US gold producer i-80 Gold has reached a non-binding term sheet agreement with an arm’s-length third party to form a potential joint venture (JV) for its Ruby Hill gold and silver property in Eureka County, Nevada, US.

i-80 Gold has granted an exclusivity of 120 days, subject to an extension for another 60 days, for the potential partner.

This period will allow the partner to conclude metallurgical due diligence as well as negotiate definitive documents.

i-80 Gold will also carry out a drilling campaign during this time to gain more insight into the metallurgical traits of the property’s polymetallic base metal deposits. This work will be financed by the potential partner.

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By GlobalData

i-80 executive vice-president Matthew Gollat said: “Given the company’s extensive growth plan, which includes the development of multiple mining operations, securing an accretive partner to advance base metals in addition to gold mineralisation has been a priority in recent months.

“Upon closing, and the signing of definitive documentation, we expect to be in a position to immediately pursue underground development at Ruby Hill and advance to full feasibility on an expedited basis with a plan that will include the conversion of the Ruby Hill processing facility to floatation for base metal production and accelerate our ultimate goal of building a mid-tier Nevada-focused producer.”

As one of i-80’s core assets, the Ruby Hill property hosts both gold and polymetallic base metal deposits and remains open for expansion.

Once built, it is billed to be the company’s largest mining operation.

It is located within the Battle Mountain Trend in northern Nevada. The total indicated mineral resources at the project are 224.4 million tonnes (mt) at 0.54g/t of gold (Au), 14.3g/t of silver (Ag), 3,874 kilo-ounces (koz) Au and 103,335koz Ag.

The total inferred mineral resources are 162.7mt at 0.39g/t Au, 14.0g/t Ag, 2,062koz Au and 73,472koz Ag.