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Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

OR

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from              to

          

Commission file number: 001-9025

Vista-Logo-2-300dpi

VISTA GOLD CORP.

 (Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

British Columbia

98-0542444

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

7961 Shaffer Parkway, Suite 5

Littleton, Colorado

80127

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

(Zip Code)

(720) 981-1185

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code)

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:

Title of Each Class

Trading Symbol

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Shares, no par value

VGZ

NYSE American

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT:  None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes No

Indicate by checkmark whether the registrant (1) filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

      Large Accelerated Filer       Accelerated Filer       Non-Accelerated Filer Smaller Reporting Company Emerging growth company  

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes No

State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter: $85,760,855

The number of shares of the Registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of February 14, 2022 was 117,189,232.

 

Documents incorporated by reference:  To the extent herein specifically referenced in Part III, portions of the Registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A for the 2022 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated herein. See Part III.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

2

METRIC CONVERSION TABLE

6

GLOSSARY

6

CAUTIONARY NOTE TO INVESTORS REGARDING ESTIMATES OF MEASURED, INDICATED AND INFERRED RESOURCES AND PROVEN AND PROBABLE MINERAL RESERVES

9

NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

9

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

13

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

21

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

22

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

46

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

46

PART II

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

47

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

50

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

59

ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

79

ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

79

ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION

79

PART III

ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

79

ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

80

ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

80

ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS

80

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

80

PART IV

ITEM 15. EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

80

ITEM 16. FORM 10-K SUMMARY

82

1

Table of Contents

PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS.

In this annual report on Form 10-K, unless the context otherwise requires, the terms “we”, “us”, “our”, “Vista”, “Vista Gold”, or the “Company” refer to Vista Gold Corp. and its subsidiaries. References to AUD or A$ refer to Australian currency and USD or $ refer to United States currency, all in thousands, unless specified otherwise, except per share-related, per tonne, and per ounce amounts.

Overview

Vista Gold Corp. and its subsidiaries operate in the gold mining industry. We are focused on evaluation, acquisition, exploration and advancement of gold exploration and potential development projects, which may lead to gold production or value adding strategic transactions such as earn-in right agreements, option agreements, leases to third parties, joint venture arrangements with other mining companies, or outright sales of assets for cash and/or other consideration. We look for opportunities to improve the value of our gold projects through exploration drilling and/or technical studies focused on optimizing previous engineering work. We do not currently generate cash flows from mining operations.

The Company’s flagship asset is its 100% owned Mt Todd gold project (“Mt Todd” or the “Project”) in Northern Territory, Australia (“NT”). With the approval of the Mining Management Plan (“MMP”) in June 2021, all major operating and environmental permits for Mt Todd have been received. Mt Todd is the largest undeveloped gold project in Australia.

Vista recently completed the Mt Todd Feasibility Study (“2022 FS”), which is highlighted by:

Estimated proven and probable mineral reserves of 6.98 Moz of gold (280 Mt at 0.77 g Au/t) using a gold price of $1,125 for the reserve estimate and a cut-off grade of 0.35 g Au/t(1)(2);
Average annual production of 395,000 ounces of gold over a 16-year mine life;
Life of Mine average cash costs of $817 per ounce;
Initial capital requirements of $892 million, which assume an owner-operated mining fleet, power generated on-site by a third-party, and a locally based employee workforce;
After-tax NPV5% of $999.5 million and internal rate of return (“IRR”) of 20.6% at a gold price of $1,600 per ounce; and
After-tax NPV5% of $1,458 million and IRR of 26.7% at a price of $1,800 per ounce of gold.

(1)Note to investors: Proven and probable mineral reserves are estimated in accordance with S-K 1300 and CIM Definition Standards.
(2)See “Item 2. Properties – Mt Todd Gold Project, Northern Territory, Australia – Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserve Estimates” in this annual report on Form 10-K for additional information.

We have invested over $105 million to systematically explore, evaluate, engineer, permit and de-risk Mt Todd since we acquired it in 2006. In recent years, we have completed a number of optimization studies, which have been incorporated into the 2022 FS. This work has added substantial value to the Project and positions Mt Todd for near-term development. We believe the results will appeal to potential partners, investors and lenders and allow us to evaluate a range of development alternatives as we continue to focus on maximizing shareholder value in a cost-effective manner.

The 2022 FS includes reserve estimates pursuant to subpart 1300 of Regulations S-K (“S-K 1300”) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) and CIM Definition Standards based on mine plans developed using a gold price in line with current market conditions. The 2022 FS addresses recommendations from the 2019 pre-feasibility study and includes minor updates of the Project design to be consistent with the MMP, engineering and detailed costing in all areas of the Project.

The 2022 FS highlights a 19% increase in gold reserves from 5.85 million ounces to 6.98 million ounces, supporting an operation with average annual production of 479,000 ounces of gold during the first seven years of commercial operations

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and a low operating cost profile that delivers significant cashflows over a 16-year mine life. The 2022 FS reflects the inflationary pressures being faced currently by all operators in the mining industry. While management believes this inflationary trend is transitory, the resilience of Mt Todd is demonstrated by the project economics reflected in the 2022 FS. Mt Todd’s attributes, together with Vista’s deep understanding of the various project components create optionality in the approach to its development. For example, the Company decision to have a third-party build, own, and operate the power plant has resulted in capital cost savings and eliminated certain construction and operating risks while retaining attractive operating costs.

We believe this work has added substantially to the value of the Project, which reflects a $1.5 billion net present value (NPV5%) at the recent gold price of $1,800 per ounce and a 0.71 AUD:USD exchange rate and demonstrates near-term development potential. See the “Item 2. Properties – Gold Price and Foreign Exchange Sensitivity Table” below.

Resources and reserves growth potential at Mt Todd includes a number of opportunities. There is potential to convert additional known mineral resources to mineral reserves, and both the Batman and Quigleys deposits remain open. Recent drilling demonstrates the continuity of mineralization between these two deposits, and Vista controls 1,650 sq. km of exploration licenses at the southeast end of the Pine Creek Mining District.

In addition to the technical advancements of the Project, with the recent approval of the MMP, Vista now has all major operating and environmental permits for the development of Mt Todd. We have invested significant resources in water treatment and management, environmental, and social programs. We believe this has benefited our relationships with the traditional landowners, local communities, and NT Government, creating a strong social license.

Vista has successfully monetized a number of non-core assets to support continuing operations in a non-dilutive manner. This includes cash proceeds to the Company totaling $14,090 during 2020, 2021 and January 2022. The Company continues to focus on monetizing a royalty interest in a U.S. exploration-stage project and used mill equipment.

Vista was originally incorporated on November 28, 1983 under the name “Granges Exploration Ltd.” It amalgamated with Pecos Resources Ltd. during June 1985 and continued as Granges Exploration Ltd. In June 1989, Granges Exploration Ltd. changed its name to Granges Inc. Granges Inc. amalgamated with Hycroft Resources & Development Corporation during May 1995 and continued as Granges Inc. Effective November 1996, Da Capo Resources Ltd. and Granges, Inc. amalgamated under the name “Vista Gold Corp.” and, effective December 1997, Vista continued from the Province of British Columbia to the Yukon Territory, Canada under the Business Corporations Act (Yukon Territory). On June 11, 2013, Vista continued from the Yukon Territory, Canada to the Province of British Columbia, Canada under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia). The current addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers of our offices are:

Executive Office

    

Registered and Records Office

7961 Shaffer Parkway, Suite 5

 

1200 Waterfront Centre – 200 Burrard Street

Littleton, Colorado, USA 80127

 

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V7X 1T2

Telephone: (720) 981-1185

 

Telephone: (604) 687-5744

Facsimile: (720) 981-1186

 

Facsimile: (604) 687-1415

Human Capital Management

As of December 31, 2021, we had 17 full-time and no part-time employees globally. In addition, we use consultants with specific skills to assist with various aspects of our corporate affairs, project evaluation, due diligence, corporate governance and property management.

Our compensation programs are designed to align compensation of our employees with Vista’s corporate objectives and performance, and are designed to provide proper incentives to attract, retain and motivate employees to achieve superior results. The structure of our compensation programs balances competitive wages, benefits and incentive earnings for both short-term and long-term performance.

The health and safety of our employees and others is a high priority in the way we manage our business. Oversight is provided by the Company’s Board of Directors through the Health, Safety, Environment and Social Responsibility

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Committee. Management utilizes the principles set out in our Health & Safety Policy to administer health and safety programs. Employees and others entering our workplaces are provided with relevant orientation and required to adhere to established site protocols. In addition to recurring health and safety considerations, we follow COVID-19 mitigation measures recommended by government and health agencies in the jurisdictions where we operate.

Vista’s priority to maintain a culture of ethical performance as a core value is reflected in the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and other related policies. Oversight is provided by the Company’s Board of Directors and, for specific areas of performance, by committees of the Board of Directors. Employees are required to review the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and acknowledge their understanding of the content and intent to comply on a periodic basis. Our compensation programs also include consideration of ethical performance in determining incentive awards.

Vista values the diversity and talents of its team, collectively working together in an inclusive environment to achieve corporate goals and personal and professional development objectives. We cultivate a culture that is sensitive to the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and are committed to continuous improvement in these areas.

Environmental, Social, and Governance Responsibility

Vista is committed to implementing and continuing to develop business practices that are designed to mitigate environmental impacts of our operating activities, support the people and communities within our areas of influence, and appropriately manage the business affairs of our organization. We believe part of being a good corporate citizen requires a dedicated focus on how we affect the environment and fulfill our responsibilities to stakeholders. In particular, through our planning for development of Mt Todd, we have worked closely with governmental entities in the NT and local groups, including the Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation (the “Jawoyn”), to strive towards an environmentally sound and socially responsible development plan.

Segment Information

We have one reportable segment, consisting of evaluation, acquisition and exploration activities which are focused principally in Australia. We evaluate, acquire, explore and advance gold exploration and potential development projects, which may lead to gold production or value adding strategic transactions such as earn-in right agreements, option agreements, leases to third parties, joint venture arrangements, or outright sales of assets. We reported no mining operating revenues during the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020. Geographic location of mineral properties and plant and equipment is provided in Notes 4 – Mineral Properties and 5 – Plant and Equipment to our Consolidated Financial Statements under the section heading “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” below.

Reclamation

The Mt Todd site was not reclaimed by the predecessor owners when the mine closed in 2000. Liability for the reclamation of the environmental conditions existing prior to the 2006 commencement of Vista’s involvement with the Project is presently the responsibility of the NT Government. After it provides notice to the NT Government that it intends to proceed with development, the Company will then assume these historical rehabilitation liabilities currently estimated by the NT Government at approximately A$73 million. Vista does not expect to give such notice until a project development decision has been made, major project permits are confirmed to be in alignment with the final development plan, and project financing is arranged.

We generally will be required to mitigate long-term environmental impacts, including any of those existing prior to 2006 that are not otherwise mitigated during the mine life, by stabilizing, contouring, re-sloping and re-vegetating various portions of the Project after mining and mineral processing operations are completed. Reclamation programs will be conducted in accordance with detailed plans, which must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate regulatory agencies.

Additionally, Vista maintains a $240 provision for potential reclamation costs attributable to certain mining claims previously held by the Company should no other viable potentially responsible parties be identified.

