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"Idaho is the new Nevada"

Hugh Agro likes to talk about a revival in the fortunes of not only Idaho’s mining industry, but America’s mid-tier gold sector.
"Idaho is the new Nevada" "Idaho is the new Nevada" "Idaho is the new Nevada" "Idaho is the new Nevada" "Idaho is the new Nevada"

Revival Gold will soon have three drill rigs working at Beartrack-Arnett in Idaho after securing Arnett permits

VanEck's Joe Foster said at last week's Beaver Creek Precious Metals Summit that Australia's successful mid-tier gold regeneration could be repeated in North America in an improved gold and equity market.

Agro says he came out of semi-retirement to lead Revival Gold. The company wants to use the best modern exploration and metallurgical knowledge and methods to reboot the Beartrack-Arnett area, near Salmon in central Idaho, as a gold production centre. Agro gave an update on progress at the Beaver Creek Summit and told Mining Journal the company's longer-term vision was to build a "growth company in gold", with a focus on the US and Canada.

The former Kinross Gold executive vice-president, and the rest of Revival's high-calibre management group that includes chair Diane Garrett, former Meridian Beartrack site manager Pete Blakeley, and experienced geologist Steve Preiesmeyer, have been down that path before.

Agro said a widening gap between global gold production and reserve replenishment via new discoveries meant significant, quality finds would be accorded premium values by markets and big producers facing faster reserve depletion.

Idaho, like Nevada, was a high-ranking jurisdiction with well-documented geological prospectivity and a number of significant historic gold, silver, copper and other metal production centres.

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But in the 2000s global mining investment boom, "everybody went to Nevada, not Idaho".

"We're working in a mining-friendly part of a mining-friendly state," Agro said.

Beartrack produced 600,000oz of gold in the 1990s from low-grade oxides and with Arnett has at least 2.4Moz of known resources and lots of exploration potential along relatively lightly explored but apparent lines of strike.

Revival is set to add a third drill rig at the properties to start a 2,000m core drilling program at Arnett, where it is waiting on final permits for unpatented ground to establish 52 drill pads. It is also working its way through 8,000m of core drilling at Beartrack and recently reported 100m-plus intersections of 1.4-1.9gpt mineralisation below previous resource boundaries.

The company currently has budgeted about C$5.5 million for drilling this year, meaning it will be in the market for equity funds in the not too distant future.

In the meantime, though, Agro is confident of further strong drill results and a resource update that will reaffirm the Beartrack-Arnett area's potential as a long-term production hub.