The company is planning production of 71,000 ounces a year for eight years for an all-in sustaining cost of US$709 per ounces from an oxide heap leach operation at Hasbrouck requiring initial capex of $46 million. The project would yield an after-tax internal rate of return of 106% at the current gold price.
"The major shareholders will build Hasbrouck when is extremely compelling to do so and they don't think it is yet," Jones said.
"They are confident in future growth in the gold price and when it sets a new all-time secular high that may be a time. A price of $2,200/oz may be the trigger. They were talking about that six months ago and it sounded funny. Now it doesn't."
Jones ran the Sterling mine for six years, which is also in the Walker Lane Trend and is now owned by Coeur Mining. The company is in the process of permitting what will be the second pit.
"The first pit at Three Hills is permitted which will give us two and a bit years of production and the second pit permit for Hasbrouck is expected soon with a record of decision expected in the next few weeks," he said.
To minimise shareholder dilution, Jones is looking to sell a 1.1% net smelter return royalty on the project which the company recently got back from Newmont in exchange for some exploration ground it was interested in. "This royalty has a net present value of about $9 million so it makes sense to sell that and reduce the amount of equity we need to raise, given we are trading at 0.2 times net asset value. This is also strategic as a royalty deal would be high profile and a validation of the project," he said.
Shares in West Vault Mining are trading at C$1.90, valuing the company at $110 million.