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Government Regulation

Our exploration and development activities and other property interests are subject to various national, state, provincial and local laws and regulations in Australia and other jurisdictions, which govern prospecting, development, mining, mine safety, production, exports, taxes, labor standards, occupational health, waste disposal, protection of the environment, the use and disposal of hazardous substances, and other matters. We have obtained all major authorizations and have pending applications for other minor licenses, permits or other authorizations currently required to conduct our exploration, development, and other programs. We believe we are in compliance in all material respects with applicable mining, health, safety and environmental statutes and regulations in all of the jurisdictions in which we operate.

Australian Laws

Mineral projects in the NT are subject to Australian federal and NT laws and regulations regarding environmental matters and the use and disposal of hazardous wastes and materials. As with all mining projects, Mt Todd is expected to have a variety of environmental impacts should development proceed. In Australia, environmental legislation plays a significant role in the mining industry. We are required under Australian laws and regulations (federal and territorial) to acquire permits and other authorizations before Mt Todd can be developed and mined. In September 2014, the environmental impact statement (“EIS”) for Mt Todd was approved. The Environmental Protection Agency of the Northern Territory Government (“NTEPA”) advised that it had assessed the environmental impacts of the proposed gold mine at Mt Todd and authorized the Company to proceed with development, subject to a number of recommendations as outlined in the assessment report (the “Assessment Report”). The Assessment Report included a request for Vista to secure an authorization under the federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (“EPBC”) as it relates to the Gouldian Finch. In January 2018, the authorization required by the EPBC was approved by the Australia Department of the Environment and Energy. We must comply with the terms of our Authority Certificate under the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989 which deals with the handling of archeological material and sacred sites. We are also subject to statutory requirements under the Mining Management Act, which includes the requirement to receive authorization of an MMP before the start of mining operations. The Mt Todd MMP was approved by the Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (“DITT”) in June 2021 and will be amended to align with the larger-scale design in the 2022 FS.

Environmental Regulation

Mt Todd is subject to various federal, territorial and local laws and regulations governing protection of the environment. These laws are continually changing and, in general, are becoming more restrictive. Our policy is to conduct business in a way that safeguards public health and the environment. We believe that our operations are conducted in material compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Changes to current local, territorial, or federal laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where we have exploration and development activities could require additional capital expenditures and increase operating and/or reclamation costs. We are unable to predict what additional legislation, if any, might be proposed or enacted, or what additional regulatory requirements could impact the economics of Mt Todd.

During 2021, Mt Todd did not have any material non-compliance occurrences with any applicable environmental laws and regulations. See “Item 1. Business – Reclamation” above.

Competition

We compete with other mining companies to acquire, explore, finance and develop gold properties and to retain expert consultants required to complete our geological and project development studies. We also compete with other mining companies to hire mining engineers, geologists and other skilled personnel in the mining industry, and for exploration and development services. Some of these competing mining companies have substantially greater financial and technical resources than Vista. As a result, we may have difficulty acquiring attractive gold projects at reasonable prices, engaging skilled consultants, and attracting and retaining qualified personnel.

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Gold Price History

The price of gold is volatile and is affected by numerous factors, all of which are beyond our control, such as the sale or purchase of gold by various central banks and financial institutions, inflation, recession, fluctuation in the relative values of the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies, changes in global gold supply and demand, and political and economic conditions.

The following table presents the high, low and average London Bullion Market Association PM Fix prices in U.S. dollars per troy ounce of gold over the past five years:

Year

    

High

    

Low

    

Average

2017

$

1,346

$

1,151

$

1,257

2018

$

1,355

$

1,178

$

1,269

2019

$

1,546

$

1,270

$

1,393

2020

$

2,067

$

1,474

$

1,770

2021

$

1,943

$

1,684

$

1,799

2022 (to February 14, 2022)

$

1,866

$

1,788

$

1,818

Data Source: www.lbma.org.uk/prices-and-data/precious-metal-prices#/

Available Information

We make available, without charge, on or through our website at www.vistagold.com, our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Our website and the information contained therein or connected thereto are not intended to be, and are not, incorporated into this annual report on Form 10-K.

Metric Conversion Table

To Convert Metric Measurement Units

    

To Imperial Measurement Units

    

Multiply by

Hectares

Acres

2.4710

Meters

Feet

3.2808

Kilometers

Miles

0.6214

Tonnes

Tons (short)

1.1023

Liters

Gallons

0.2642

Grams

Ounces (troy)

0.0322

Grams per tonne

Ounces (troy) per ton (short)

0.0292

Glossary

acid rock drainage” results from the interaction of meteoric water with oxidizing sulfide minerals.

bedding” means the characteristic structure of sedimentary rock in which layers of different composition, grain size or arrangement are layered one on top of another in a sequence with oldest on the bottom and youngest at the top.

comminution” means the process in which ore is broken into small fragments by crushing, grinding, and other processes.

conglomerate” refers to clastic sedimentary rock that contains rounded particles that are greater than two millimeters in diameter. The space between the pebbles is generally filled with smaller particles and/or a chemical cement that binds the rock together.

cut-off grade” means the grade (i.e., the concentration of metal or mineral in rock) that determines whether mined mineralized material will be processed or considered waste.

deposit” is an informal term for an accumulation of mineralized material.

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development stage issuer” is an issuer that is engaged in the preparation of mineral reserves for extraction on at least one material property.

development stage property” is a property that has mineral reserves disclosed, pursuant to S-K 1300, but no material extraction.

feasibility study” is a comprehensive technical and economic study of the selected development option for a mineral project that includes appropriately detailed assessments of realistically assumed mining, processing, metallurgical, economic, marketing, legal, environmental, social and governmental considerations together with any other relevant operational factors and detailed financial analysis, that are necessary to demonstrate at the time of reporting that extraction is reasonably justified or economically viable. The results of a feasibility study may reasonably serve as the basis for a final decision by a proponent or financial institution to proceed with, or finance, the development of a project. The confidence level of a feasibility study is higher than that of a preliminary feasibility study.

foliation” means planar arrangement of structural or textural features in any rock type.

g Au/t” means grams of gold per tonne.

geosyncline” means a major trough or downwarp of the Earth’s crust, in which great thicknesses of sedimentary and/or volcanic rocks have accumulated.

indicated mineral resource” and “indicated resource” mean “indicated mineral resource” defined by S-K 1300 as that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of adequate geological evidence and sampling. The level of geological certainty associated with an indicated mineral resource is sufficient to allow a qualified person to apply modifying factors in sufficient detail to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. Because an indicated mineral resource has a lower level of confidence than the level of confidence of a measured mineral resource, an indicated mineral resource may be converted only to a probable mineral reserve.

inferred mineral resource” and “inferred resource” mean “inferred mineral resource” defined by S-K 1300 as that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of limited geological evidence and sampling. The level of geological uncertainty associated with an inferred mineral resource is too high to apply relevant technical and economic factors likely to influence the prospects of economic extraction in a manner useful for evaluation of economic viability. Because an inferred mineral resource has the lowest level of geological confidence of all mineral resources, which prevents the application of modifying factors in a manner useful for evaluation of economic viability, an inferred mineral resource may not be considered when assessing the economic viability of a mining project, and may not be converted to a mineral reserve.

intrusives” refers to igneous rocks that crystallize below the earth’s surface.

measured mineral resource” and “measured resource” mean “measured mineral resource” defined by S-K 1300 as that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of conclusive geological evidence and sampling. The level of geological certainty associated with a measured mineral resource is sufficient to allow a qualified person to apply modifying factors, as defined in this section, in sufficient detail to support detailed mine planning and final evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. Because a measured mineral resource has a higher level of confidence than the level of confidence of either an indicated mineral resource or an inferred mineral resource, a measured mineral resource may be converted to a proven mineral reserve or to a probable mineral reserve.

mineral reserve” is an estimate of tonnage and grade or quality of indicated and measured mineral resources that, in the opinion of the qualified person, can be the basis of an economically viable project. More specifically, it is the economically mineable part of a measured or indicated mineral resource, which includes diluting materials and allowances for losses that may occur when the material is mined or extracted.

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mineral resource” is a concentration or occurrence of material of economic interest in or on the Earth's crust in such form, grade or quality, and quantity that there are reasonable prospects for economic extraction. A mineral resource is a reasonable estimate of mineralization, taking into account relevant factors such as cut-off grade, likely mining dimensions, location or continuity, that, with the assumed and justifiable technical and economic conditions, is likely to, in whole or in part, become economically extractable. It is not merely an inventory of all mineralization drilled or sampled.

ore” means material containing minerals in such quantity, grade and chemical composition that they can be economically extracted.

ore sorting” means technology that separates “ore” and “waste” based on physical and/or chemical properties of the material being sorted.

oxide” means mineralized rock in which some of the original minerals have been oxidized (i.e., combined with oxygen). Oxidation tends to make the rock more porous and permits a more complete permeation of cyanide solutions so that minute particles of gold in the interior of the minerals will be more readily dissolved.

probable mineral reserves” under S-K 1300 is the economically mineable part of an indicated and, in some cases, a measured mineral resource.

proven mineral reserves” under S-K 1300 is the economically mineable part of a measured mineral resource and can only result from conversion of a measured mineral resource.

qualified person” as defined under S-K 1300 is an individual who is: (1) A mineral industry professional with at least five years of relevant experience in the type of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and in the specific type of activity that person is undertaking on behalf of the registrant; and (2) An eligible member or licensee in good standing of a recognized professional organization at the time the technical report is prepared. For an organization to be a recognized professional organization, it must: (i) Be either: (A) An organization recognized within the mining industry as a reputable professional association; or (B) A board authorized by U.S. federal, state or foreign statute to regulate professionals in the mining, geoscience or related field; (ii) Admit eligible members primarily on the basis of their academic qualifications and experience; (iii) Establish and require compliance with professional standards of competence and ethics; (iv) Require or encourage continuing professional development; (v) Have and apply disciplinary powers, including the power to suspend or expel a member regardless of where the member practices or resides; and (vi) Provide a public list of members in good standing.

recovery” means that portion of the metal contained in the ore that is successfully extracted by processing and is expressed as a percentage.

sampling” means selecting a fractional, but representative, part of a mineral deposit for analysis.

scats” means material in a ball mill or semi autogenous grinding mill (“SAG Mill”) that has become rounded and no longer susceptible to additional size reduction. This material is commonly rejected from the grinding circuit for additional crushing because it contributes to higher energy consumption within the mill.

strike” when used as a noun, means the direction, course or bearing of a vein or rock formation measured on a level surface and, when used as a verb, means to take such direction, course or bearing.

sulfide” means a compound of sulfur and some other element. From a metallurgical perspective, sulfide rock is primary rock that has not been oxidized. Both ore and waste may contain sulfide minerals.

tailings” means material rejected from a mill after most of the valuable minerals have been extracted.

tpd” means tonnes per day.

tuffs” are a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash ejected from vents during a volcanic eruption.

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vein” means a fissure, fault or crack in a rock filled by minerals that have traveled upwards from some deep source.

waste” means rock lacking sufficient grade and/or other characteristics of ore.

Cautionary Note to Investors Regarding Estimates Of Measured, Indicated And Inferred Resources And Proven And Probable Mineral Reserves

We are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act and applicable Canadian securities laws, and as a result we report our mineral reserves and mineral resources according to two different standards. U.S. reporting requirements are governed by S-K 1300. Canadian reporting requirements for disclosure of mineral properties are governed by NI 43-101. Both sets of reporting standards have similar goals in terms of conveying an appropriate level of confidence in the disclosures being reported, but the standards embody slightly different approaches and definitions.

