Shoshone Silver/Gold Mining Co., a Coeur d'Alene-based concern with mineral projects in several western U.S. states, has signed a letter of intent with a Spokane-based mining company to acquire mineral properties in Utah.
Shoshone agreed to provide $10 million toward a 50 percent partnership with Desert Hawk Gold Corp., of Spokane, in Desert Hawk's mineral properties in Tooele County, Utah, located near the Utah-Nevada border.
As a main focus, Desert Hawk is nearly finished with permitting required to begin building and operating what's called the Kiewit open-pit gold and copper mine project within the Utah properties, about 50 miles south of Wendover, Nev.
Additionally, Shoshone plans this year to reopen the Rescue Gold Mine, in Warren, Idaho, which is about 50 miles northeast of McCall, and expects to mine ore out for production by the end of this summer, says Lex Smith, a company vice president.
"There is also an ore-processing mill right on site," Smith says. "We have the nearby Kimberly Gold Mine, and we're doing some work up there as well."
The company is doing rehabilitation work at the Rescue mine, Smith says, after having completed some improvements last year to improve the main portal.
"This year we're focusing on going in there and expanding the portal and getting back further in the mine," Smith adds. "We plan to bring some ore out before end of summer."
He says Shoshone also is making silver concentrate from stockpiled ore materials it has at its silver Lakeview Mining District properties in Bonner County. "We have quite a large group of patented properties up there," Smith says. "Shoshone mined (there) until the early '80s, when it wasn't profitable because silver prices were down, so we have tons of stockpiled ore materials to run now, and we're making silver concentrate."
On its website, Shoshone says it controls the bulk of the Lakeview district, with 1,100 acres covering the Lakeview Mine and Mill, as well as the Weber, Keep Cool, Talache, Auxer, and Regal mines. It has produced silver, gold, and base metals from that area.
For the new Utah deal signed in February, Shoshone says in a statement that the permits for the Kiewit open-pit gold and copper mine project are likely to be granted within the year, and that the Kiewit project is expected to produce 15,000 to 20,000 gold equivalent ounces per year over at least a six-year mine life.
The newly formed joint venture also plans on focusing exploration and development efforts at the nearby Clifton Shears Silver project where more than 4 million ounces of oxidized silver resource has been identified from surface sampling and trenching, Shoshone says.
The letter of intent with Desert Hawk, which gives Shoshone 120-day exclusive rights to provide the $10 million, also includes an agreement for Shoshone to contribute a $2 million loan toward the Kiewit gold heap leach operation startup.
Desert Hawk holds claims and leases for 33 square miles in the Gold Hill Mining District in Tooele County.
Desert Hawk has refurbished a 300 ton-per-day flotation mill in the Gold Hill district, and that mill is expandable to as much as 750 tons per day under existing permits, Shoshone says. Desert Hawk already has shipped more than $1 million in copper and tungsten concentrates.
Shoshone is located at 3714 W. Industrial Loop in Coeur d'Alene. It was founded in 1969, then as a silver exploration, development and production company. Today, it has interest in multiple mineral properties in Idaho, Montana, Arizona, and Washington.
Shoshone stock trades on the Over the CounterBulletin Boards under the symbol SHSH.
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