Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vista Gold Announces Mt Todd Gold Project Preliminary Feasibility Study and Increase in Reserve of 44% to 5.9 Million Ounces of Gold

Denver, Colorado, May 29, 2013
Vista Gold Corp. (“Vista” or the “Company”) (NYSE MKT and TSX: VGZ) today announced the positive results of a new preliminary feasibility study (the “PFS”) for its Mt. Todd gold project (the “Project”) in Northern Territory, Australia.  The PFS evaluates two development scenarios including a 50,000 tonne per day (“tpd”) project that develops more of the Mt. Todd resource (the “Base Case”) and generates a larger Net Present Value (“NPV”) and a smaller and higher-grade 33,000 tpd project that focuses on maximizing return and operating margins (the “Alternate Case”).  The PFS was authored by Tetra Tech Inc. with Mine Development Associates, Resource Development Inc., Proteus EPCM Engineers (a Tetra Tech Company),  and Power Engineers, Inc.
Highlights of the 50,000 tpd Base Case include:
·         Estimated proven and probable reserves of 5.90 million ounces of gold (223 million tonnes at 0.82 g Au/t) at a cut-off grade of 0.40 g Au/t, an increase of 44% from the Company’s January 2011 PFS;
·         Average annual production of 369,850 ounces of gold per year over the mine life, including average annual production of 481,316 ounces of gold per year during the first five years of operations;
·         Life of mine average cash costs of $773 per ounce, including average cash costs of $662 per ounce during the first five years of operations;
·         A 13 year operating life;
·         After-tax NPV5% of $591.3 million and IRR of 15.9% at $1,450 per ounce gold prices, increasing to $876.6 million and 21.1%, respectively, at $1,600 per ounce gold prices; and
·         Initial capital requirements of $1,046 million.

 Highlights of the 33,000 tpd alternate case include:
·         Estimated proven and probable reserves of 3.56 million ounces of gold (124 million tonnes at 0.90 g Au/t) at a cut-off grade of 0.45 g Au/t;
·         Average annual production of 262,826 ounces of gold per year over the mine life, including average annual production of 294,502 ounces of gold per year during the first five years of operations;
·         Life of mine average cash costs of $684 per ounce, including average cash costs of $676 per ounce during the first five years of operations;
·         An 11 year operating life;
·         After-tax NPV5% of $440.2 million and IRR of 16.9% at $1,450 per ounce gold prices, increasing to $615.6 million and 21.4%, respectively, at $1,600 per ounce gold prices; and
·         Initial capital requirements of $761 million.

 Frederick H. Earnest, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vista, commented, “The positive results of this PFS continue to demonstrate the quality and scale of the Mt. Todd gold project.  By completing the PFS analysis on two separate development scenarios, we are highlighting the flexibility we have in the development of this robust project.  We have the option to develop the mine most appropriate at the time a development decision is made.  Furthermore, the location of the project relative to local towns and labour markets and the infrastructure investments made by previous owners of this project provide potential construction and operating advantages relative to many gold projects.”

Mr Earnest continued, “During the balance of 2013, we will continue to advance the Mt. Todd gold project.  We will be working with the Northern Territory Government to address areas vital for the completion of a feasibility study and ultimately for a project development decision.  These discussions will be undertaken within the framework of Major Project Status, which the Territory has recently accorded Mt. Todd indicating the importance that the Territory places on its development.  The PFS results allow us to finalize and submit the Environmental Impact Study (“EIS”) in June.  We continue to anticipate environmental approvals for the project around year end.   Because of the advanced state of this study, with most technical work already at feasibility levels, we estimate that a feasibility study would require four months to complete and cost approximately $2.5 million.”


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Young Territorians wanted for national survey

Mission Australia is calling on young Territorians to help highlight important issues in their lives by taking part in the charity’s 2013 Youth Survey – the nation’s largest annual stocktake of the views, concerns and values of young people between the ages of 15-19.

