Timberline Resources has put together an impressive land package in Nevada (South Eureka, some 23 sq miles) with their flagship Lookout Mountain Gold Project being the jewel in the crown, in addition to the company's 50% carried-to-production interest in the Butte Highlands Joint Venture Gold Project in Montana (and a few other choice projects in North America). Today the company announced that the required water discharge permit application for Butte Highlands has been substantially completed with MDEQ's (Montana Department of Environmental Quality) issuance of a formal notification.
Really nice turnaround for a March submission (June amendments), showing strong receptivity to the project by local government, with the MPDES Permit (Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) signifying TLR's compliance with all relevant water point source discharge regulations. Today's notification is a good indicator that the permit will be in-hand by year's end and this places TLR firmly on-schedule for gold production at Butte Highlands by mid-2013 as final permitting is settled.
CEO of TLR, Paul Dircksen, commended the entire deployment team for their hard work since the company assumed day-to-day operational overwatch earlier in the year. It has been strenuous work moving towards full permitting (and site infrastructure set up), including the water discharge permit, but Dircksen was very proud of everyone for making it happen (the water discharge solution should fully support operations). Dircksen also pointed to the ongoing work being done gathering data for the Hard Rock Operating Permit application and assured shareholders that matters were well in-hand to maintain course for production at Butte Highlands.
This will add a huge boost to TLR's production ceiling and add a second major footprint alongside the company's flagship South Eureka/Lookout Mountain (NI 43-101 resource estimate of 286k oz Au measured and indicated from 12.4M tons at 0.73 g/t) down in the goldfields of Nevada. Management is eager to hammer out the final details of permitting and has aggressively mustered the requisite ancillary hardware (jumbo drills, bolters, trucks, loaders, generators, and a cement plant) and site logistics (shops, offices, personnel facilities, and the water discharge settling ponds) in anticipation of hitting the ground running at Butte Highlands next year.
Exceptionally well done geological analysis has mapped out a large mineralized structure and projections of 4-500 tons per day (grade expected to average 9-10 g/t Au with 88% recovery at milling, 750k oz Au estimated resource from historic) for the first four years of production is assumed. A nearby toll milling facility will handle output from the mine and the area is very well developed overall for this activity, as the main site is just 15 miles south of the city of Butte. An 86-hole underground drill program engineered to map out the first several years of production (looking at the upper part of the mineralized structure) shows such attractive intervals as 33.46 feet at 56.5 g/t Au (including 4.97 feet at a whopping 358 g/t Au). The 53k-foot drilling program was completed in 2011 and the company has also done some 4,000 feet of underground workings to go along with it, which, taken into consideration alongside the completed above-ground facilities, makes the Butte Highlands operation look like a coiled spring that's ready to bounce.
With TLR's 50% JV Partner (Highland Mining, LLC which formed Butte Highlands JV, LLC alongside TLR for the sole expressed purpose of exploiting the resource at Butte Highlands) funding all developments costs and TLR's own costs paid out from future mining proceeds, it is an extremely nice opportunity for shareholder return growth.
The entire site is in an exceptional geological district that has played host to many multi-million ounce gold desists (Golden Sunlight, Montana Tunnels, and Virginia City to name a few), a trait shared by TLR's Nevada project as well, something that should tell investors TLR doesn't just swing for the fences, they know how to hit the ball, they know the pitcher, and they know the game itself. Mining is a tough business, and it takes a company as serious about the costs and difficulties to produce, as the rewards.
For more information on Timberline Resources Corp., please visit the company's website at: TimberlineResources.com
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