Midas Gold (MAX:TSX) is attempting to bring the Stibnite Gold project in Idaho back into production.

Stibnite has a significant and high quality resource, with over 6.5 million ounces of gold and 180 million pounds of antimony contained within three deposits and the leftover tailings from past mining.

A pre feasibility study released in December using $1350 gold showed an NPV of $823 million and 19.3% IRR after tax. A 12 year mine life is expected to produce 337,000 ounces a year with an initial CAPEX of $972 million.

MAX still has several years of hard work ahead of them for Stibnite to become a mine again.

We caught up with Stephen Quin, President and CEO, who told us about the time frame it takes to build a mines these days and where Midas is currently at along that time frame.

Stephen Quin , President and CEO, Midas Gold, AME BC Roundup 2015 transcript:

If you look at the projects today the average time frame for moving a project from exploration to production has extended out to about 20 years from about 7 years. The biggest single factor in that is the permitting time frame. The regulatory process you have to work your way through. 

That has become a major factor in time frames for major developments. The focus of the industry is to make sure sure those processes work smoothly and effectively. They still have to be thorough but make sure they are working effectively so you can create projects in a reasonable time frame so you can get projects built in a reasonable time frame.

Midas Gold has essentially completed a feasibility study in December. We are now looking at getting into the regulatory process file our permit application and start that ball rolling.

We are preparing that the first 6 months of this year. What we are doing is meeting with the local communities, NGEO’s, other stakeholders, the regulators, the state, and the county and basically explaining the project in advance and seeking input into that project. So when we decide to file we are presenting a project that people understand and they appreciate what has gone into it. They understand why certain things have been done and maybe why certain things have not been done.

I think the big thing about this project is it is a brownfields site so it has been mined off an on for 100 years. As extensive that brownfield disturbance a significant number of legacy impacts on the project…  abandoned open pits, tailings, waste dumps etc. All kinds of things like that and as part of the application we are going to re mediate all that prior disturbance which is very extensive. We are going to pick everything up and clean it up to restore the site to a significantly better situation than it is now.

The difference between greenfield and brownfield sites. Greenfield is an untouched site brownfield is a site that has been previously mined and disturbed. The difference is that there has been extensive historic mining activity on the site.