Precious Metals

NYSE:EGO

George Salamis of Integra Resources discusses the company’s plans for its DeLamar and Florida Mountain deposits in Idaho.

The last time the Investing News Network caught up with Integra Resources (TSXV:ITR), the company was newly formed.

It was August 2017, just a few months after Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD,NYSE:EGO) had purchased Integra Gold for nearly $600 million, and the team that led the company was ready to join forces once again.

Much has happened since then. Integra has acquired two assets — the Idaho-based DeLamar and Florida Mountain deposits — and has quickly completed inferred resource estimates for both of them.

Separated by just 8 kilometers, DeLamar and Florida Mountain both produced at the same time under Kinross Gold (TSX:K,NYSE:KGC). Speaking via phone, George Salamis, president and CEO at Integra, said that the new resource estimates give the company a “great place” to start.

“DeLamar is 2.7 million ounces of gold equivalent at a rough average grade of about 0.7 g/t gold equivalent,” he said. Meanwhile, Florida Mountain stands at “871,000 ounces of gold equivalent using the same cut off — 0.3 g/t gold equivalent. Roughly speaking we come out with 0.75 g/t gold equivalent.”

Combined, that’s a total of around 3.5 million ounces. “We’re very quickly approaching the 4-million-ounce mark,” Salamis noted. “That’s a great place for a junior mining company. With that sizeable of a resource to start off with, we’ll only be adding to it in the future.”

Plans are already in place to make that happen. A couple of weeks ago, Integra kicked off a 20,000-meter drill program at DeLamar, and Salamis says he expects to see results coming in by the end of March.

“This is the first drill program to be launched on this project in almost 30 years,” he said. “It’s really the first drill program ever that’s been aimed specifically at the high-grade [material] that was mined in the late 1800s, early 1900s — the spectacular grades … average grades of 30 and 60 g/t were the norm.”

Essentially, said Salamis, “we’re looking at the next layer down from the low-grade resources that we reported; those high-grade structures that are immediately beneath the low grade.”

While production is still a long way off, Salamis said he anticipates that the company will see a number of benefits from working at past-producing sites.

“If you look at [DeLamar], the site we bought from Kinross, the only thing missing for us to restart mining essentially is a mill. It has everything else,” he said. “Everything else” includes an all-weather road and power line to the mine site, water that can be tapped for future milling and processing, site infrastructure, buildings and communications systems.

Additionally, because the area was mined before and reclaimed, it’s considered a previously disturbed site in the eyes of Idaho’s permitting authorities. “That has … positive implications on future permitting, according to the limited amount of discussions we’ve had up until now,” Salamis explained.

Other acquisitions are possible this year, but Salamis emphasized that it’s not a priority given all the work that still has to be done at DeLamar and Florida Mountain. “[Any acquisitions would] have to be things that were accretive to us, that would make sense for us to acquire,” he noted.

When asked to share his thoughts on the gold market this year, Salamis said he is confident moving forward. “You’re seeing the first signs of real inflation coming in,” he said. “Gold tends to do very well in periods of massive deflation or massive inflation,” and because inflation generally causes money printing, that “leads to gold basically becoming a safe-haven for investors.”

He added, “silver [I feel the] same. In fact, I’m reading a lot more about silver in terms of the disconnect in gold-to-silver price ratios being at a bit of a high here. Typically silver will catch up to gold in an instant, so that could be explosive for silver as well.”

Stay tuned for drill results from Integra in the coming months. The company’s share price is up about 5.5 percent year-to-date on the TSXV.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in contributed article. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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