In our public filings in the U.S. and Canada and in certain other announcements not filed with the SEC, we disclose proven and probable reserves and measured, indicated and inferred resources, each as defined in S-K 1300 and NI 43-101. As currently reported, there are no material differences in our disclosed proven and probable reserves and measured, indicated and inferred resource under each of S-K 1300 and NI 43-101. The estimation of measured resources and indicated resources involve greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic feasibility than the estimation of proven and probable reserves, and therefore investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of measured or indicated resources will ever be converted into S-K 1300-compliant or NI 43-101-compliant reserves. The estimation of inferred resources involves far greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic viability than the estimation of other categories of resources, and therefore it cannot be assumed that all or any part of inferred resources will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Therefore, investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of inferred resources exist, or that they can be mined legally or economically.

Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This annual report, including all exhibits hereto and any documents that are incorporated by reference as set forth on the face page under “Documents incorporated by reference”, contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and forward-looking information under Canadian securities laws that are intended to be covered by the safe harbor created by such legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this annual report on Form 10-K, our other filings with the SEC and Canadian securities commissions and in press releases and public statements by our officers or representatives that address activities, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, including, but not limited to, those listed below:

Operations

our belief that the 2022 FS has added substantial value to the Mt Todd gold project (“Mt Todd” or the “Project”) and positions the Project for near-term development;
our continued focus on improving the economic potential of the Project and increasing shareholder value in a cost-effective manner;
our belief that our investments to systematically explore, evaluate, engineer, permit and de-risk the Project have added to the underlying value of the Project and demonstrate strong development potential;
our plans and available funding to continue to identify and study potential Mt Todd optimizations, project improvements and efficiencies;
the results of the 2022 FS and its related estimates and projections, including projected free cash flow, future exchange rates and commodity prices; 
our belief that the results of the 2022 FS will appeal to potential partners, investors, and lenders and allow us to pursue a range of development alternatives as we continue to focus on maximizing shareholder value;

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the feasibility of Mt Todd and the timing, performance and results of the 2022 FS; 
our belief that fine grinding will improve gold recoveries and favorably impact project economics;
estimates of future operating and financial performance;
future drilling plans;
our expectation of Mt Todd’s impact, including environmental and economic impacts;
plans and estimates concerning potential Mt Todd development, including access to an adequate supply of water, the availability of natural gas on acceptable terms, as well as the ability to obtain all required permits; 
our expectation that dewatering of the pit will not present any major issues when resuming operations in the Batman pit;
estimates of mineral reserves and mineral resources;
our intention to improve the value of our gold projects;
the potential that development projects may lead to gold production or value-adding strategic transactions;
management belief that the inflationary trend is transitory, and that the resilience of Mt Todd is demonstrated by the project economics reflected in the 2022 FS;
our belief that we are in compliance in all material respects with applicable mining, health, safety and environmental statutes and regulations in all of the jurisdictions in which we operate and that our operations are conducted in material compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
our estimates with respect to historical mine production at Mt Todd;
our expectation that plus 5/8” HPGR (as defined below) crusher product at Mt Todd is harder than the minus 5/8” crushed product and that the hardness of ore in the Batman deposit is relatively consistent;
our expectation that the use of HPGR crushers at Mt Todd will produce a product that can be ground more efficiently and reduce energy requirements as compared to a SAG Mill design;
the expectation that reclamation of the heap leach pad at Mt Todd will include disposal of pad liner and regrading of the area occupied by the heap leach pad only as the material on the existing heap leach pad will be processed through the mill at the end of mine life; and
our expectation that existing infrastructure at Mt Todd will reduce initial capital expenditure and significantly reduce capital risk related to infrastructure construction.

Business and Industry

our expectation that existing working capital as of December 31, 2021, together with other potential future sources of non-dilutive financing, will be sufficient to fully fund our currently planned corporate expenses, Project holding costs and discretionary programs for at least 12 months;
our belief that the ATM Program (as defined below) will provide additional financing flexibility at a low cost;
the potential monetization of our non-core assets, including a royalty on a U.S. exploration-stage project and our used mill equipment which is for sale;
potential expenditures, funding requirements and sources of capital, including near-term sources of additional cash;
our expectation that the Company will continue to incur losses and will not pay dividends for the foreseeable future;
our potential entry into agreements to find, lease, purchase, option or sell mineral interests;
our belief that we maintain reasonable amounts of insurance;

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our expectations related to potential changes in regulations or taxation initiatives;
our expectation that we will continue to be a passive foreign investment company;
the potential that we may grant options and/or other stock-based awards to our directors, officers, employees and consultants;
preliminary estimates of the reclamation and other related costs that would be incurred if we were to notify the NT Government that we intend to proceed with development and assume rehabilitation liability for Mt Todd;
the efficacy of the measures we have implemented to mitigate the risks of COVID and the detrimental effects it may have on our operations; and
the potential that future expenditures may be required for compliance with various laws and regulations governing the protection of the environment.

Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information have been based upon our current business and operating plans, as approved by the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”); our cash and other funding requirements and timing and sources thereof; results of preliminary feasibility and feasibility studies, the accuracy of mineral resource and reserve estimates and assumptions on which they are based; the results of economic assessments and exploration activities; current market conditions and project development plans. The material assumptions used to develop the forward-looking statements and forward-looking information included in this annual report on Form 10-K include: our expectations of metal prices; our forecasts and expected cash flows; our projected capital and operating costs; accuracy of mineral resource estimates and resource modeling and preliminary feasibility and feasibility study results; expectations regarding mining and metallurgical recoveries; timing and reliability of sampling and assay data; anticipated political and social conditions; expected Australian national, provincial and local government policies, including legal reforms, successful advancement of the Company’s required permitting processes; ability to successfully raise additional capital. The words “estimate”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “intend”, “believe”, “will”, “may” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. These factors include risks such as:

Operating Risks

feasibility study results and the accuracy of estimates and assumptions on which they are based; 
mineral resources and reserves estimates, the accuracy of such estimates and the accuracy of sampling and subsequent assays and geologic interpretations on which they are based; 
technical and operational feasibility and the economic viability of deposits;
our ability to raise sufficient capital on favorable terms or at all to meet the substantial capital investment at Mt Todd;
our ability to obtain, renew or maintain the necessary authorizations and permits for Mt Todd, including its development plans and operating activities; 
delays in commencement of construction at Mt Todd;
increased costs that affect our operations or our financial condition;
our reliance on third parties to fulfill their obligations under agreements with us;
whether projects not managed by us will comply with our standards or meet our objectives;
whether our acquisition, exploration and development activities, as well as the realization of the market value of our assets, will be commercially successful and whether any transactions we enter into will maximize the realization of the market value of our assets;
the success of future joint ventures, partnerships and other arrangements relating to our properties;

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perception of potential environmental impact of Mt Todd;
known and unknown environmental and reclamation liabilities, including reclamation requirements at Mt Todd;
potential challenges to the title to our mineral properties;
opposition to construction or operation of Mt Todd;
future water supply issues at Mt Todd;
litigation or other legal claims; and
environmental lawsuits.

Financial and Business Risks

fluctuations in the price of gold;
lack of adequate insurance to cover potential liabilities;
the lack of cash dividend payments by us;
our history of losses from operations;
our ability to attract, retain and hire key personnel;
volatility in our stock price and gold equities generally;
our ability to raise additional capital or raise funds from the sale of non-core assets on favorable terms, if at all;
general economic conditions adverse to Mt Todd development or operation;
the potential acquisition of a control position in the Company for less than fair value as a result of industry consolidation or otherwise;
lack of success in our efforts to find an acceptable partner, external financing or other acceptable alternatives to move forward with development of Mt. Todd;
evolving corporate governance and public disclosure regulations;
intense competition in the mining industry;
tax initiatives on domestic and international levels;
fluctuation in foreign currency values;
our likely status as a PFIC (as defined below) for U.S. federal tax purposes;
delays, potential losses and inability to maintain sufficient working capital due to business interruptions or global economic slowdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic;
cybersecurity breaches that threaten or disrupt our information technology systems;
anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws;
direct and indirect consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
potential conflicts of interest arising from certain of our directors and officers serving as directors and officers of other companies in the natural resources sector.

Industry Risks

inherent hazards of mining exploration, development and operating activities;
a shortage of skilled labor, equipment and supplies;

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the accuracy of calculations of mineral reserves and mineral resources and fluctuations therein based on metal prices, estimated costs, and inherent vulnerability of the ore and recoverability of metal in the mining process;
changes in environmental regulations to which our exploration and development operations are subject; and
changes in climate change regulations could result in increased operating costs.

For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, please see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” below in this annual report on Form 10-K. Although we have attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results to be materially different than anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that these forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in the statements. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS.

An investment in our securities involves a high degree of risk. The risks described below are not the only ones facing the Company or otherwise associated with an investment in our securities. Additional risks not presently known to us or which we currently consider not material may also adversely affect our business. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition and operating results could be materially adversely affected.

Operating Risks

We cannot be assured that the Mt Todd 2022 FS has, or future feasibility studies will, accurately forecast economic results.

Mt Todd is our principal asset. Our ability to arrange financing to develop Mt Todd and our future profitability depend on the economic and technical feasibility of the Project as established through formal feasibility studies, such as the 2022 FS just completed. There can be no assurance that the mining, comminution and gold recovery processes (including ore sorting), gold production rates, revenue, and capital and operating costs including taxes and royalties will not vary unfavorably from the estimates and assumptions included in the 2022 FS, or any future feasibility studies.

Mt Todd requires substantial capital investment and we may be unable to raise sufficient capital on favorable terms or at all.

The construction and operation of Mt Todd will require significant capital. Our ability to raise sufficient capital and/or secure a development partner on satisfactory terms, if at all, will depend on several factors, including the 2022 FS, acquisition of the requisite permits, macroeconomic conditions, and future gold prices. Uncontrollable factors or other factors such as lower gold prices, unanticipated operating or permitting challenges, perception of environmental impact, or illiquidity in the debt or equity markets, including the cost of capital and other conditions of financing arrangements that impose restrictive covenants and security interests that may affect the Company’s ability to operate as intended and ultimately its ability to continue as a going concern, could impede our ability to finance Mt Todd on acceptable terms, or at all.

If we decide to construct the mine at Mt Todd, we will assume certain substantial reclamation obligations resulting in a material financial obligation.

The Mt Todd site was not reclaimed when the original mine closed. Although we are not currently responsible for the reclamation of these historical disturbances, we will accept full responsibility for them if and when we make a decision to finance and construct the mine and provide notice to the NT Government of our intention to take over and assume the management, operation and rehabilitation of Mt Todd. At such time, we will be required to provide a bond or other surety in a form and amount satisfactory to the NT Government (in whose jurisdiction Mt Todd is located) that would cover the prospective expense to reclaim the property. In addition, the regulatory authorities may increase reclamation and bonding

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requirements from time to time. The satisfaction of these bonding requirements and continuing or future reclamation obligations will require a significant amount of capital.

There may be delays in the construction of Mt Todd.

Delays in commencing construction could result from factors such as availability and performance of engineering and construction contractors, suppliers, consultants, and employees; availability of required equipment; and availability of capital. Any delay in performance by any one or more of the contractors, suppliers, consultants, employees or other persons on which we depend, or lack of availability of required equipment, or delay or failure to receive required governmental approvals, or financing could delay or prevent commencement of construction at Mt Todd. There can be no assurance of whether or when construction at Mt Todd will start or that the necessary personnel, equipment or supplies will be available to the Company if and when construction is started.

Increased costs could impede our ability to become profitable.

