US-based Vista Gold has secured Mining Management Plan (MMP) approval from the Northern Territory (NT) Government for the Mt Todd gold project in Australia.

Claimed to be the biggest undeveloped gold resource in Australia, the Mt Todd gold project is located around 290km from Darwin, situated on the early Proterozoic Pine Creek Geosyncline (PCG).

The approval marks the final major authorisation required for the mine development and a significant de-risking milestone for the company.

Vista president and CEO Frederick H Earnest said: “We believe the approval of the MMP distinguishes Mt Todd as an attractive, de-risked, and partner-ready development-stage gold project highlighted by a large-scale production design, low expected operating costs, mining-friendly jurisdiction, substantial existing infrastructure, strong social and government support, and all major authorisations in hand.

“At a gold price of $1,900 and a foreign exchange rate of $0.775=A$1.00, the after-tax NPV5% is estimated to be $1.7 billion with an after-tax IRR of more than 38.8%. We are committed to realising the full value of Mt Todd for our shareholders.”

The project has received a Commonwealth environmental permit from the Australian Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy in January 2018.

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The Mt Todd mine is estimated to contain more than 7.8Moz gold resources with significant deposit and potential for district exploration expansion.

As per estimates, the project produces 4.96Moz of gold through its mine life of 13 years. It is expected to have a throughput rate of 50,000 tonnes per day (tpd).

The mine is expected to create approximately 450 jobs during the construction phase and 350 jobs once it becomes operational.