Idaho Strategic Resources began gold production from the Golden Chest in 2016 from the ‘Idaho Pit’; an open pit located just above the company’s underground portal within the Skookum ore shoot. The goal of the Idaho Pit was to provide the company with cash flow to aid in the start-up of underground gold production at the Golden Chest Mine.
Over the life of the Idaho Pit, which ended production in 2020, the pit produced 121,300 metric tonnes (mt) with an average gold grade of 3.12 grams per tonne (gpt), yielding a total of 12,160 ounces of gold. Additionally, 101,700 tonnes of mineralized material with a gold grade of 1.09 gpt was stockpiled for future processing. A total of 713,400 tonnes of waste was also mined. The Idaho Pit, with its vertical extent of 150 meters, proved successful as a source of cash flow for the restart of underground production; and remains a potential future source for cash flow and gold production should gold prices reach sufficient levels.
Due to the success of the Idaho Pit, Idaho Strategic Resources made the decision in 2020 to begin gold production from a second open pit; the Klondike Pit, which is the surface outcropping of the Klondike ore shoot. To date, the Klondike Pit has produced 40,000 mt at an average gold grade of 4.0 gpt. An additional 7,000 tonnes of mineralized material was stockpiled, and a total of 340,000 tonnes of waste was mined. The Klondike Pit is currently in production, which is expected to end in early 2022, coinciding with our planned expansion of underground production and development of new potential stoping areas.