In launching the 2013 survey, Mission Australia’s Youth Services Manager, Adrian McCann, said it gave young people a voice across a range of issues with the information being used to help community groups and governments plan and develop youth services.
“Mission Australia’s annual national youth survey is a ‘temperature check’ on what young people are feeling, what issues concern them, what they think are the main challenges facing the nation and how optimistic they are about the future,” said Mr McCann.
“Responses to the survey help governments, youth agencies and ourselves improve and develop programs and strategies that are shaped by the voices of young people themselves.”
When asked what they thought was the biggest issue facing the nation, young Australians in last year’s survey overwhelmingly chose ‘the economy’.
Accompanying the increase in concern around financial matters was the number of comments – many by children as young as 15 – about the need to get a job and contribute financially to keep their family afloat.
The leading issues of personal concern to young people in 2012 were coping with stress, school or study problems and body image with 43 per cent of young women significantly concerned about the latter.
“The range of concerns – from financial matters to stress, family conflict and body image –suggest young people are facing increased challenges as they make the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
“We’ve also taken the opportunity to refresh the survey – now in its 12th year – and make it more relevant than ever.
“In addition to the questions we’ve asked every survey, this year we’re also asking young Territorians about their future job aspirations, how much time they spend on the internet and their perceptions around local job opportunities,” said Mr McCann.
Mission Australia’s 2012 Youth Survey can be completed online:
The survey closes on Friday, 28 June with the results to be published later this year.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Family fun at Deckchair

The Deckchair Cinema will transform into a circus of colour, music and dance when Relationships Australia NT holds its free family film night as part of National Families Week on Thursday.

Celebrating culture and relationships, the night includes an African drumming workshop, performances by Indigenous dance troupe One Mob Different Country and screening of the popular animation Finding Nemo. 

National Families Week, which runs from 15 to 21 May, aims to bring awareness to the role of families in achieving a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Relationships Australia NT Chief Executive Officer Marie Morrison said the organisation increasingly works with families and children.

“We provide assistance to families in various ways including strengthening relationships, mediation, counselling and support for those going through tough times,” she said.

Relationships Australia NT services 3500 Territorians on average annually and more than 20 per cent are Aboriginal.

“Our Family Film Night is an opportunity for everyone to enjoy a night of free fun and entertainment.

“It will celebrate the different faces of family, tradition and community, and we encourage everyone to attend.”

The Relationship Australia NT Family Film Night starts at 6pm with Finding Nemo screening from 7:30pm.

A tasty array of foods including Greek and Indian, and snacks will be available for purchase.   

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Urban Quest is on

Young singers will have the chance to win mentoring with Australian pop idol Mark Holden and country star Paul Costa when Mission Australia’s Urban Quest auditions get underway this weekend.

The Urban Quest auditions will be held in Palmerston on Saturday and Malak on Sunday, before heading south to Katherine and Alice Springs next week.

Now in its third year, Urban Quest aims to help young people build self-esteem and confidence through music.

Mission Australia Youth Services Manager Adrian McCann said it is important Urban Quest is a part of National Youth Week.

“In the last two National Survey of Young Australians, Territory kids have ranked school or study problems and body image among their top personal concerns,” Mr McCann said.

“Urban Quest not only helps improve self-confidence, but it also connects young people with their local community and help services we offer including Youth Connections. It’s a celebration of young people.”

Urban Quest is open to singers and groups aged from 10 to 19 years.

This year the competition will culminate with a free Finals Concert under the stars at the Darwin Waterfront on 6 July, where ten Urban Quest finalists will perform their best song on the night to win.

The Urban Quest Finals Concert will be judged by Mark Holden and Paul Costa, and feature guest performances by some of Darwin’s favourite young stars including Shiane Hawke.

For more information visit quest or

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Data confirms water treatment success

Data confirms that Vista Gold’s water treatment program for mine affected water in Mt Todd’s Batman Pit was the best course of action for dealing with the site’s environmental legacy.

In October 2012 Vista Gold implemented an innovative plan to change the pH of more than ten gigalitres of contaminated water stored in the mine site’s open cut pit.

More than six months later, Vista Gold General Manager,Brent Murdoch said that the program has delivered results at the top end of their expectations.

“Without a doubt we have proven that the water treatment program is a viable solution,” he said.

“The results speak for themselves. The pH level of water in Batman Pit has changed from an acidic 3.3 to a neutral 7.9 and 99.8% of all the metals contained in the top 15 metres of water have been taken out.”

