Contango ORE, Inc. (NYSE-A: CTGO) owns a 30% interest in the high grade Manh Choh open pit gold mine located in Alaska in partnership with Kinross Gold Corporation - The Peak Gold, LLC (Kinross 70% and Contango 30% with Kinross as Manager and Operator). Ore from Manh Choh is being transported along year-round State maintained highways and then processed at Kinross' existing Fort Knox mill complex located near Fairbanks, Alaska. The use of the Fort Knox mill has accelerated the development of the project and resulted in significantly reduced upfront capital development costs, a smaller environmental footprint, a shorter permitting and development timeline, and less overall risk for the project.
Peak Gold LLC has had a mining lease since 2008 on 675,000 acres of private lands owned by the Tetlin Tribe and administered by the Tetlin Tribal Council. The Manh Choh project has received all Federal and State permits and mining operations are underway with ore currently being stockpiled at the Mahn Choh site and transported by highway ore haul trucks to a stockpile area at the Fort Knox mill complex. Peak Gold LLC expects to build a roughly 250,000 ton stockpile and then start processing the stockpiled ore later in 2024. Annual gold production is expected to be 225,000 ounces per year with 30% or approximately 67,500 ounces credited to Contango’s account. According to the Feasibility Study Technical Report (2022), All-In Sustaining Costs (AISC) are expected be of $1,116/GEO (Gold Equivalent Ounce), meaning at current gold prices the Company will generate over $50 million in free cash flow annually and with less than 10 million shares O/S, equates to $5/share of free cash flow.
The Company will also continue to work on it’s second 100% owned Lucky Shot project on the road system just north of Anchorage, Alaska. In 2023, Contango released an initial SK-1300 resource outlining 105,000 ounces of gold with Indicated grade of 14.5 g/t (0.46 oz.ton). Drilling from surface and underground is on-going to continue to explore the down-dip extension of the historically mined high-grade Lucky Shot vein, with the goal to develop enough ounces to outline 300,000 to 400,000 ounces with a viable mine plan by 2026. Lucky Shot is a fully permitted mine site.
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