"i-80 is unique in Nevada because, following the deal closing with NGM in mid-October 2021, we will be one of only three companies with processing capabilities for refractory ore types."

Ewan Downie


November 10, 2021

Can you briefly introduce i-80 Gold Corp (TSX: IAU, OTCQX: IAUCF)?

i-80 was created as a spin-out of Premier Gold Mines’ US assets in connection with the transaction whereby Equinox Gold acquired Premier in 2021. We currently trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange and our goal is to also trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

i-80 recently entered an asset exchange agreement to acquire certain processing infrastructure and the Lone Tree and Buffalo Mountain gold deposits from Nevada Gold Mines (NGM). Can you provide more details about these acquisitions?

In early September 2021, we announced that we had entered into definitive agreements with NGM to acquire the Lone Tree gold deposit, placed under care and maintenance by NGM, and the nearby Buffalo Mountain gold deposit, which is currently being permitted by NGM. Lone Tree was a producing mine, hosting substantial processing infrastructure, such as Nevada’s only fully permitted idle, under care and maintenance autoclave. Therefore, it was an important acquisition for us in our effort to become a standalone producer in the state, as most deposits are transitioning to liberate gold from the oxide mineralization into sulphides. NGM and First Majestic are the only companies in the state with processing infrastructure.

In exchange for these properties, NGM would receive the remaining 40% ownership from our joint venture in our South Arturo property, where they already owned 60%. This would consolidate 100% ownership of South Arturo in NGM, providing it with flexibility to pursue potential operational synergies with their other properties. We have also  entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Ruby Hill project from Waterton Global Resource Management. It is an operating open pit gold mine with substantial high grade underground potential, particularly since we are in the process of acquiring our own refract reward processing facility.

What is i-80 Gold Corp’s financing strategy to develop its portfolio?

i-80 possesses a strong balance sheet, reflected in the fact that we ended Q2 with over US$70 million in cash. NGM, as part of our whole arrangement, has agreed to take part in private placements, so they will own 9.9% interest in our company at closing, making them a fairly significant shareholder in i-80 Gold Corp. Therefore, they will contribute approximately US$15 million in cash. We also entered into a term sheet arrangement with New York-based Orion Mine Finance for an initial US$125 million in capital through mezzanine-type financing with an accordion feature that would allow us to take another US$100 million. This puts us in an excellent position to develop our projects.

What is i-80 Gold Corp’s approach to ESG?

We have always participated in developing local communities. Premier Gold received numerous environmental and social awards throughout its history for its interaction with local communities, which we continue under i-80. We have been a company with multiple successfully permitted projects in the US, Mexico and Canada, which speaks of our ability to gain our social license to operate. For example, during the permitting process of a mine in western Ontario, we ensured we had the full support of First Nation communities. We also met with the communities of Eureka in Nevada to request their support for the Ruby Hill project and we are also reaching out to aboriginal communities. It is crucial for companies to obtain the social license to operate and we ensure we do across all our operations.

What will be i-80 Gold Corp’s key priorities in the next year?

i-80 is unique in Nevada because, following the deal closing with NGM in mid-October 2021, we will be one of only three companies with processing capabilities for refractory ore types. A company's ability to operate in Nevada for the long term will depend on having processing facilities. It will also become more difficult to get the permits to build processing facilities as ESG conditions become stricter. Therefore, having these facilities grants us a competitive advantage in the state.

We are aggressively drilling on multiple projects and we have a growth profile through our existing and mostly fully-permitted assets. In our peer group, we offer the best growth profile that you will find from a small company with the potential to become a significant mid-tier producer. Our goal is to become the second-biggest producer in Nevada, after NGM.


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