Our hopes for big gains in the gold sector will rest not on a rising tide of higher metals prices, but on the achievements of individual junior mining companies, explains Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter.

May was a busy month for i-80 Gold (IAU), as it made news on the exploration front, added to its land position at Granite Creek in Nevada, acquired water rights for its Cove project and uplisted to the NYSE American.

On the exploration side of things, i-80 released three batches of results from Granite Creek, two from the South Pacific zone and one from the Ogee zone. It also released high-grade results from drilling on its Ruby Hill project in northern Nevada.

South Pacific is a new zone of high-grade located just north of the underground workings at Granite Creek. Hole 18 from last year’s surface drill program on South Pacific returned the best intervals to date: 16.3 g/t gold over 15.7 meters and 33.7 g/t gold over 3.7 meters.

Then, i-80 released more results from the South Pacific zone. These results were from the first six holes drilled in 2022 on the zone. The highlight hole of the group was Hole 5, which cut 15.3 meters of 16.4 g/t gold. That hole was drilled 110 metres down-dip of previous drilling. Other assays of note came from Hole 2 (11.2 g/t over 9.0 meters), Hole 4 (11.2 g/t over 7.3 meters) and Hole 6 (11.2 g/t over 4.6 meters and 10.7 g/t over 4.6 meters).

Based on the good results to date from the South Pacific zone, this target should add to Granite Creek’s resource totals when i-80 provides an update later this year.

South Pacific will support the good work i-80 continues to do on the Ogee zone, which is the primary target for near-term development at Granite Creek. Underground drilling was completed on Ogee near the area that is supposed to provide the bulk of the mineralization mined in the next 12 months.

Hole 15, the deepest hole drilled so far at Ogee, returned 13.3 g/t gold over 13.1 meters, 20.3 g/t over 7.5 meters and 10.1 g/t over 17.5 meters. A decline is being driven to these underground workings, an effort which should also allow for more effective drilling of the South Pacific zone.

In the midst of all this exploration news from Granite Creek, i-80 also announced results from the first five holes drilled on its maiden drill program from 2021 at Ruby Hill. The holes focused on expanding the Ruby Deeps zone and managed to hit several intervals of high-grade mineralization.

Highlights from this batch at Ruby Deeps included 7.0 g/t gold over 71.6 meters, 9.0 g/t over 18.3 meters, 9.1 g/t over 24.7 meters and 7.1 g/t over 78.6 meters. These are impressive intervals, to be sure, and they bode well for i-80 to develop an underground mine at Ruby Hill.

In other news, i-80 grew its overall property position at Granite Creek by 1,280 acres. The project now covers 3.2 kilometers of additional strike exposure. i-80 also purchased water rights and infrastructure for its Cove project from Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations.

To add to the momentum of all this news, management received approval to upgrade from the OTC market to the NYSE American market. Note that the new ticker symbol is IAU.

Clearly, this is company well on its way to becoming a mid-tier gold producer in Nevada. It has a plan and is executing on that plan to at tee. At current levels, i-80 Gold is still very much a buy.

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