BOISE, Idaho – Perpetua Resources Corp. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Perpetua Resources Idaho Inc., has been awarded a Technology Investment Agreement of up to $24.8 million to complete environmental and engineering studies needed to advance the Stibnite Gold Project in central Idaho.
The proposed Stibnite mine would produce gold as well as antimony trisulfide, which is used in national defense as a key component for munitions.
This funding is part of the Defense Production Act Investments Program and was issued by the Air Force Research Laboratory. A press release from the Department of Defense said this is the first critical minerals award using Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations funds.
“This investment is essential to ensure the timely development of a domestic source of antimony trisulfide for the manufacture of small arms and medium caliber cartridges, as well as many other missile and munition items,” a Defense Department statement said.
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“The Department’s DPA Investments Program is delivering on its core mission to restore domestic industrial capabilities essential to the national defense by enabling the warfighter,” said Halimah Najieb-Locke, deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial base resilience. “This action reinforces the administration’s goals to increase the resilience of our critical mineral supply chains while deterring adversarial aggression.”
The Stibnite mine produced antimony trisulfide for the U.S. ammunition industrial base during World War II and the Korean War, and it is the sole domestic geologic reserve of antimony that can meet Department of Defense requirements, according to the department.
The Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Perpetua’s Stibnite project is currently in a 75-day public comment period that ends Jan. 10. The DPA award does not interrupt the ongoing National Environmental Policy Act review process, and it does not confer any right or benefit through the permitting process.
Under the funding agreement, Perpetua can request reimbursement for certain costs incurred over 24 months related to environmental baseline data monitoring, environmental and technical studies and other activities related to advancing Perpetua’s construction readiness and permitting process for the Stibnite project.
“As Perpetua continues advancing our project through the permitting process, we are honored to enter this agreement to help advance our construction readiness for future development,” said Laurel Sayer, president and CEO of Perpetua Resources. “Our vision remains unchanged, which is to redevelop a world class gold deposit, provide the country with a critical mineral, and restore an abandoned brownfield site. Today, we continue to build momentum towards turning our vision into a reality.”
The Stibnite project is in the sixth year of review under NEPA. The company said the project is designed to restore environmental conditions in the historic Stibnite mining district while responsibly redeveloping one of the highest-grade open pit gold resources in the U.S. and becoming the only domestically mined source of the critical mineral antimony.
Perpetua said it expects that current cash resources, combined with the full DPA agreement, will provide the company with sufficient liquidity to complete permitting and early restoration activities on the current timeline, as well as additional liquidity to begin advancing construction readiness.
The DPA award is separate from the Small Business Innovation Research Phase 1 funding awarded to Perpetua by the Defense Logistics Agency in September. That award consisted of two grants totaling $200,000 which Perpetua will use to evaluate whether antimony from the Stibnite project can meet military specifications while also evaluating alternate methods for purifying antimony trisulfide.
Antimony trisulfide is produced from high purity antimony ore feedstock and is used in small and medium caliber munitions, mortars, artillery, mines, flares, grenades, shoulder launched munitions and missiles. Currently, China, Russia, and Tajikistan control approximately 90% of the world’s antimony supply.