Capital and operating costs at mining operations are subject to variation due to a number of factors, such as changing ore grade, changing metallurgy, and revisions to mine plans in response to changing commodity prices, additional drilling results and updated geologic interpretations. In addition, costs are affected by the cost of capital, tax and royalty regimes, trade tariffs, the global cost of mining and processing equipment, commodity prices, and foreign exchange rates, as well as the costs of fuel, electricity, operating supplies, and appropriately skilled labor. These costs are at times subject to volatile price movements, including increases that could make future development and production at Mt Todd less profitable or uneconomic. This could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

We cannot be assured that we will have an adequate water supply for mining operations at Mt Todd.

Water at Mt Todd is expected to be provided from a fresh water reservoir that is fed by seasonal rains. Insufficient rainfall, or drought-like conditions in the area feeding the reservoir could limit or extinguish this water supply. Sufficient water resources may not be available, resulting in curtailment or stoppage of operations until the water supply is replenished. This could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

We rely on third parties to fulfill their obligations under agreements.

Our business strategy includes entering into agreements with third-parties (“Third-Parties”). Such Third-Parties may: (i) have economic or business interests or goals that are inconsistent with or opposed to ours; (ii) have rights in conflict with what we believe to be in our best interests; (iii) take action contrary to our policies or objectives; or (iv) as a result of financial or other reasons, be unable or unwilling to fulfill their obligations under the agreement(s). Any one or a combination of these could result in liabilities for us and/or could adversely affect the value of the related project(s) and, by association, damage our reputation and consequently our ability to acquire or advance other projects and/or attract future Third-Parties.

Our exploration and development interests are subject to evolving environmental regulations.

Our property and royalty interests are subject to environmental regulations. Environmental legislation is becoming more restrictive in some jurisdictions, with stricter standards and enforcement, increased fines and penalties for non-compliance, more stringent environmental assessments of proposed projects, and a heightened degree of responsibility for companies and their officers, directors and employees. There is no assurance that future changes in environmental regulation, if any, will not adversely affect our interests. Currently, our property and royalty interests are subject to government environmental regulations in Australia, Indonesia, and the U.S.

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We could be subject to environmental lawsuits.

Neighboring landowners and other third parties could file claims based on environmental statutes and common law for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by environmental nuisance, the release of hazardous substances or other waste material into the environment on or around our properties. There can be no assurance that our defense of such claims would be successful. This could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, financial condition, results of operation, and corporate reputation.

We may have material undisclosed environmental liabilities of which we are not aware.

Vista has been engaged in gold exploration since 1983. Since inception the Company has been involved in numerous exploration projects in many jurisdictions. There may be environmental liabilities associated with disturbances at any of these projects for which the Company may be identified as a responsible or potentially responsible party, regardless of its level of involvement in creating the related disturbance. We may not be aware of such claims against the Company until regulators provide notice thereof. Consequently, we may have material undisclosed environmental responsibilities which could negatively affect our business prospects, financial condition and cash flows, results of operations, and corporate reputation.

There may be challenges to our title to mineral properties.

There may be challenges to our title to our mineral properties. If there are title defects with respect to any of our properties, we may be required to compensate other persons or reduce or lose our interest in the affected property. Also, in any such case, the investigation and resolution of title issues could divert Company resources from our core strategies.

Opposition to Mt Todd could have a material adverse effect.

There is generally an increasing level of public concern relating to extractive industries. Opposition to extractive industries, or our development and operating plans at Mt Todd specifically, could have adverse effects on our reputation and support from other stakeholders. As a result, we may be unable to secure adequate financing or complete other activities necessary to continue our planned activities. Any resulting delays or an inability to develop and operate Mt Todd as planned could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and corporate reputation.

Our exploration and development activities, strategic transactions, or any acquisition activities may not be commercially successful and could fail to lead to gold production or fail to add value.

Substantial expenditures are required to acquire gold properties, establish mineral reserves through drilling and analysis, develop metallurgical processes to extract metal from the ore and develop the mining and processing facilities and infrastructure at any site chosen for mining. We cannot be assured that any such activities will be commercially successful, lead to gold production, or add value.

Financial and Business Risks

We have a history of losses, and we do not expect to generate earnings from operations or pay dividends in the near term, if at all.

We are a development stage issuer. As such, we devote our efforts to development of our development stage property, the Mt Todd project. We do not currently produce gold and do not currently generate operating earnings from gold production. We finance our business activities principally by issuing equity and selling non-core assets.

We have incurred losses in all periods since 1998, except for the years ended December 31, 2011, during which we recorded non-cash net gains, December 31, 2015 during which we recorded gains related to research and development refunds, and December 31, 2020 in which we monetized certain mineral property interests. We expect to continue to incur

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losses. We have no history of paying cash dividends and we do not expect to be able to pay cash dividends or to make any similar distribution in the foreseeable future, if at all.

A substantial or extended decline in gold prices would have a material adverse effect on the value of our assets and on our ability to raise capital and could result in lower than estimated economic returns.

The value of our assets, our ability to raise capital and our future economic returns are substantially dependent on the price of gold. The gold price fluctuates continually and is affected by numerous factors beyond our control. Factors tending to influence gold prices include:

gold sales or leasing by governments and central banks or changes in their monetary policy, including gold inventory management and reallocation of reserves;
speculative short or long positions on futures markets;
the relative strength of the U.S. dollar;
expectations of the future rate of inflation or interest rates;
changes to economic conditions in the United States, China, India and other industrialized or developing countries;
geopolitical conflicts;
changes in jewelry, investment or industrial demand;
changes in supply from production, disinvestment and scrap; and
forward sales by producers in hedging or similar transactions.

A substantial or extended decline in the gold price could:

negatively impact our ability to raise capital on favorable terms, or at all;
negatively affect our ability to find a partner, investor or lender for the development of Mt Todd;
jeopardize the development of Mt Todd;
reduce our existing estimated mineral resources and reserves by removing material from these estimates that could not be economically processed at lower gold prices;
reduce the potential for future revenues from gold projects in which we have an interest;
reduce funds available to operate our business; and
reduce the market value of our assets.

Industry consolidation could result in the acquisition of a control position in the Company for less than fair value.

Consolidation within the industry is a growing trend. As a result of the broad range of market and industry factors including the price of gold, we believe the current market value of the common shares in the capital of the Company (the “Common Shares”) does not reflect the fair value of the Company’s assets. These conditions could result in the acquisition of a control position, or attempted acquisition of a control position in the Company at what we believe to be less than fair value. This could result in substantial costs to us and divert our management’s attention and resources. A completed acquisition could result in realized losses of shareholder value.

We may be unable to raise additional capital on favorable terms, or at all.

Our exploration and, if warranted, development activities and the construction and start-up of any mining operation require substantial amounts of capital. In order to develop Mt Todd, acquire attractive gold projects, and/or continue our business, we will have to secure a development partner or otherwise source sufficient equity, debt or other forms of capital, raise additional funds from the sale of non-core assets and / or seek additional sources of capital from other external sources. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in securing a development partner or otherwise raising additional capital on acceptable terms, including the cost of such capital and other conditions of financing arrangements that impose restrictive covenants and security interests that may affect the Company’s ability to operate as intended and ultimately its ability to continue as a going concern. If we cannot raise sufficient additional capital, we may be required to substantially reduce or cease operations, any of which may affect our ability to continue as a going concern.

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We face intense competition in the mining industry.

The mining industry is intensely competitive in all of its phases. Some of our competitors are much larger, established companies with greater financial and technical resources than ours. We compete with other companies for attractive mining properties, for capital, for equipment and supplies, for outside services and for qualified managerial and technical employees. Access to financing, equipment, supplies, skilled labor and other resources may also be affected by competition from non-mining related commercial sectors. If we are unable to raise sufficient capital, we will be unable to execute exploration and development programs or such programs may be reduced in scope. Competition for equipment and supplies could result in shortage of necessary supplies and/or increased costs. Competition for outside services could result in increased costs, reduced quality of service and/or delays in completing services. If we cannot successfully retain or attract qualified employees, our ability to advance the development of Mt Todd, to attract necessary financing, to meet all of our environmental and regulatory responsibilities, or to take opportunities to improve our business, could be negatively affected. This could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

The occurrence of events for which we are not insured may affect our cash flow and overall profitability.

We maintain insurance policies that mitigate certain risks related to our operations. This insurance is maintained in amounts that we believe to be reasonable based on the circumstances surrounding each identified risk. However, we may elect to limit or not have insurance for certain risks because of the high premiums associated with insuring those risks or for various other reasons. In other cases, insurance may not be available for certain risks. We do not insure against political risk. Occurrence of events for which we are not insured adequately, or at all, could result in significant losses that could materially adversely affect our financial condition and our ability to fund our business.

Currency fluctuations may adversely affect our costs.

We have material property interests in Australia. Most costs in Australia are incurred in the local currency. The appreciation of the Australian dollar, if any, against the U.S. dollar effectively increases our cost of doing business in Australia. This could have the effect of increasing the amount of capital required to continue to explore and develop Mt Todd, and/or reducing the pace at which it is developed.

The Company is likely a “passive foreign investment company,” which will likely have adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences for U.S. shareholders.

U.S. shareholders of our Common Shares should be aware that the Company believes it was classified as a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) up to and including the taxable year ended December 31, 2021, and based on current business plans and financial projections, management believes there is a significant likelihood that the Company will be a PFIC during the current taxable year. If the Company is a PFIC for any year during a U.S. shareholder’s holding period, then such U.S. shareholder generally will be required to treat any gain realized upon a disposition of Common Shares, or any so-called “excess distribution” received on their Common Shares, as ordinary income, and to pay an interest charge on a portion of such gain or distributions, unless the shareholder makes a timely and effective “qualified electing fund” (“QEF Election”) or a “mark-to-market” election with respect to the Common Shares. A U.S. shareholder who makes a QEF Election generally must report on a current basis its share of the net capital gain and ordinary earnings for any year in which the Company is PFIC, whether or not the Company distributes any amounts to its shareholders. U.S. shareholders should be aware that there can be no assurance that the Company will satisfy record keeping requirements that apply to a QEF Election, or that the Company will supply U.S. shareholders with information that such U.S. shareholders require to report under the QEF Election rules, in event that the Company is a PFIC and a U.S. shareholder wishes to make a QEF Election. Thus, U.S. shareholders may not be able to make a QEF Election with respect to their Common Shares. A U.S. shareholder who makes the mark-to-market election generally must include as ordinary income each year the excess of the fair market value of the Common Shares over the taxpayer’s basis therein. This paragraph is qualified in its entirety by the discussion below in “Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities - “Certain U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations for U.S. Residents.” Each U.S.

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shareholder should consult his or her own tax advisor regarding the U.S. federal, U.S. state and local, and foreign tax consequences of the PFIC rules and the acquisition, ownership, and disposition of Common Shares.

Certain directors and officers may serve as directors and officers of other companies in the natural resources sector.

While there are no known existing or potential conflicts of interest between Vista and any of its directors or officers, certain of the directors and officers do or may serve as directors and officers of other natural resource companies and therefore it is possible that a conflict may arise between their duties as a director or officer of Vista and their duties as a director or officer of such other companies. The directors and officers of Vista are aware of the existence of laws governing accountability of directors and officers for corporate opportunity and disclosure of conflicts of interest. Should any director or officer breach the duties imposed upon them by applicable laws, such actions or inactions could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and corporate reputation.

