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Newmont designates Astro for option

Evrim Resources (TSXV: EVM) says US$1.2 million for summer exploration has been planned for its Astro project, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, which a Newmont Mining subsidiary has designated for option.
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The Astro project

Staff reporter

The Astro project is part of a broader 23, area along the Yukon/NWT border which is subject to a two-year exploration alliance struck in July 2017 between the partnership-focused explorer and the gold major.

"The designation of the Astro project has met the alliance's original goal; generating quality greenfield targets in terranes favourable for large scale gold deposits," Evrim president and CEO Paddy Nicol said.

Under the alliance, Newmont may elect to earn an 80% interest in a designated project by making staged cash payments totalling $600,000 and solely funding exploration until it has defined a prefeasibility study on a minimum 2 million ounce resource over a 10-year period.

The pair could then form a 20:80 joint venture, or Evrim could elect to have Newmont fund a feasibility study and reduce its interest to 15%.

Evrim said it would remain the operator during the first $5 million spent on exploration.

It said in January that Astro was the result of the successful, two-year $1.8 million alliance and in anticipation of Newmont designating the project for option, the pair had started permitting for the summer drilling programme.

Yesterday Nicol said the permitting process was "well underway" and they looked forward to the engagement of the local community within the Sahtu region.

Evrim had reported sampling in January of 18m grading 11.6g/t gold from Astro's Radio prospect, and chip sampling of 4.68g/t over 7.5m at the Microwave prospect.

Newmont and Evrim struck their first exploration alliance in 2012 and Newmont Canada made a strategic C$7.27 million investment in Evrim in August to further exploration at its Cuale gold project in Mexico.

Evrim shares plunged from C$1.23 in early December to a 52-week low of 27c after reporting "significantly less" gold grades from initial drilling at Cuale, compared with earlier trenching results from Cuale's La Gloria.

Evrim also has an exploration alliance with a Yamana Gold subsidiary in the US, and joint ventures in Mexico with Coeur Mining and Harvest Gold.

Newmont meanwhile is fending off an "egocentric" bid from rival Barrick Gold and is pushing ahead with its previously-announced merger with Goldcorp. 

Evrim shares closed 1c higher at 34c yesterday to capitalise it at $28.7 million.