DENVER, June 21 /CNW/ -- Vista Gold Corp. (Amex: VGZ; TSX: VGZ) ("Vista")
is pleased to announce the results of an updated pre-feasibility study for the
Paredones Amarillos gold project in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Vista
undertook this study to confirm favorable project economics in light of the
severe cost inflation which has occurred in the mining sector over the past
few years, and in anticipation of making more significant expenditures on the
project in 2007. The pre-feasibility study was originally completed for Vista
on September 26, 2005, by Mine Development Associates (MDA) of Reno, Nevada,
an independent consulting firm, in accordance with Canadian National
Instrument 43-101 guidelines, under the supervision of Mr. Neil Prenn, P.
Eng., a qualified person, as previously disclosed by Vista in a press release
dated September 26, 2005. MDA was assisted in the study by Resource
Development Incorporated (RDi) of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, in metallurgical
testing, process redesign, and processing cost estimation, and by WLR
Consulting (WLR) of Lakewood, Colorado, in mine design. The pre-feasibility
study technical report entitled "Technical Report, Paredones Amarillos
Project, Baja California Sur, Mexico" dated September 23, 2005, is available
on SEDAR. The current pre-feasibility study prepared for Vista reflects
mid-2007 costs and economic parameters and was completed on June 20, 2007,
under the direction of Mr. Prenn, P. Eng. of MDA, with assistance from RDi.
Proven and probable mineral reserves, as reported in the September 26,
2005, press release, were determined in 2005 within a proposed open pit mine,
which was designed employing a Lerchs-Grossmann optimization technique based
on U.S. $400 per ounce gold price and costs prevailing in 2005. The updated
study concluded that the mineral reserves are appropriate as the effects of
cost inflation are more than offset by higher gold prices. The results, which
have not been modified since 2005, are summarized in the following table.
Paredones Amarillos Mineral Reserve Estimate*
(0.38 g/t gold internal cutoff grade)
Classification Gold Grade Waste
Tonnes (Fire Assay Contained Tonnes Strip Ratio
(000's) g/t) Gold Ounces (000's) (Waste: Ore)
Proven(1) 11,699 1.11 419,000 -NA- -NA-
Probable(1) 37,247 0.97 1,158,000 -NA- -NA-
Totals(1) 48,946 1.00 1,577,000 170,292 3.48
* No dilution factor was applied to the mineral reserves estimated from
the block model and a 100% resource recovery factor was used.
(1) Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors concerning estimates of Proven and
Probable Reserves: The estimates of mineral reserves shown in this
table have been prepared in accordance with Canadian National
Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"). The definitions of proven and
probable reserves used in NI 43-101 differ from the definitions in
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Industry Guide 7.
Accordingly, Vista's disclosure of mineral reserves herein may not be
comparable to information from U.S. companies subject to the reporting
and disclosure requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange
The current updated study and the study in 2005 examined the technical
and economic feasibility of developing the mineral reserve. Two alternatives
were studied, a base case and an alternative with a shorter life but
generating a higher return on investment. Both projects would employ an
11,000 tonne/day flotation/leach plant.
The base case would produce an average production of 113,000 ounces per
year over a 12.5 year production life, at an average production cost of U.S.
$10.39 per tonne or U.S. $358 per ounce. The pre-production capital costs are
estimated to be U.S. $110 million and at a U.S. $550 per ounce gold price, the
return on investment is estimated at 12.5%. At current gold prices of around
U.S. $650 per ounce, the return on investment is estimated at 23.8% and net
cash flow generated is estimated at U.S. $284 million on a pre-tax basis. The
study also indicated the net cash flow on a pre-tax basis could increase by
U.S. $55.5 million with an increase in gold price of U.S. $50 per ounce.
The alternative case which considered the development of a subset of the
reserves (34.1 million tonnes compared to the total reserve of 48.9 million
tonnes) would produce an average production of 117,000 ounces per year over a
9.5 year production life. The pre-production capital costs are estimated to
be U.S. $108 million and production costs estimated to be U.S. $334 per ounce
and the project would generate an estimated 17.4% return on investment at a
gold price of U.S. $550 per ounce. At current prices of around U.S. $650 per
ounce of gold, the return is estimated at 31.1% and the net cash flow
generated is estimated at U.S. $236 million on a pre-tax basis.
No known environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation,
socio-economic, marketing, political or other issues are expected to
materially affect the mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates.
Mike Richings, President and CEO, commented, "While costs have increased
in the two years since the original study was prepared, these increases have
been more than offset by the gold price increase. We believe that the results
of the study are clearly favorable and give us the necessary encouragement to
continue our investments on the project to complete a bankable feasibility
study over the next 12 months."
