The Company is currently gearing up to commence its 2013 work program at the Golden Meadows Project in Idaho in mid-January. The principal objectives of the 2013 work program are to: (a) complete updated mineral resource updates incorporating the approximately 50,000m of drilling completed in 2012, including a first time estimate for the Scout deposit; (b) to continue infill and step-out drilling around the known deposits as required to more fully define the mineral resources; (c) subject to required permits (see below), to commence the evaluation of a number of high quality exploration prospects for their potential to host additional, higher grade mineral resources; (d) continue to conduct engineering, metallurgical and other work in support of an updated and optimized preliminary economic assessment due for completion in the second half of 2013, incorporating the updated mineral resource estimates; and (e) to continue to collect environmental and other baseline information in support of potential permit applications. Drilling is planned to recommence in mid-January with two core rigs targeting continued resource definition, as well as engineering data collection.
"The 2013 work program reflects a transition year for Midas Gold, as resource confirmation and definition drilling is completed and leads into project design optimization and potential permitting of a mining operation," said Mr. Quin. "In addition, exploration for completely new deposits, focused on higher grade, higher margin ounces is planned to ramp up in the second half of the year."
2013-15 Exploration Permitting Update
Following the appeal against the recent US Forest Service ("USFS") decision to allow certain future drilling activities on public lands within the Golden Meadows Project area, the USFS has withdrawn its decision in order to incorporate additional analysis into its decision. The USFS determined that the activities proposed by Midas Gold for its 2013-15 exploration program are consistent with agency policy and the forest management plan, but that additional supporting information about drilling methods being used is needed to verify the conclusions in its analysis. Midas uses industry-standard closed well drilling system for its ongoing drilling activities and will provide the USFS with any required additional information to support its analysis.
"We agree with the decision of the USFS to ensure that required information supports the decisions reached. Appeals of process and the related agency reviews of the basis for their decisions are a normal part of the permit approval process," said Mr. Quin. "The additional information will ensure that the project record is robust and that all interested parties can be satisfied that Midas Gold will continue to follow appropriate standards for its activities at Golden Meadows."
It should be noted that this decision does not affect drilling on Midas Gold's patented claims, which cover the substantial majority of the mineral resources at Golden Meadows, nor previously permitted drilling activities on public lands. The principal purpose of the 2013-15 permitting process is to conduct exploration of a number of exploration prospects outside of the three main deposits, which drilling is not scheduled to commence until the second half of 2013. Deposit-related and already permitted engineering-related drilling on private and public lands will commence as scheduled in mid-January.
About Midas Gold and the Golden Meadows Project
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