On September 7, 2021, i-80 GOLD CORP announced entry into definitive agreements to create a comprehensive Nevada mining complex through an asset exchange agreement to acquire certain processing infrastructure, including an autoclave, and the Lone Tree and Buffalo Mountain gold deposits from Nevada Gold Mines LLC (NGM) via an asset exchange. 

In the exchange, NGM will acquire i-80 Gold Corp’s 40% ownership in a South Arturo property to consolidate 100% ownership of South Arturo in NGM, reportedly providing NGM with the flexibility to pursue potential operational synergies with its other Nevada properties. 

I-80 Gold Corp states that the exchange secures the ability to process all types of gold-bearing mineralization at the centrally located Lone Tree processing facility located along Interstate 80, once the “necessary refurbishment” of the facility is completed. 

The Lone Tree facility includes an autoclave, carbon-in-leach (CIL) mill, flotation plant and heap leach facility located approximately 34 miles southeast of Winnemucca.  

“This is a win-win transaction for both Nevada Gold Mines and i-80” said Greg Walker, Executive Managing Director of NGM. “Through the acquisition of Lone Tree, an asset not being utilized by NGM has become a transformational asset for i-80. In return, NGM’s acquisition of i-80’s 40% of the South Arturo Joint Venture secures additional ounces with both open-pit and underground optionality for our Carlin operation. We are excited for the opportunities and growth this deal will bring to both parties which will strengthen the mining industry in Nevada providing benefits for all.”

NGM employees at Lone Tree were reportedly sent an email from Phoenix & Lone Tree NGM General Manager Megan Tibbals stating that employees would be contacted by i-80 representatives regarding employment opportunities and those who do not transition to employment with i-80 will have the opportunity to determine further employment with NGM in other areas. 

The agreement includes an option for i-80 Gold to acquire the adjacent Rodeo Creek Exploration property, contingent consideration of up to $50 million based on production from the Lone Tree property and arrangement substitute bonding (and release of NGM bonds) in respect of the Lone Tree and Buffalo Mountain reclamation obligations at closing. 

I-80 Gold has also entered into an agreement to acquire the Ruby Hill Mine from affiliates of Waterton Global Resource Management.

A press release reports that i-80 will produce gold from the Ruby Hill open pit and residual leaching at Lone Tree. 

The Lone Tree property is currently on care and maintenance, with infrastructure to be utilized by i-80 and the ability for exploration and production/mining of the site’s mineral resources. 

The exchange transaction has an effective date of June 1, 2021. 

The full i-80 GOLD CORP press release containing all figures and property resources and specs can be found online at https://www.i80gold.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/September-7-2021-LTree-RHill.pdf.