Direct and indirect consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic may have material adverse consequences.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a material adverse effect on the global economy, which has impacted the natural resource sector and Vista. Vista incurred minimal health and safety costs. However, we incurred other corporate and Mt Todd costs while certain corporate objectives, including efforts to secure a strategic development partner or other form of transaction were extended due to travel restrictions. Pandemic conditions may also disrupt our access to supplies and services. Evolving conditions related to COVID-19 could ultimately have a material adverse effect on both short-term and long-term financial position and results of operations. To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business and financial results, it could also heighten the effect many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section. Because of uncertainties relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not currently possible to estimate the impact of the pandemic on our business. However, these effects could have a material impact on our operations.

Industry Risks

Calculations of mineral resources and mineral reserves are estimates only and subject to uncertainty.

The estimating of mineral resources and mineral reserves is an imprecise process and the accuracy of such estimates is a function of the quantity and quality of available data, the assumptions used and judgments made in interpreting engineering and geological information and estimating future capital and operating costs. There is significant uncertainty in any reserve or resource estimate, and the economic results of mining a mineral deposit may differ materially from the estimates as additional data are developed or interpretations change.

Estimated mineral resources and mineral reserves may be materially affected by other factors.

In addition to uncertainties inherent in estimating mineral resources and mineral reserves, other factors may adversely affect estimated mineral resources and mineral reserves. Such factors may include but are not limited to metallurgical, environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-economic, marketing, political, gold prices, and capital and operating costs. Any of these or other adverse factors may reduce or eliminate estimated mineral reserves and mineral resources and could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and corporate reputation.

Feasibility studies are estimates only and subject to uncertainty.

Feasibility studies such as our 2022 FS are used to determine the economic viability of an ore deposit, as are preliminary feasibility studies and preliminary economic assessments. Feasibility studies are the most detailed studies and reflect a higher level of confidence in the estimated production rates, and capital and operating costs. Generally accepted levels of confidence are plus or minus 15% for feasibility studies, plus or minus 25-30% for preliminary feasibility studies and plus or minus 35-40% for preliminary economic assessments. These thresholds reflect the levels of confidence that exist at the time the study is completed. Subsequent changes to metal prices, foreign exchange rates (if applicable), reclamation requirements, operating and capital costs may cause actual results of economic viability to differ materially from these estimates. Results of any subsequent Mt Todd feasibility study may be less favorable than the current 2022 FS.

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Mining companies are increasingly required to consider and provide benefits to the communities and countries in which they operate, and are subject to extensive environmental, health and safety laws and regulations.

As a result of public concern about the real or perceived detrimental effects of economic globalization and global climate impacts and other adverse environmental effects resulting from the operation of extractive industries, businesses in general and the mining industry in particular face increasing public scrutiny of their activities. These businesses are under pressure to demonstrate that as they seek to generate satisfactory returns on investment to shareholders, other stakeholders, including employees, governments, indigenous peoples, communities surrounding operations and the countries in which they operate, such constituencies benefit and will continue to benefit from their commercial activities. The potential consequences of these pressures include reputational damage, legal suits, increased costs, increased social investment obligations, difficulty in acquiring permits, and increased taxes and royalties payable to governments and communities.

Mining exploration, development and operating activities are inherently hazardous.

Mineral exploration and development involves many risks that even a combination of experience, knowledge and careful evaluation may not be able to overcome. Operations in which we have direct or indirect interests will be subject to all the hazards and risks normally incidental to exploration, development and production of gold and other metals, any of which could result in work stoppages, damage to property, physical harm and possible environmental damage. The nature of these risks is such that liabilities might exceed any liability insurance policy limits. It is also possible that the liabilities and hazards might not be insurable, or, we could elect not to be insured against such liabilities due to high premium costs or other reasons, or our insurance for a particular event or circumstance might be insufficient, in which event we could incur significant costs that could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and corporate reputation.

Regulations and pending legislation involving climate change could result in increased operating costs.

Gold production is energy intensive, resulting in a significant carbon footprint. A number of governments and/or governmental bodies have introduced or are contemplating regulatory changes in response to the potential impact of climate change. This type of legislation and possible future legislation and increased regulation regarding climate change could impose significant costs related to increased energy requirements, capital equipment, environmental monitoring and reporting and other costs to comply with such regulations.

Pending initiatives involving taxation could result in increased tax and operating costs.

There is growing attention from the media and the public on perceived international tax avoidance techniques which could result in escalating rates of poverty, inequality and unemployment in host countries. Initiatives like the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project being led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development aim to reform the system of international taxation to minimize international tax avoidance techniques. This initiative and possible future initiatives could result in increased tax expense and related compliance costs for Mt Todd or other future mining operations.

Securities Risks

Our share price may be volatile and your investment in our Common Shares could suffer a decline in value.

Broad market and industry factors may adversely affect the price of our Common Shares, regardless of our actual operating performance. Factors that could cause fluctuation in the price of our Common Shares may include, among other things:

changes in financial estimates by us or by any securities analysts who might cover our stock market performance;
stock market price and volume fluctuations of other publicly traded companies and, in particular, those that are in the mining industry;
speculation about our business in the press or the investment community;
conditions or trends in our industry or the economy generally;
decreases in the prices of gold;

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announcements by us or our competitors of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships or divestitures;
inability to find a development partner, investor of lender on acceptable terms for the development of Mt Todd;
additions or departures of key personnel; and
sales of our Common Shares, including sales by our directors, officers or significant stockholders.

In the past, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in their stock price. This type of litigation could result in substantial costs to us and divert our management’s attention and resources.

There may be limited liquidity for our warrants.

 

There is no market through which our outstanding warrants may be sold. It is not possible to predict the price at which the warrants will trade in the secondary market or whether such market will be liquid or illiquid. To the extent warrants are exercised, the number of warrants outstanding will decrease, resulting in diminished liquidity for such remaining outstanding warrants. A decrease in the liquidity of the warrants may cause, in turn, an increase in the volatility associated with the price of the warrants. To the extent that the warrants become illiquid, an investor may have to exercise such warrants to realize value.

 

Potential dilution.

 

Our constating documents allow us to issue an unlimited number of common shares for such consideration and on such terms and conditions as shall be established by the board of directors, in many cases, without the approval of shareholders. We may issue common shares in offerings from treasury (including through the sale of securities convertible into or exchangeable for common shares) and on the exercise of stock options or other securities exercisable for common shares. We cannot predict the size of future issuances of common shares or the effect that future issuances and sales of common shares will have on the market price of the common shares. Issuances of a substantial number of additional common shares, or the perception that such issuances could occur, may adversely affect prevailing market prices for the common shares. With any additional issuance of common shares, investors will suffer dilution to their voting power and we may experience dilution.

Holders of our common shares may not receive dividends.

We have not historically declared cash dividends on our common shares. Holders of our common shares are entitled to receive only such dividends as our Board of Directors may declare out of funds legally available for such payments. Our ability to pay dividends will be subject to our future earnings, capital requirements and financial condition, as well as our compliance with covenants related to any future indebtedness and would only be declared in the discretion of our Board of Directors.

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General Risks

The Company may experience cybersecurity breaches.

Regular access to and security of information technology systems are critical to Vista’s operations. To Vista’s knowledge, it has not experienced any material losses relating to disruptions to its information technology systems. Vista has implemented policies, controls and practices to manage and safeguard Vista and its stakeholders from internal and external cybersecurity threats and to comply with changing legal requirements and industry practice. Cyber risks cannot be fully mitigated and these threats are continuing to evolve. Therefore, Vista cannot assure that its information technology systems are fully protected from cybercrime or that the systems will not be inadvertently compromised, or without failures or defects. Potential disruptions to Vista’s information technology systems, including, without limitation, security breaches, power loss, theft, computer viruses, cyber-attacks, natural disasters, and noncompliance by third party service providers and inadequate levels of cybersecurity expertise and safeguards of third party information technology service providers, may adversely affect the operations of Vista as well as present significant costs and risks including, without limitation, loss or disclosure of confidential, proprietary, personal or sensitive information and third party data, material adverse effect on its financial performance, compliance with its contractual obligations, compliance with applicable laws, damaged reputation, remediation costs, potential litigation, regulatory enforcement proceedings and heightened regulatory scrutiny.

The Company is subject to anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws.

Vista’s operations are governed by, and involve interactions with, many levels of government in several countries. Vista is required to comply with anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws in the countries in which we conduct our business. In recent years, there has been a general increase in both the frequency of enforcement and the severity of penalties under such laws, resulting in greater scrutiny and punishment to companies convicted of violating anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws. Furthermore, a company may be found liable for violations by not only its employees, but also by its contractors and third-party agents. Although we have adopted internal control policies to mitigate such risks, there can be no assurance that our internal control policies and procedures will always protect us from recklessness, fraudulent behavior, dishonesty or other inappropriate acts committed by our affiliates, employees or agents and such measures may not always be effective in ensuring that we, our employees, contractors or agents will comply strictly with such laws. If we find ourselves subject to an enforcement action or are found to be in violation of such laws, this could lead to civil and criminal fines and penalties, investigation and litigation, and loss of operating licenses or permits, resulting in a material adverse effect on our reputation and results of operations.

Our business is subject to evolving corporate governance and public disclosure regulations that have increased both our compliance costs and the risk of noncompliance.

 

We are subject to changing rules and regulations promulgated by a number of governmental and self-regulated organizations, including the British Columbia Securities Commission, the SEC, the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”), the NYSE American, and the Financial Accounting Standards Board. These rules and regulations continue to evolve in scope and complexity and many new requirements have been created in response to laws enacted by the United States Congress, making compliance increasingly more difficult and uncertain, which could have an adverse effect on our reputation and our stock price.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.

Not applicable.

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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES.

References to USD or $ refer to United States currency and AUD or A$ refer to Australian currency, all in thousands, unless specified otherwise.

Qualified Persons

The scientific and technical disclosures about Mt Todd in this annual report on Form 10-K have been reviewed and approved by John W. Rozelle, Senior Vice President of Vista. Mr. Rozelle is a qualified person as defined by S-K 1300 and NI 43-101. For a description of the key assumptions, parameters and methods used to estimate mineral reserves and mineral resources included in this Form 10-K, as well as data verification procedures and a general discussion of the extent to which the estimates may be affected by any known environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, sociopolitical, marketing or other relevant factors, please review the Technical Report Summary for the Mt Todd project which is included as an exhibit to, and incorporated by reference into, this Form 10-K.

Mt Todd Gold Project, Northern Territory, Australia

Summary Disclosure

The Company has only one material mining property, the Mt Todd project located in the Northern Territory of Australia. We hold Mt Todd through our wholly-owned subsidiary Vista Gold Australia Pty. Ltd. (“Vista Gold Australia”).

Technical Report Summary

The 2022 FS for Mt Todd is the technical report summary, prepared pursuant to S-K 1300, that was filed on EDGAR on February 24, 2022 and is entitled “S-K 1300 Technical Report Summary - Mt Todd Gold Project - 50,000 tpd Feasibility Study – Northern Territory, Australia” with an effective date of December 31, 2021 and an issue date of February 9, 2022 (the “2022 FS”). A companion feasibility study for Canadian purposes, pursuant to NI 43-101, was filed on SEDAR on February 24, 2022 and is entitled “NI 43-101 Technical Report - Mt Todd Gold Project - 50,000 tpd Feasibility Study – Northern Territory, Australia” with an effective date of December 31, 2021 and an issue date of February 9, 2022.

