent infrastructure and access, as well as a sizable unexplored land package, we expect Sleeper to become an increasingly important part of the Paramount story moving forward.”
According to the company, the Sleeper program is multi-faceted: exploring to discover new, high-grade satellite deposits similar to the original Sleeper Mine, and developing a plan to exploit the existing resource based on an in depth re-interpretation of existing data and further work designed to upgrade the current resource.
Paramount’s recent exploration and engineering programs at the Sleeper Gold Project confirm a large, relatively low-grade surface resource of gold and silver, which is bulk mineable at a low cost, per the company.
A Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) was recently conducted to examine the potential of operating Sleeper in a lower gold price environment with low capital and operational costs; the study proposed a 30,000-tonne-per-day heap, leach-only operation with a low-strip ratio and quick payback period of 3.5 years.
Paramount has contracted Mine Development Associates of Reno, which will deploy a team of expert geologists, mining engineers, metallurgists and geophysicists to analyze datasets to identify prospective drill targets and define parameters of a prefeasibility or feasibility study.
Depending on timelines and various approvals, Paramount could being drilling priority targets in the first half of 2021.
“Our team has always been confident that the original Sleeper vein was not a unique occurrence,” Paramount President and Chief Operating Officer Glen Van Treek stated in a press release. “We look forward to the prospect of discovering a new ‘Sleeper type’ deposit and applying our extensive database and our understanding of the local geology to a bigger land package.
“We have acquired additional claims over the past years which have the right setting for range-and-basin deposits like the original Sleeper.”
Company VP Ed Pier says DC Logistics will move into its new North Valleys location in February and plans to increase its Reno workforce to 150-200 employees; pay rates will range from $17-$24 per hour.