The following is a transcription of the above video, and The Market Online has edited it for clarity.

Viva Gold Corp. (TSXV:VAU) is committed to developing the Tonopah Gold Project in an environmentally and socially responsible fashion.

CEO James Hesketh joined us to share more information about the company and its projects.

TMO: For our listeners who may not be aware of the company, can you provide some background about Viva Gold?

Hesketh: Viva Gold’s a company that we started in 2017 and went active on the Toronto Venture Exchange in November that year with the acquisition of the Tonopah Gold Project located near Tonopah Nevada.

TMO: Moving to the Tonopah Gold Project., can you walk us through what makes this project unique?

Hesketh: What makes it unique is it was first discovered in the 1990s by Kennecott Minerals, and they were drilling looking for a Round Mountain analog – that’s an analog of Kinross’ Round Mountain Mine. They discovered it, and it featured a covered target. Not to mention, they discovered through geophysics, underneath the valley floor. What makes it unique for us at this point in time is we do have components of the project that have been very well drilled to measured level.

There’s high-grade mineralization that’s quite shallow and in our 2022 PEA, it formed a very high-grade starter pit. And that high-grade starter pit essentially pays for the initial capital cost in the project.

So, some of our highest-grade material (is) also closest to surface. That’s unique. You don’t find that too much anymore. The other unique aspect is we’re only half hour’s drive from Kinross’ Round Mountain Mine.

We are a 20-minute drive from the town of Tonopah and we’ve got close proximity to commercial water supply, power and paved road access right to the site. So logistics, infrastructure, fantastic for this project and you are in the heart of mining country. You can actually build a project here. So those are the key aspects.

TMO: I understand there will be an updated PEA and resource estimate expected in the second half of 2024 after upcoming drilling at Tonopah, what is the upcoming drilling intended to accomplish?

Hesketh: The updated drill program, we’ve just completed 10 holes and just waiting on assays for those. The first three are actually in, and I’ll be putting out a press release shortly on that. But the key point of this program is mainly step-out and infill drilling, run some high-grade intercepts, shallow ones that we had made in 2022 and 2023.

We had initiated a resource assessment last year and stopped the program once we realized that we were facing what modelers call a spotted dog problem. Also, we were developing some very shallow small pits but only defined by a few drill holes each. So we’re stepping back, putting more holes in there to make a more robust product.

TMO: Have there been any environmental studies surrounding the Tonopah Gold Project, and if so, can you tell us about the value of these studies?

Hesketh: We’ve completed quite a bit of baseline study work. The key to fast permitting is to have all baseline studies completed. And so we’ve completed all the wildlife studies, the fauna and flora studies. Those have been submitted to the Bureau of Land Management, the lead federal agency here and those have been accepted. We’ve completed geochemical studies.

Those took 86 weeks to complete. As for the hydrologic studies, we’ve been doing water sampling now for over three years every quarter. Accordingly, we’ve completed pump tests on the water aquifer in the basin and overall, we’ve completed most of the long lead time studies required to initiate the permitting process.

TMO: What else does the company have planned for the year and beyond?

Hesketh: For this year, financing permitting, we plan to complete additional drilling projects. Also, we’re planning a resource estimate and we’d like to launch this into an initial PEA and pre-feasibility work.

That would be to turn a resource now into a reserve. That’s a key aspect. Indeed, that’s the de-risking of the project, and that’s where shareholders can really see a rewriting of value as we come along.


You can find Viva Gold Corp. on the Venture Exchange under the symbol VAU or head to its website at vivagoldcorp.com for more information.

Join the discussion: Find out what everybody’s saying about this stock on the Viva Gold Corp. Bullboard investor discussion forum, and check out the rest of Stockhouse’s stock forums and message boards.

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