The technical data and economic conclusions of these reports are identical, with minor differences between the reports resulting only from the respective disclosure requirements of S-K 1300 and NI 43-101. The reports were prepared by Sabry Abdel Hafez, Ph.D., P.Eng.; Rex Clair Bryan, Ph.D., SME RM; Thomas L. Dyer, P.E., SME RM; Amy Hudson, Ph.D., CPG, REM; April Hussey, P.E.; Chris Johns, M.Sc., P.Eng.; Max Johnson, P.E.; Deepak Malhotra, Ph.D., SME RM; Zvonimir Ponos, BE, MIEAust, CPeng, NER; Vicki J. Scharnhorst, P.E., LEED AP; and Keith Thompson, CPG, member AIPG, each of whom is a qualified person under S-K 1300 and NI 43-101.

The following description of Mt Todd has been sourced, in part, from the 2022 FS and readers should consult the 2022 FS to obtain further particulars regarding Mt Todd. The 2022 FS is available for review at www.sec.gov and under our profile at www.sedar.com. The 2022 FS is not incorporated by reference into this annual report on Form 10-K.

Certain capitalized terms in this section not otherwise defined have the meanings ascribed to them in the 2022 FS.

Project Location and Access

Mt Todd is located 56 kilometers by road northwest of Katherine, NT, Australia, and approximately 290 kilometers by road southeast of Darwin. Access is by existing paved public roads and approximately four kilometers of paved private road. We control and maintain the private paved road.

The area has a sub-tropical climate with a distinct wet season and dry season. The area receives most of its rainfall between the months of January and March. Temperatures are moderate, allowing for year-round mining operations. Topography is relatively flat. The tenements encompass a variety of habitats forming part of the northern Savannah woodland region,

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which is characterized by eucalypt woodland with tropical grass understories. Surface elevations are approximately 130 to 160 meters above sea level in the area of the previous and planned mine plant site and waste rock dumps.

Graphic

Project Stage

The Mt Todd project is a development stage property with proven and probable mineral reserves.

Feasibility Study Results

The 2022 FS evaluates a 50,000 tpd project (“50,000 tpd Project”) that optimizes payable gold, capital efficiency, operating costs and net present value (“NPV”).

The 50,000 tpd Project highlights include:

Estimated proven and probable mineral reserves of 6.98 Moz of gold (280 Mt at 0.77 g Au/t) at a cut-off grade of 0.35 g Au/t(1)(2);
Average annual production of 395,000 ounces of gold over the mine life, including average annual production of 479,000 ounces of gold per year during the first seven years of operations following ramp-up and commissioning;

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Life of Mine average cash costs of $817 per ounce, including average cash costs of $752 per ounce during the first seven years of operations following ramp-up and commissioning;
A 16-year operating life;
Initial capital requirements of $892 million which assume an owner-operated mining fleet, power generated on-site by a third-party, and a locally based employee workforce;
After-tax NPV5% of $999.5 million and internal rate of return (“IRR”) of 20.6% at a gold price of $1,600 per ounce and an AUD:USD exchange rate of 0.71; and
After-tax NPV5% of $1,458 million and IRR of 26.7% at a price of $1,800 per ounce of gold and an AUD:USD exchange rate of 0.71 based on the Gold Price and Foreign Exchange Sensitivity Table below.

(1)Note to investors: Proven and probable mineral reserves are estimated in accordance with S-K 1300 and CIM Definition Standards.
(2)See “Item 1. Business – Cautionary Note to Investors Regarding Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources and Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves” in this annual report on Form 10-K for additional information.

Key statistics of the 50,000 tpd Project are presented in the table below:

Years 1-7(1)

Life of Mine (16 years)(2)

 

Average Plant Feed Grade (g Au/t)(3)

1.01

0.84

Average Annual Gold Production (koz)

 

479

 

395

Payable Gold Total (koz)

 

3,353

 

6,313

Average Recovery (%)

92.2

%  

91.6

%  

Cash Costs ($/oz)(4)

$

752

$

817

AISC ($/oz)(5)

$

860

$

928

Strip Ratio (waste:ore)

 

2.77

 

2.51

Initial Capital ($ millions)

$

892

After-tax NPV 5% ($ millions)

$

999.5

After-tax IRR

20.6

%  

After-tax Payback (Months)

47

Note: Table economics presented using $1,600/oz gold and a A$1.00 :$0.71 exchange.

(1) Years 1-7 start after the 6-month commissioning and ramp up period.

(2) Life of mine is from start of commissioning and ramp up through the final closure.

(3) Post-sorted grinding circuit feed grade.

(4) Cash Costs per ounce is a non-U.S. GAAP financial measure; see Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Non-U.S. GAAP Financial Measures for additional disclosure.

(5) All-in Sustaining Costs (“AISC”) per ounce is a non-U.S. GAAP financial measure; see Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Non-U.S. GAAP Financial Measures for additional disclosure.

The following chart presents the 50,000 tpd Project annual cash flow using $1,600/oz gold and an A$1.00:$0.71 exchange rate:

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Table of Contents

Graphic

The following table provides additional details of the 50,000 tpd Project economics at variable gold price and foreign exchange assumptions:

Gold Price and Foreign Exchange Rate Sensitivity Table ($ Millions)

Foreign

Gold Price

Exchange Rate

$1,300

$1,400

$1,500

$1,600

$1,700

$1,800

$1,900

($/A$)

NPV5%

IRR

NPV5%

IRR

NPV5%

IRR

NPV5%

IRR

NPV5%

IRR

NPV5%

IRR

NPV5%

IRR

0.74

$214

8.6%

$453

12.4%

$674

15.5%

$911

19.0%

$1,144

22.1%

$1,372

25.0%

$1,589

27.7%

0.71

$304

10.2%

$541

14.0%

$762

17.3%

$999.5†

20.6%†

$1,229

23.7%

$1,458

26.7%

$1,674

29.4%

0.68

$393

11.9%

$626

15.6%

$851

18.9%

$1,085

22.3%

$1,313

25.7%

$1,543

28.5%

$1,758

31.3%

† Reflects the assumptions used for the economic analysis in the 2022 FS.

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Table of Contents

Key capital expenditures for the 50,000 tpd Project initial and sustaining capital requirements are:

Capital Expenditures ($ Millions, except per ounce amount)

    

Initial

    

Sustaining

 

Capital

Capital

 

Mining

$

81

$

531

Process Plant

474

28

Project Services

56

89

Project Infrastructure

45

8

Site Establishment & Early Works

24

Management, Engineering, EPCM Services

100

Preproduction Costs

27

Contingency

86

44

Sub-Total

$

892

$

700

Asset Sale and Salvage

(37)

Total Capital

$

892

$

663

(1)

Total Capital per Payable Ounce of Gold

$

141

$

105

(1)

Note: Amounts may not add to total due to rounding. Asset sale and salvage value assumptions include end of life re-sale values for mining and processing equipment; and recycle value for steel and pipe from the process plant and other facilities.

(1) Net of asset sales.

The 2022 FS contemplates an owner-operated mining fleet at initial capital of $86 million and sustaining capital of $565 million, inclusive of contingency. The study assumes the equipment will be sold when retired from operations, at an estimated salvage value of $21 million. Fleet operators, along with other employees are expected to be community based, providing benefits by lower camp-related capital and operating costs. Mining equipment would be maintained through a full maintenance and repair contract with the manufacturer’s authorized dealer. Overall, this approach is expected to produce lower operating costs compared to contract mining.

The 2022 FS utilizes the efficiency of ore sorting across a broad range of head grades, the natural concentration of gold in the screen undersize material prior to sorting, the efficiency of fine grinding and the resulting improved gold recoveries at a final grind size of P80 40 µm, and the selection of FLSmidth’s VXP mill as the preferred fine grinding mill.

The 50,000 tpd Project incorporates purchasing electrical power from a third-party. The power plant will be owned, operated, and provide power on a dedicated contract.

The following table presents a breakdown of 50,000 tpd Project operating costs.

Operating Cost 

First 7 Years

Life of Mine Cost 

 

    

Per ore tonne

    

    

Per ore tonne

    

 

processed

Per ounce

processed

Per ounce

 

Mining

$

8.52

$

316

$

6.79

$

302

Processing

9.39

348

9.44

419

Site General and Administrative

1.06

39

0.99

44

Jawoyn Royalty(1)

0.86

32

0.72

32

Water Treatment

0.26

10

0.29

13

Tailings Management

0.08

3

0.08

4

Refining Costs(1)

0.09

3

0.08

3

Total Cash Costs(2)

$

20.28

$

752

$

18.40

$

817

Note: Table may not add to total due to rounding

(1)Jawoyn Royalty and refining costs calculated at $1,600 per ounce gold and an A$1.00 : $0.71 exchange rate.
(2)Total Cash Costs is a non-U.S. GAAP financial measure; see Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Non-U.S. GAAP Financial Measures for additional disclosure.

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In November 2020, we modified our agreement with the Jawoyn. The modified agreement provides the Jawoyn with a gross proceeds royalty (“GPR”) ranging between 0.125% and 2.0%, depending on prevailing gold prices and foreign exchange rates, instead of its previous right to become a 10% participating joint venture partner in Mt Todd. The modified agreement did not affect the previously agreed 1.0% GPR. The combined GPR range is now from 1.125% to 3.0% and is reflected in the table above.

The life of mine production schedule contemplates 280.4 million tonnes of ore containing an estimated 6.98 million ounces of gold at an average grade of 0.77 g Au/t to be processed over a 16-year operating life of the Project. Total recovered gold is expected to be 6.31 million ounces. Average annual gold production over the life of the Project is expected to be 395,000 ounces, which includes averaging 479,000 ounces during the first seven years of commercial operations. Commercial operations are anticipated to begin after two years of construction and a six-month commissioning and ramp-up period

The following table summarizes the production schedule. The shaded portion of the table highlights the impact of sorting which reduces the tonnage processed by 10%, increases the processed grade by a similar percentage, and results in cost savings in the grinding, leaching and tailings handling.

Years

Pit Ore Mined (kt)

Waste Mined (kt)

Ore Crushed (kt)

Crushed Grade (g/t)

Contained Ounces (kozs)

Ore to CIP (Post Sorting) (kt)

CIP Grade (g/t)

Contained Ounces (kozs)

Gold Produced (kozs)

Recovery (%)

(1)

7,188

14,066

0

0

0

0

0.00

0

0

0

1 †

18,216

25,904

12,334

1.10

436

11,100

1.21

431

399

92.6%

2

30,578

38,623

17,750

0.88

503

15,975

0.97

497

458

92.1%

3

19,696

63,199

17,750

1.04

594

15,975

1.14

587

542

92.5%

4

15,218

69,774

17,799

0.66

378

16,019

0.73

373

341

91.3%

5

27,591

66,264

17,750

0.79

451

15,975

0.87

445

408

91.7%

6

25,499

74,510

17,823

1.03

591

16,041

1.13

583

539

92.4%

7

13,229

77,291

17,750

0.97

554

15,975

1.06

546

504

92.3%

8

7,779

71,277

17,774

0.69

392

15,997

0.75

386

352

91.2%

9

13,866

59,499

17,774

0.52

295

15,997

0.57

291

261

89.8%

10

14,523

50,082

17,750

0.55

312

15,975

0.60

308

277

90.1%

11

20,830

40,490

17,750

0.61

347

15,975

0.67

343

311

90.7%

12

18,523

13,685

17,774

0.72

410

15,997

0.79

404

370

91.4%

13

11,307

4,388

17,774

0.76

433

15,997

0.83

428

391

91.6%

14

13,829

1,866

17,750

0.79

448

15,975

0.86

442

406

91.7%

15

9,149

412

17,750

0.78

446

16,120

0.85

440

403

91.6%

16 ‡

0

0

16,710

0.64

344

15,968

0.66

341

310

90.7%

17 ‡

0

0

2,612

0.54

45

2,612

0.54

45

41

89.8%

Total

267,021

671,331

280,375

0.77

6,979

253,673

0.84

6,891

6,313

91.6%

Note: Amounts may not add due to rounding.

