U.S. Gold Corp. Poised to Benefit from U.S. Department of Energy's Inclusion for Copper on Critical Materials List

5 October 2023

U.S. Gold Corp. (Nasdaq: USAU) has provided an important update on its CK Gold Project, which is poised to emerge as a prominent domestic producer of copper concentrate. This development is in line with the escalating demand for copper, driven by the electrification and green technology trends, especially amid growing uncertainties surrounding overseas supply sources.

Furthermore, in July 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) made a significant move by adding copper to its Critical Materials list, which evaluates materials deemed essential for global clean energy technology supply chains.

Formerly known as the Copper King Project, it was renamed due to the expectation that approximately 70% of the revenue generated from the proposed Project would come from the gold contained within the copper concentrate. The copper concentrate at the Project is projected to have an average copper content of around 20% and may contain up to 2 ounces per ton of gold. This composition makes it highly marketable to smelters due to the absence of harmful elements. Concentrate production is set to begin upon the completion of commissioning and construction efforts for the Project, with the current permitting process expected to conclude in 2024.

Situated within the Silver Crown Mining District, approximately 20 miles west of Cheyenne in southeast Wyoming, the Project is located just 3 miles north of another mining operation, the Granite Canyon Quarry, operated by Martin Marietta Materials. The presence of copper was first discovered in the late 1800s as the railroad was being constructed, enabling prospectors to identify green staining on surface rocks, indicating the presence of copper oxide minerals. Despite being abandoned for some time, the mining district had previously hosted several underground workings where higher-grade copper, gold, and silver were extracted. The Project's primary focus is on the extraction of copper and gold ore from an open pit mine. The prefeasibility study conducted in December 2021 demonstrated strong economic viability for the initial operation, with proven and probable reserves of 1.01 million ounces of gold and 248 million pounds of copper.

Commenting on the DOE's strategic decision, George Bee, President and CEO of U.S. Gold Corp., stated, "The CK Gold Project has the potential to provide significant benefits to the state through royalties from copper and gold production, tax revenues, and job creation. We are also exploring additional potential benefits related to the use of the rock extracted during mining, as well as the potential for water storage in the reclaimed open pit at the end of the mine's life. In addition to the benefits we have already identified, we are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to copper production in the United States, where we are familiar with the regulatory landscape and the political and logistical environment. This is especially important given the current global uncertainties. Unlike many copper prospects in remote or unstable parts of the world that require substantial resources for development, the CK Gold Project is of a modest scale, has a rapid development timeline, and provides an immediate source of copper to meet the growing societal demands."

On August 2, 2023, The Copper Development Association Inc. (CDA) released a statement commending the DOE's decision. Andrew G. Kireta, Jr., CDA's President and CEO, remarked, "The Copper Development Association (CDA) congratulates DOE on its thoughtful, forward-thinking analysis that resulted in copper's inclusion on the Critical Materials list. Copper is a major contributor to U.S. economic and national security, and with copper demand projections expected to double by 2035, primarily driven by plans for the clean energy transition, electrification, and clean water infrastructure, ensuring a robust domestic copper industry is crucial for the nation's defense and progress. The U.S. should actively support and promote its domestic copper industry."


Source: prnewswire.com