Nexus Uranium has increased its stake in the Independence gold project in Nevada, US to 51.11%, after joint venture partner Americas Gold Exploration Inc. (AGEI) failed to adhere to a payment timeline.

The move comes following AGEI’s failure to contribute to the Q1/24 cash call for ongoing project expenditures.

Located in Battle Mountain mining district of Northern Nevada, the Independence gold project falls entirely within the Phoenix mine’s permitted plan of operations, managed by Nevada Gold Mines, a joint venture between Barrick Gold (61.5%) and Newmont (38.5%).

The Independence project hosts a measured and indicated (M&I) resource of 334,300oz of gold across 28Mt at 0.41 g/t, alongside an inferred resource of 847,000oz of gold from 9Mt at 3.22 g/t.

These figures include a considerable silver credit.

A 2022 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Independence project proposed a low-cost heap leach operation targeting the near-surface gold resource.

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This PEA estimated a total gold production at 195,443oz with an all-in sustaining cost of $1,078 per oz.

The economic projections in the PEA were based on a gold price of $1,700 per oz, resulting in a net present value (NPV) at a 5% discount rate of $17.6m and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 18%.

Besides, the assessment highlighted the project’s sensitivity to gold prices, showing a potential NPV of $59.6m and an IRR of 35.9% with gold at $2,125 per oz, which is below the current spot price of $2,385 per oz.

Nexus Uranium CEO Jeremy Poirier said: “With the recently announced granting of water rights coupled with the robust gold price, the Independence gold project represents an attractive opportunity for the development of a low-cost heap-leach operation.

“We are happy to fund our partners nominal share of development costs in exchange for the accretion in project ownership as we continue to advance our evaluation of strategic alternatives for the project.

“This project represents one of a handful of low-cost, de-risked gold development opportunities in one of the premier gold mining jurisdictions in the world.”