Six-month startup and commissioning period ahead of full production

Total milled ore includes material from the existing heap leach pad that is processed in years 16 and 17.

Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Estimates

The table below presents the estimated mineral resources for the Project. The effective date of the resource estimates is December 31, 2021. The following mineral resources and mineral reserves were prepared in accordance with both S-K 1300 standards and CIM Definition Standards.

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Table of Contents

Mt Todd Gold Project – Summary of Gold Mineral Resources at the End of the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021 based on US$1,300/oz. Gold

Batman Deposit

Heap Leach Pad

Quigleys Deposit

Total

 

Contained

Contained

Contained

Contained

 

Tonnes

Grade

Ounces

Tonnes

Grade

Ounces

Tonnes

Grade

Ounces

Tonnes

Grade

Ounces

(000s)

(g Au/t)

(000s)

(000s)

(g Au/t)

(000s)

(000s)

(g Au/t)

(000s)

(000s)

(g Au/t)

(000s)

 

Measured

77,725

0.88

2,191

594

1.15

22

78,319

0.88

2,213

Indicated

200,112

0.80

5,169

13,354

0.54

232

7,301

1.11

260

220,767

 

0.80

 

5,661

Measured & Indicated

277,837

 

0.82

 

7,360

13,354

 

0.54

 

232

7,895

 

1.11

 

282

299,086

 

0.82

 

7,874

Inferred

61,323

 

0.72

 

1,421

 

 

3,981

 

1.46

 

187

65,304

 

0.77

 

1,608

Notes:

Measured & indicated resources include proven and probable reserves.
Batman and Quigleys resources are quoted at a 0.40g-Au/t cut-off grade. Heap Leach resources are the average grade of the heap, no cut-off applied.
Batman: Resources constrained within a US$1,300/oz gold WhittleTM pit shell. Pit parameters: Mining Cost US$1.50/tonne, Milling Cost US$7.80/tonne processed, G&A Cost US$0.46/tonne processed, G&A/Year 8,201 K US$, Au Recovery, Sulfide 85%, Transition 80%, Oxide 80%, 0.2g-Au/t minimum for resource shell.
Quigleys: Resources constrained within a US$1,300/oz gold WhittleTM pit shell. Pit parameters: Mining cost US$1.90/tonne, Processing Cost US$9.779/tonne processed, Royalty 1% GPR, Gold Recovery Sulfide, 82.0% and Ox/Trans 78.0%, water treatment US$0.09/tonne, Tailings US$0.985/tonne.
Differences in the table due to rounding are not considered material. Differences between Batman and Quigleys mining and metallurgical parameters are due to their individual geologic and engineering characteristics.
Rex Bryan of Tetra Tech is the QP responsible for the Statement of Mineral Resources for the Batman, Heap Leach Pad and Quigleys deposits.
Thomas Dyer of RESPEC is the QP responsible for developing the resource WhittleTM pit shell for the Batman Deposit.
The effective date of the Heap Leach, Batman and Quigleys resource estimate is December 31, 2021.
Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves have no demonstrated economic viability and do not meet all relevant modifying factors.

The mine plan in the 2022 FS includes both proven and probable mineral reserves and estimated total recovered gold at 6.31 million ounces. The following table presents the estimated mineral reserves for the Project.

Mt Todd Gold Project – Summary of Gold Mineral Reserves at the End of the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021 based – 50,000 tpd, 0.35 g Au/t cut-off and $1,125 per ounce pit design

Batman Deposit

Heap Leach Pad

Total

 

    

    

    

Contained

    

    

Contained

    

    

Contained

 

    

Tonnes

    

Grade

    

Ounces

    

Tonnes

    

Grade

    

Ounces

    

Tonnes

    

Grade

    

Ounces

 

(000s)

(g Au/t)

(000s)

(000s)

(g Au/t)

(000s)

(000s)

(g Au/t)

(000s)

 

Proven

 

81,277

 

0.84

 

2,192

 

 

 

 

81,277

 

0.84

 

2,192

Probable

 

185,744

 

0.76

 

4,555

 

13,354

 

0.54

 

232

 

199,098

 

0.75

 

4,787

Proven & Probable

 

267,021

 

0.79

 

6,747

 

13,354

 

0.54

 

232

 

280,375

 

0.77

 

6,979

Economic analysis conducted only on proven and probable mineral reserves.

Notes:

Thomas L. Dyer, P.E., is the QP responsible for reporting the Batman Deposit Proven and Probable reserves.
Batman deposit reserves are reported using a 0.35 g Au/t cutoff grade.
Deepak Malhotra is the QP responsible for reporting the heap-leach pad reserves.
Because all the heap-leach pad reserves are to be fed through the mill, these reserves are reported without a cutoff grade applied.
The reserves point of reference is the point where material is fed into the mill.
The effective date of the mineral reserve estimates is December 31, 2021.

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Table of Contents

Cautionary note to investors: Proven and probable mineral reserves are estimated in accordance with each of S-K 1300 and CIM Definition Standards. A number of risk factors may adversely affect estimated mineral reserves and mineral resources, any of which may result in a reduction or elimination of reported mineral reserves and mineral resources. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”

The tables below show the resource classification criteria and variogram parameters for the Batman resource model.

Graphic

Graphic

Property Holdings

In 2006, through an agreement with Pegasus Gold Australia Pty. Ltd. (“Pegasus”), the NT Government, and the Jawoyn, we acquired the concession rights and access to Mt Todd. Also in 2006, through an agreement with the NT Government, we established the rights and obligations of both parties with respect to Mt Todd site care and maintenance and potential future development. In 2017, the latter agreement was extended through the end of 2023.

Total land holdings controlled by Vista Gold Australia are approximately 1,705 Km2. A map showing the location of the mineral licenses (“MLs”) and exploration licenses (“ELs”) and a table with a list of MLs and ELs and the holding

29

Table of Contents

requirements are set out below. All of the estimated mineral resources are located within the boundaries of the MLs and substantially all of the estimated mineral resources at Mt Todd are located in the Batman deposit.

The Batman and Quigleys deposits are located within the MLs. Should a deposit be discovered on the ELs, the portion of the related EL would have to be converted to an ML before mining operations could start.

Mt Todd Land Holdings of Vista Gold Australia

Estimated Holding

Requirements

 Annual Rent &

Annual Work

Annual

Surface

Location

Admin Fees

 Requirement

Expenditure/

Area

Description

Location Date/

(thousands

(thousands

Technical

Mineral Licenses

    

(Km2)

    

 (UTM)

    

Grant Date

    

Renewal Date

    

of A$)

    

of A$)

    

Reports Due

MLN 1070

39.8

Mining License Block

March 5, 1993

March 4, 2043

88
(due March 4)

N/A

May 4/
May 4

MLN 1071

13.3

centered at

March 5, 1993

March 4, 2043

29
(due March 4)

N/A

May 4/
May 4

MLN 1127

0.8

approximately

March 5, 1993

March 4, 2043

2
(due March 4)

N/A

May 4/
May 4

MLN 31525

1.6

188555E, 435665N

September 4, 2017

September 3, 2042

4
(due September 3)

N/A

May 4/
May 4

Subtotals

55.4

123

-

Estimated Holding

Requirements

 Annual Rent &

Annual Work

Annual

Surface

Location

Admin Fees

 Requirement

Expenditure/

Area

Description

Location Date/

(thousands

(thousands

Technical

Exploration Licenses

    

(Km2)

    

 (UTM)

    

Grant Date

    

Renewal Date

    

of A$)

    

of A$)

    

Reports Due

EL29882

556

Centered at approximately 189100E, 84520000N

September 16, 2013

September 15, 2023

39
(due September 15)

125

May 14/
May 14

EL29886

595

Centered at approximately 200300E, 8452000N

September 16, 2013

September 15, 2023

45
(due September 15)

77

May 14/
May 14

EL30898

187

Centered at approximately 176100E, 8428700N

May 3, 2016

May 2, 2022

13
(due May 2)

12

May 14/
May 14

EL32004

163

Centered at approximately 164000E, 8430550N

November 21, 2019

November 20, 2025

4
(due November 20)

30

Dec 19/
Jan 19

ELA32005

149

Centered at approximately 160180E, 8445150N

Under application

Under application

Under application

Under application

Under application

Subtotals

1,650

101

244

Totals A$

224

244

Totals US$ (exchange rate of A$1.00 = $0.726 on December 31, 2021)

163

177

The surface land in the area of the contiguous MLs and ELs (excluding EL 32004) is freehold land owned by the Jawoyn. Because the Jawoyn have title to the land, such land is not part of the lands classified by the government as indigenous lands, and as a result such lands are not subject to an Indigenous Land Use Agreement. Vista has a private agreement with the Jawoyn for access to the land.

Annually, we are required to submit a care and maintenance MMP to the DITT that details work to be done on the property. We have received approval for all work done on the Project to date and obtained approval for the EIS. We received our operational MMP in June 2021, which is the operating permit that sets out how mine operating strategy will be

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implemented throughout the mine life in compliance with the EIS and EPBC requirements. The MMP will be amended to align with the design changes in the 2022 FS. The remaining permitting processes are relatively straight-forward and are not expected to impede, to a material extent, our exploration and future development plans. Any future mining will require sufficient surety bonding to fund mine closure.

Infrastructure

Because Mt Todd was an operating mine, infrastructure exists that reduces initial capital expenditure and significantly reduces capital risk related to infrastructure construction, which has been a major source of capital cost overruns in the mining industry over the last decade. Existing mining infrastructure items include:

a tailings storage facility with capacity for approximately 80 million tonnes of additional material;
a fresh water storage reservoir that would receive a two-meter dam raise and would harvest stormwater expected to be sufficient to provide process water for year-round operations for a 50,000 tpd operation;
a natural gas pipeline at site that can supply sufficient natural gas to meet the Project’s energy requirements which, coupled with the planned power generating plant, would save considerably on Project operating costs compared to grid-supplied power;
a paved road to site;
current electrical connection to the NT electric grid; and
reduced earthworks costs due to the process plant location being the same as the previous process plant, which has already been cleared and graded.

Other benefits of Mt Todd’s NT location include:

the Stuart highway – the main North / South highway in the NT is less than 10 kilometers from the Project site;
rail line parallel to the Stuart highway; and
the regional center of Katherine (population approximately 12,000) less than 40 kilometers from site and the NT capital of Darwin less than 250 kilometers from the Project site, which has port access.

The area has both historical and current mining activity and therefore a portion of the skilled workforce should be able to be sourced locally. In addition, Katherine offers the necessary support functions that are typically found in a medium-sized city with regard to supplies, accommodations, communications, etc.

Planned infrastructure for the site includes the following:

ammonium nitrate and fuel oil (ANFO) facility;
mine support facilities (heavy vehicle (HV) workshop, lube farm, washdown and tire change, warehouse, fuel farm, mining offices, core storage facility);
heap leach facility;
small accommodation camp for occasional contractor use;
water treatment plant (WTP);
power supply;
pit dewatering;
mine services;
communications;
gatehouse; and
expanded existing and additional TSF.

