The 5,617 hectare (13,879 acre) Mineral Ridge property is located ~6 km northwest of the town of Silver ePeak and 56 km southwest of Tonopah in Esmeralda County, Nevada. Scorpio Gold holds a 100% interest in the project.
Prior to Scorpio Gold's acquisition in March 2010, Mineral Ridge historically produced ~575,000 ounces of gold, including ~170,000 ounces from open pit and ~405,000 ounces from underground mining operations. Upon acquiring its interest, the Company commenced major site rehabilitation to bring the project to a fully operational status. Pre-production mining commenced in the Drinkwater pit on May 31, 2011 and the Company achieved commercial production status effective January 1, 2012.
Mineral Ridge is a conventional open pit heap leaching operation. Gold and silver bearing solution from the leach pad is collected in the pregnant pond and processed through carbon columns in the ADR plant for recovery of the precious metals from leachate on carbon. Loaded carbon is shipped to Metals Research in Kimberley, Idaho for processing into doré. The doré bars are then delivered to the Royal Canadian Mint's refinery in Ottawa for further refining of the precious metals into separate 99.9% pure gold and silver bars.
Mining was suspended at Mineral Ridge in early November 2017. On January 4, 2018, the Company announced an updated feasibility study outlining positive economics for processing the residual heap leach material and mining of higher-grade mineralization in the existing pits. The study provides ~7.5 years of additional mine life at Mineral Ridge and 250,500 oz. life of project gold sold at a total cash cost of US$805/oz. The Company is pursuing financing for the construction of a 4,000 TPD milling facility with CIL recovery and dry stack tailings circuit.