Richings continued, "The potential pre-tax net cash flow generated by
this project is significant at current gold prices. The implied potential
value at Paredones Amarillos, together with the value of Vista's other
projects including Mt. Todd and Yellow Pine, and considering other factors,
would appear to support our goal of achieving a higher share price for VGZ."
The resource model used to estimate the mineral reserves was originally
reported by Vista in a press release dated August 29, 2002, based on an
independent technical report entitled "Technical Report for the Paredones
Amarillos Project" dated August 20, 2002, prepared by Snowden Mining Industry
Consultants of Vancouver, British Columbia, in compliance with Canadian
National Instrument 43-101. In connection with the pre-feasibility study and
the updated pre-feasibility study, Mr. Prenn, P. Eng. of MDA is of the opinion
that it is reasonable to rely on this resource model for the purposes of the
mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates. The mineral resources have
been estimated using a three-dimensional block model and ordinary kriging. No
additional drilling or sampling has occurred in the resource area since the
mineral resource estimate was first completed in August of 2002. The mineral
resource estimate above a 0.5 grams gold per tonne cut-off at the Paredones
Amarillos Project is summarized below:
Paredones Amarillos Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource Estimate
(0.5 g/t gold cutoff)
Classification Tonnes Gold Grade Contained
(000's) (Fire Assay g/t) Gold Ounces
Measured resources(1) 11,498 1.17 431,000
Indicated resources(1) 44,170 1.02 1,451,000
Total measured and
resources(1)(2) 55,668 1.05 1,882,000
(1) Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors concerning estimates of Measured and
Indicated Resources: This table uses the terms "measured resources"
and "indicated resources". We advise U.S. investors that while these
terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize them. U.S.
investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral
deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves.
Mineral resources that are not "mineral reserves" do not have
demonstrated economic viability.
(2) Mineral reserves are included in this mineral resource estimate.
Paredones Amarillos Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate
(0.5 g/t gold cutoff)
Classification Tonnes Gold Grade Contained
(000's) (Fire Assay g/t) Gold Ounces
Inferred resources(1) 5,495 0.79 140,000
(1) Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors concerning estimates of Inferred
Resources: This table uses the term "inferred resources". We advise
U.S. investors that while this term is recognized and required by
Canadian regulations, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does
not recognize it. "Inferred resources" have a great amount of
uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their
economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any
part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher
category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral
resources may not form the basis of feasibility or prefeasibility
studies. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or
all of an inferred resource exists or is economically or legally
Mr. Prenn, P. Eng. of MDA, an independent qualified person supervised the
preparation of the technical information in this press release.
Since 2001, Vista has acquired a number of discovered gold projects with
the expectation that higher gold prices would significantly increase their
value. As gold prices have risen, Vista has completed various preliminary
economic evaluations with encouraging results on some of the projects at
today's gold prices, and these projects warrant further study. Currently,
Vista is undertaking technical programs to bring the most advanced projects to
the point where decisions can be made to put these projects into production,
either by Vista, or through sale or joint venture to other mining companies.
Vista's holdings include the Paredones Amarillos and Guadalupe de los Reyes
Projects in Mexico, Mt. Todd Project in Australia, Yellow Pine Project in
Idaho, Awak Mas Project in Indonesia, Long Valley Project in California, and
the Amayapampa Project in Bolivia.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this
press release that address activities, events or developments that Vista
expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including such things
as future business strategy, competitive strengths, goals, operations, plans
and other such matters are forward-looking statements. When used in this
press release, the words "estimate", "plan", "anticipate", "expect", "intend",
"believe" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking
statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties
and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or
achievements of Vista to be materially different from any future results,
performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking
statements. Such factors include, among others, risks that Vista's
acquisition, exploration and property advancement efforts will not be
successful; risks relating to fluctuations in the price of gold; the
inherently hazardous nature of mining-related activities; uncertainties
concerning reserve and resource estimates; potential effects on Vista's
operations of environmental regulations in the countries in which it operates;
risks due to legal proceedings; risks relating to political and economic
instability in certain countries in which it operates; and uncertainty of
being able to raise capital on favorable terms or at all; as well as those
factors discussed in Vista's latest Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly
Report on Form 10-Q and other documents filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. Although Vista has attempted to identify important
factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause
results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no
assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and
future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such
statements. Vista assumes no obligation to publicly update any
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise.
For further information, please contact Mike Richings or Connie Martinez
at (720) 981-1185, or visit the Vista Gold Corp. website at
For further information:
For further information: Mike Richings or Connie Martinez,
+1-720-981-1185, both for Vista Gold Corp. Web Site: http://www.vistagold.com