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New Jersey Mining: Junior Gold Producer with a Strategic Rare Earths Opportunity

New Jersey Mining is an Idaho-focused gold producer and, more recently, a rare earth elements exploration company. In mid-2020, New Jersey Mining acquired the Roberts Rare Earth Element prospect in Idaho, which followed the previous acquisition in May 2020 of the Diamond Rare Earth Element deposit, also in Idaho.

New Jersey has been a small-scale operator/gold producer from its Golden Chest Mine. Production from the lower portion of the Idaho pit concluded in Q2 2020, and subsequent development and production commenced from a nearby area. The lower portion of the pit consisted of lower-grade ore and combined with higher-grade underground ore. However, the underground was focused on backfill and new development. The company spent time placing cemented rock fill-in mined-out stopes to prepare for mining the lower cuts on the stopes. Underground mining rates increased considerably after Q3 (the most recent quarter as the company hasn't released an update for Q4 yet).

Additional mining equipment such as a loader and jumbo drill were acquired to facilitate the increased mining rate. Costs were elevated in Q3 2020 at AISC of $1,628/oz. vs $1,146/oz. in the comparable quarter in 2019. Yesterday, March 3rd, the company announced it is evaluating the potential for a 20k oz/yr. operation at Golden Chest mine and possible spin-out of a Rare-Earth subsidiary.

Preliminary internal estimates and the conceptual plans are based on experience with development, mining, exploration, milling, and other knowledge gained from its operations. Preliminary AISC estimates are projected to be $1,100-$1,200/oz., at a 20k oz. Au p.a. run-rate. The goal is to build a 360tpd flotation mill at Golden Chest to increase gold production. This would also involve expanding the existing underground mine with production sourced from the Skookum Shoot of 50ktpy and 36ktpy from the Paymaster Shoot. An additional 30ktpd will be sourced from existing stockpiles. The Skookum is the only area in production. Grades are expected to be 6.5 g/t Au from Skookum, 8.5 g/t Au Paymaster and 1.09 g/t Au from stockpiles.

Preliminary capital estimated to achieve 20k oz. p.a. are $20.4m. These numbers aren't based on any technical report, so significant production variations, operating costs, and capital costs could be an issue.

Disclosure: Some employees at GoldSeek have a position in New Jersey Mining.

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