The Tuvatu Gold Project is located 20 km from the Nadi International Airport on the main island of Viti Levu in the Republic of Fiji. Discovered in 1987, Tuvatu was advanced by previous owners through underground exploration and development from 1997 through to the completion of a feasibility study in 2000. Acquired by Lion One in 2011, the project has over 100,000 meters of drilling completed to date in addition to 1,600 meters of underground development. Tuvatu is a high grade, low sulphidation, epithermal gold deposit hosted inside a South Pacific-style volcanic caldera, along the Viti Levu lineament, Fiji’s own corridor of high grade gold deposits. In January 2016 the Hon. Prime Minister of Fiji, Mr. V. Bainimarama, formally presented the previously granted Tuvatu Mining Lease to Lion One, concluding the permitting process for the development and construction of an underground gold mine and processing plant at Tuvatu, demonstrating strong government support for Fiji’s 85 year-old gold mining industry.
The Company envisages a low cost underground gold mining operation producing 352,931 ounces of gold at head grades of 11.30 g/t Au over an initial 7 year mine life, including 262,000 ounces at 15.30 g/t through year three, at cash costs of US$567 per ounce with all-in sustaining costs of US$779 per ounce. Total capex of US$48.6 million includes a contingency of US$6.1 million with an 18 month preproduction schedule and 18 month payback on capital. At a US$1,200 gold price the project generates net cash flow of US$112.66 million and an IRR of 52% (after tax). Tuvatu is situated upon a 5 hectare footprint inside a larger 384 hectare mining lease that contains numerous high grade prospects proximal to Tuvatu, at depth, and up to 1.2 km along strike from the resource area, giving the project near-term production potential and further discovery upside inside of one of Fiji’s underexplored volcanic goldfields.