Otis Plans a New, January Kilgore Gold Estimate
By Ted Niles
Craig Lindsay couldn’t be happier with Otis Gold’s TSXV:OOO Kilgore project. But the good news has remained in-house. “We’ve been delayed in getting our resource estimate out,” the President and CEO says. Otis missed its July 2011 deadline, then its end-of-3Q 2011 deadline. “That’s had a bit of depressing effect on the stock,” he admits. But the third time’s the charm, as they say. Lindsay is confident an updated January Kilgour resource will lead to an improvement in Otis’ valuation relative to its Idaho peers.
“We’re trading at $15 an ounce, and [they're] trading at $60 an ounce,” Lindsay notes. “Our peers in Nevada are trading at $100 to $125 dollars an ounce in the ground on an adjusted market-cap basis. We’re very much undervalued, and I think one of the triggers to move us up to the next level is a new resource.”
Located in southeast Idaho’s Clark County, the Kilgore gold project comprises 162 federal mining claims totalling 1,315 hectares. Kilgore’s Mine Ridge and Dog Bone deposits currently have NI 43-101 resources of 218,000 ounces gold indicated and 269,000 ounces inferred. Kilgore’s previous owners include Placer Dome and Pegasus Gold, and it was developed by Echo Bay Mines (now a subsidiary of Kinross Gold TSX:K) between 1993 and 1996. While Echo Bay eventually abandoned Kilgore due to the then-low gold price, an internal engineering study estimated that the property had potential resources upwards of two million ounces. Testing by Echo Bay and Otis also suggests that the largely-oxide hosted deposit has particularly good metallurgy, with recovery rates running as high as 94%.
Between 2008—the year it acquired the project—and 2010, Otis drilled roughly 10,400 metres focusing mainly on the Mine Ridge deposit. In 2011, the company undertook a 9,320-metre drill program. Mine Ridge assays released December 9, 2011, include
- 1.05 grams per tonne gold over 48.8 metres
- 1.39 g/t over 15.2 metres
- 1.17 g/t over 10.7 metres
- 0.77 g/t over 21.3 metres
- 0.68 g/t over 30.5 metres
- 0.7 g/t over 39.6 metres
October 6, 2011, assays include
- 0.89 g/t over 118.8 metres (including 1.01 g/t over 97.5 metres)
- 0.89 g/t over 114.3 metres (including 1.1 g/t over 80.8 metres)
- 0.7 g/t over 50.3 metres (including 1.13 g/t over 18.3 metres)
- 0.88 g/t over 35 metres (including 1.03 g/t over 16.7 metres)
Lindsay comments, “We’re extremely pleased with the results from the Mine Ridge deposit. The results we issued [December 9] demonstrate the continuity of the deposit, that it continues to grow, and the fact that it’s open in every direction.”
With no debt and $1.5 million cash on hand, Otis plans a 10,000-metre drill campaign for 2012. Permitting is also a priority, and Lindsay hopes to begin environmental baseline studies. A preliminary economic assessment is intended, but a date for that has yet to be set.
It clearly is a production-type story. It has excellent metallurgy; it’s got a good solid grade; it’s very near surface and is very amenable to an open-pit heap-leach operation —Craig Lindsay
“We’re building up the project with production in mind,” Lindsay relates, “but the reality is that it is more likely that a third party is going to come in and take the thing over and put it into production. It clearly is a production-type story. It has excellent metallurgy; it’s got a good solid grade; it’s very near surface and is very amenable to an open-pit heap-leach operation.”
The project is located within 50 kilometres of an interstate highway and is accessible by road. “There’s power at the bottom of the hill, and there’s plenty of water on site,” Lindsay reports. He stresses that Idaho is particularly mining friendly, compared to some of its neighbours. “We’ve had a very favourable experience to date. We’ve turned around all of our drill programs in six weeks or less. We know people in Nevada who are taking 18 to 20 months to get drill permits. We’re in a good area from a permitting perspective because we’re not facing the challenges that many other companies do. There are no salmon-bearing streams running around our property; there’s a light population; and there are no First Nations concerns.”
Lindsay concludes, “We’re really pleased with what we have accomplished at Kilgore in the last three and a half years. We’ve hit on something like 62 of 68 drill holes; the deposit is open in every direction; we’ve got two other high-priority targets on the project. We have the capability to clearly move this into a multimillion ounce story.”
At press time, Otis Gold had 42.9 million shares trading $0.205 for a market cap of $8.8 million. The company’s other properties include the Buckhorn, Hai and Goldbug projects, all located in Idaho.