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  • International Tower Hill expects pre-feasibility for Livengood by Q4, launches district-wide exploration 0 comments
    Jun 29, 2011 2:37 PM | about stocks: THM

    Vancouver-based International Tower Hill Mines (TSE:ITH) (AMEX:THM) said Wednesday that it continutes to expect  its pre-feasbility study on the Livengood gold project in Alaska in the fourth quarter, and is now working on updating the preliminary economic report, as well as embarking on a district-wide exploration program.

    To support these work programs, the company's board recently approved a budget of C$67 million for the year ending May 30, 2012.

    Since December 2010, when contracts were awarded for the pre-feasibility study, the company has made significant technical progress, including the completion of a preliminary surface mine slop evaluation, the near-completion of metallurgical testing and the start of plant design and engineering studies.

    The updated preliminary economic assessment will include the latest information from the project and will be based on a higher gold price of $1,500 per ounce, compared to the $950 per ouncen price used in the November 2010 report.

    Meanwhile, a district-wide exploration program began this month targeting potential new gold discoveries along the Livengood mineralized trend, both to the east-northeast and to the west of the existing Livengood gold deposit.

    Results from the drilling program and the geophysical survey are expected throughout the summer and fall of 2011, the company said.

    Analysts issued positive commentaries on the company's updates and progress thus far.

    RBC Capital Markets noted: "Although ITH is several years away from potential construction of its Livengood project, this year can be characterized by a number of important catalysts mentioned above, in addition to an updated resource estimate on the project set for the final quarter of 2011."

    Similarly, BMO's take was also bullish, noting that the update coincides with the equity research firm's own expectations. "ITH’s shares are trading at a 45% discount to our 0%NAV estimate of US$12.46/share using BMO Research’s metals price forecast," BMO Research noted in its report.

    In addition to these upcoming potential catalysts, the company has bolstered its Fairbanks, Alaska team with the addition of Rick Solie as community and government relations manager. Prior to joining International Tower Hill, Solie was the Director of Alaska Government and Community Affairs for Denali – The Alaska Gas Pipeline, and previously worked for ConocoPhillips.

    International Tower controls 100% of the 145 square kilometre Livengood land package, which is made up of fee land leased from the Alaska Mental Health Trust, as well as a number of smaller private mineral leases and 115 Alaska state mining claims.

    The latest resource estimate, as at the beginning of April, indicates 7.4 million ounces of gold in the measured category, 3.2 million ounces in the indicated category, and 2.7 million ounces of inferred resources, all at a 0.5 g/t gold cut off grade.

    Ongoing metallurgical studies have returned preliminary gold recoveries to a concentrate of between 78 to 89%.

    Themes: AMEX, TSX Stocks: THM
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