The resource, comprising 4.3Moz indicated and 7.5Moz inferred, is the first consolidated resource since the company consolidated the Tower property package last year having obtained the Garrison deposit from O3 Mining. Individual economic studies on Garrison and Golden Highway resulted in aggregate production of about 200,000oz per year.
"We are now probably the largest undeveloped gold project in Canada and it is in a great location, in the Timmins camp where over 85Moz have been produced over the last 100 years," said O'Conner.
Despite increasing interest from gold producers, Moneta is looking to advance the project on its own and is beefing-up its technical team as it advances its PEA to determine a development scenario within the company's capabilities.
"We are fully capable of advancing the project on our own. We are building our project delivery team and will have more key hires to make over the coming months. We are looking at saying we can develop this on our own and that this company can take it through development. We are not going to go for the smallest option, but for something which realistically develops the project in the manner it should be, but we're not going to be looking at the largest net present value scenario, which may not be the best way to develop the project," said O'Conner.
O'Conner believes incorporating a higher gold price will account for some, but not all of the inflationary pressures being seen. "The previous Garrison project was done at US$1,450 /oz gold so we will be using a higher gold price with which will offset a lot of the cost increases, but possibly not all. Remember, the two previous studies were very robust so we think we have more than enough to cover any possible costs increases," he said.
Moneta believes there are more resources yet to discover at the project and while the majority of the 70,000m drill programme underway is infill drilling to upgrade the resources, a small component is testing new targets outside of the current resource. "We will keep a pipeline of projects and a flow of exploration results, but our main focus and the majority of our drilling will all will be used for resource upgrade drilling. We have already started our pre-feasibility drilling to upgrade our resources from inferred to indicated," said O'Conner.
Shares in Moneta Gold are trading at C$2.22, valuing the company at C$211 million.