Vista Gold’s water treatment program entailed 10,000 tonnes of finely ground limestone and 2,000 tonnes of quicklime added to the water in Batman Pit causing a chemical reaction which increased the pH level and caused the metals to precipitate to the bottom of the pit.

After the water is released the metals will be pumped into the existing Tailings Dam and encapsulated there.

“This process was based on extensive independent scientific research and testing which now sets a benchmark for environmental mine management beyond Mt Todd," Mr Murdoch said.

“While Vista Gold will continue to pursue other water treatment programs, we now have a proven method for managing the volume of water on site until Mt Todd goes into production.”

The Mt Todd mine site still holds a total volume of more than 16 gigalitres of water which will need to be treated and removed from site before the mine goes into production.

Water collection and storage is the biggest environmental issue facing the Mt Todd site. Since the mine ceased operations in 2000 mine affected water has been collected in the Tailing Storage facility (RP7) and the Waste Rock Dump Dam (RP1). This water is then been pumped and stored in the Batman Pit (RP3) as required.

Regardless of the whether the mine goes ahead, this water requires treatment and release from site as historically the Mt Todd mine site receives a net positive of 1.5 gigalitres of water each year.

Vista Gold is also currently looking at evaporation techniques such as land apping for reducing the volume of water.

The release of water from site is governed under licence from the Northern Territory Government and strict environmental controls.

Vista Gold is yet to make a final investment decision on reopening the mine. A positive decision will require a workforce of around 450 people during construction and 350 for the operation of the site.

Vista Gold aims to recruit workers who live in Katherine or Pine Creek, boosting demand for goods and services from local businesses and will continue to show preference for doing business with local companies.

“In addition to local employment and services, long term benefits from Mt Todd reopening include rehabilitation of the site and sound environmental stewardship,” Mr Murdoch said.


Vista Gold General Manager, Brent Murdoch will be available to meet with media on site at 2pm on Thursday, 9 May for a site inspection.

Due to security requirements please register your interest in attending by 5.30pm Wednesday, 8 May.

Protective clothing and a brief site induction will be required.

To register for the site inspection or for further information please contact Jeannette Button on 8941 9169 or 0407 727 080.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Three lessons to take away from the Myer disability scheme backlash

By Tracy Jones
Comments by Myer and the Australian Retail Association about funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme are proof of just how dangerous it can be to swim in other people’s ponds.

Both Myer CEO Bernie Brookes and Australian Retailers' Association's executive director Russell Zimmerman showed they had no business wading into this important community debate with their poor choice of language, tone and topic.

And their responses to the social media outrage that inevitably followed their comments made things even worse.

Bernie Brookes began the debacle by telling a Sydney conference the levy proposed to fund the scheme was not good for customers and not good for the discretionary income world – that presumably would be otherwise spent at Myer stores.

After the initial outrage, Myer tried to apologise via Facebook, saying while it supported a scheme of some description “we remain sensitive to imposts on the consumer by the government generally, for whatever purpose, as this adds to negative consumer sentiment and that adversely impacts sales, profit and jobs.”

After a further barrage of abuse from mainstream and social media, Russell Zimmerman weighed into the debate: “What the public's got to realise is there are a large number of consumers out there who are doing it tough.”

While both Myer and the Australian Retailers’ Association are busy saying they’re sorry “if they offended anyone”, the whole episode is a salutary lesson for anyone who provides commentary in the public domain.

There are three key points to take away from this:

  1.  You should generally stick to swimming in your own pond: Offering public commentary on topical issues is a great way to position yourself as a subject matter expert – if the topic is one you should be commenting on. But why on earth is the CEO of Myer making comments about a national disability scheme? 
  2. If you find yourself swimming in someone else’s pond, make sure you understand the ground rules: Notice both Bernie Brookes and Russell Zimmerman talked about consumers, profits and sales rather than people and families. They didn’t understand the right language or tone to use when communicating with this audience.
  3. If you accidentally pee in someone else’s pond, just say sorry and get out of there: If you’re sorry, you’re sorry. Don’t try to justify it, explain it away or only be sorry if someone was offended. Say it like you mean it.