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Table of Contents

Geological Setting, Mineralization, and Deposit Type

Mt Todd is situated within the southeastern portion of the Early Proterozoic Pine Creek Geosyncline. Meta-sediments, granitites, basic intrusives, acidic and intermediate volcanic rocks occur within this geological province. Within the Mt Todd region, the oldest outcropping rocks are assigned to the Burrell Creek Formation. These rocks consist primarily of interbedded greywackes, siltstones, and shales of turbidite affinity, which are interspersed with the minor volcanics. The Burrell Creek Formation is overlain by interbedded greywackes, mudstones, tuffs, minor conglomerates, mafic to intermediate volcanics and banded ironstone of the Tollis Formation. The Burrell Creek Formation and Tollis Formation comprise the Finniss River Group. The Finniss River Group strata have been folded about northerly trending F1 fold axes. The folds are closed to open style and have moderate westerly dipping axial planes with some sections being overturned. A later north-south compression event resulted in east-west trending open style upright D2 folds. The Finniss River Group has been regionally metamorphosed to lower green schist facies. Late and Post Orogenic granite intrusions of the Cullen Batholith occurred from 1,789 Ma to 1,730 Ma, and brought about local contact metamorphism to hornblende hornfels facies.

The Batman pit geology consists of a sequence of hornfelsed interbedded greywackes and shales with minor thin beds of felsic tuff. Bedding consistently strikes at 325 degrees, dipping 40 degrees to 60 degrees to the southwest. Northerly trending sheeted quartz sulfide veins and joints striking at 0 degrees to 20 degrees and dipping 60 degrees to the east are the major controls for mineralization in the Batman pit. The veins are 1 to 100 millimeters in thickness with an average thickness of around 8 to 10 millimeters and occur in sheets with up to 20 veins per horizontal meter. These sheeted veins are the main source of gold mineralization in the Batman pit. In general, the Batman pit extends 1,600 meters in length by 1,100 meters in width and has been drill tested to a depth of 800 meters down-dip. The deposit is open along strike and at depth.

The mineralization within the Batman pit is directly related to the intensity of the north-south trending quartz sulfide veining. The lithological units impact on the orientation and intensity of mineralization. Sulfide minerals associated with the gold mineralization are pyrite, pyrrhotite and lesser amounts of chalcopyrite, bismuthinite and arsenopyrite. Galena and sphalerite are also present, but appear to be post-gold mineralization, and are related to calcite veining in the bedding plains and the east-west trending faults and joints. Two main styles of mineralization have been identified in the Batman pit. These are the north-south trending vein mineralization and bedding parallel mineralization. 

Gold mineralization in the Batman deposit occurs in sheeted veins within silicified greywackes/shales/siltstones. The Batman deposit strikes north-northeast and dips steeply to the east. Higher grade zones of the deposit plunge to the south. The core zone is approximately 200-250 meters wide and 1.5 kilometers long, with several hanging wall structures providing additional width to the orebody. Mineralization is open at depth as well as along strike, although the intensity of mineralization weakens to the north and south along strike.

Historical Operations

The Batman gold prospect is located in the Pine Creek Geosyncline that was worked from early in the 20th century. Gold and tin were discovered in the Mt Todd area in 1889. Most deposits were worked in the period from 1902 to 1914. A total of 7.80 tonnes of tin concentrate was obtained from cassiterite-bearing quartz-kaolin lodes at the Morris and Shamrock mines. The Jones Brothers reef was the most extensively mined gold-bearing quartz vein, with a recorded production of 28.45 kg Au. This reef consists of a steeply dipping ferruginous quartz lode within tightly folded greywackes.

The Yinberrie Wolfram field, discovered in 1913, is located 5 kilometers west of Mt Todd. Tungsten, molybdenum and bismuth mineralization was discovered in greisenized aplite dykes and quartz veins in a small stock of the Cullen Batholith. Recorded production from numerous shallow shafts is 163 tonnes of tungsten, 130 kg of molybdenite and a small quantity of bismuth.

Exploration for uranium began in the 1950s. Small uranium prospects were discovered in sheared or greisenized portions of the Cullen Batholith in the vicinity of the Edith River.

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Australian Ores and Minerals Limited (“AOM”) in a joint venture with Wandaroo Mining Corporation and Esso Standard Oil took out a number of mining leases in the Mt Todd area during 1975. Initial exploration consisted of stream sediment sampling, rock chip sampling, and geological reconnaissance for a variety of commodities. A number of geochemical anomalies were found primarily in the vicinity of old workings. Follow-up work concentrated on alluvial tin and, later, auriferous reefs. Backhoe trenching, costeaning, and ground follow-up were the favored mode of exploration. Two diamond drillholes were drilled at Quigleys. Despite determining that the gold potential of the reefs in the area was promising, AOM ceased work around Mt Todd.

The Arafura Mining Corporation, CRA Exploration, and Marriaz Pty Ltd all explored the Mt Todd area at different times between 1975 and 1983. In late 1981, CRA Exploration conducted grid surveys, geological mapping and a 14 diamond drillhole program, with an aggregate meterage of 676.5 m, to test the gold content of Quigleys Reef over a strike length of 800 meters. Following this program CRA Exploration did not proceed with further exploration.

During late 1986, Pacific Gold Mines NL (“Pacific”) undertook exploration in the area which resulted in small-scale open cut mining on the Quigleys and Golf reefs, and limited test mining at the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta pits. Ore was transported to a CIP plant owned by Pacific at Moline. This continued until December 1987. Pacific ceased operations in the area in February 1988 having produced approximately 86,000 tonnes grading 4 g Au/t (historical reported production, not S-K 1300 or NI 43-101 compliant). Subsequent negotiations between the joint venture partners Shell Company of Australia (“Billiton”), Zapopan NL (“Zapopan”) and Pacific resulted in the acquisition of this ground and incorporation into the joint venture.

Billiton, who was the managing partner in an exploration program in the joint venture with Zapopan, discovered the Mt Todd mineralization, or more specifically the Batman deposit, in May 1988. In 1992, Pegasus acquired a shareholding in Zapopan, following which Zapopan acquired Billiton’s interest. Pegasus progressively increased their shareholding until they acquired full ownership of Zapopan in July 1995.

Historical preliminary studies (not S-K 1300 or NI 43-101 compliant) for Phase I, a heap leach operation which focused predominately on the oxide portion of the deposit, commenced during 1992 culminating in an engineering, procurement, construction management (“EPCM”) award to Minproc in November of that year. The Phase I project was predicated upon a 4 million tonne per year (“Mtpy”) heap leach plant, which came on stream in late 1993. The treatment rate was subsequently expanded to a rate of 6 Mtpy in late 1994.

Based on our review of the historical project files, we believe that approximately 21.4 million tonnes grading 1.05 grams gold per tonne and containing 723,795 ounces of gold were extracted between 1993 and the termination of mining in 2000. Processing was by a combination of heap leach production from oxide ore and cyanidation of sulfide ore. The remaining mineralization consists of sulfide mineralization lying below and along strike of the existing open pit, and in hanging wall structures parallel to the main zone in the existing open pit.

Historical heap leach production is shown in the table below:

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Category

Historical Heap Leach Production Reported

Tonnes Leached (million)

13.2

Head Grade (g Au/t)

0.96

Recovery (%)

53.8

Gold Recovered (oz)

220,755

Cost/t (AUD)

8.33

Cost/oz (AUD)

500

NOTE: All tonnages and grades are historical production numbers that pre-date Vista’s ownership. The QPs and issuer consider historical estimates to be relevant but not current.

Phase II involved expanding to 8 Mtpy and treatment through a flotation and carbon-in-leach circuit. The feasibility study was conducted by a joint venture between Bateman Kinhill and Kilborne (“BKK”) and was completed in June 1995.

The Pegasus board approved the project on August 17, 1995, and awarded an EPCM contract to BKK in October 1995. Commissioning commenced in November 1996. Final capital costs to complete the project were AUD232 million (USD181 million).

Design capacity was never achieved due to inadequacies in the 3rd and 4th stages of the crushing circuit. A throughput rate of just under 7 Mtpy was achieved by mid-1997; however, problems with the flotation circuit which resulted in reduced recoveries necessitated closure of this circuit. Subsequently, high reagent consumption, as a result of cyanide soluble copper minerals, further hindered efforts to reach design production. Operating costs were above those predicted in the feasibility study. The spot price of gold deteriorated from above USD400 in early 1996 to below USD300 per ounce at the end of 1997. This, combined with underperformance of the project and higher operating costs led to the mine being closed and placed on care and maintenance on November 14, 1997.

In February 1999, General Gold Resources Pty. Ltd. (“General Gold”) agreed to form a joint venture with Multiplex Resources Pty Ltd (“Multiplex”) and Pegasus to own, operate, and explore the mine. Initial equity participation in the joint venture was General Gold 2%, Multiplex 93%, and Pegasus 5%. The joint venture appointed General Gold as mine operator, which contributed the operating plan in exchange for a 50% share of the net cash flow generated by the project, after allowing for acquisition costs and environmental sinking fund contributions. General Gold operated the mine from March 1999 to July 2000. Operations ceased in July 2000, and Pegasus, through the Deed Administrators, regained possession of various parts of the mine assets in order to recoup the balance of purchase price owed to it. Most of the equipment was sold in June 2001 and removed from the mine.

In March 2006, Vista acquired the concession rights from the Deed Administrators and surface rights from the Jawoyn and entered into a contract with the NT Government.

Exploration Licenses

Since acquiring the Mt Todd ELs, Vista has conducted an ongoing exploration program that includes prospecting, geologic mapping, rock and soil sampling, geophysical surveys and exploration drilling. Equipment and personnel were mobilized from the site or from an exploration base camp established in the central part of the ELs. The work was conducted by geologists and field technicians.

The exploration effort initially focused on follow-up work on targets developed by Pegasus during their tenure on the property. These included the RKD target, Tablelands, and Silver Spray. During a review of Pegasus’ airborne geophysical survey data, five distinct magnetic highs were observed located within sedimentary rocks that should have a low magnetic

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signature. These features are similar to those at Batman, which, as a result of the included pyrrhotite, exhibits a strong magnetic high. The geophysical targets were prioritized following review of historical work in the area and site visits. To date, two of the geophysical targets, Golden Eye and Snowdrop, have been drilled and a third, Black Hill, has been covered by soil sampling.

The Wandie target has a different magnetic signature. Field examination identified small scale pits on an iron-rich outcropping.

There are no reportable mineral resources and mineral reserves on the ELs. No data from the ELs were used in the development of the 2022 FS results.

Exploration Sampling summary:

Year

Soils

Rock Chips

2008

0

164

2009

1,333

45

2010

3,135

224

2011

1,925

79

2012

2,312

295

2013

572

51

2014

2,601

143

2015

841

53

2016

241

27

2017

1,098

78

2018

341

132

2019

313

170

2020

278

9

2021

0

11

Total Samples

14,990

1,481

Exploration Potential for MLs

Based on airborne geophysical survey data, we have identified several magnetic targets within our controlled land holdings surrounding the Batman pit. The targets are distinct magnetic highs located within sedimentary rocks that should have a low magnetic signature. These features are similar to those at Batman, which, as a result of the included pyrrhotite, exhibits a strong magnetic high.

Mineralization at the Quigleys deposit is interpreted to occur within a series of mineralized shears that strike north northwest and dip 30 to 35 degrees to the west. The main shear extends for nearly one kilometer along the strike and has been drilled to a vertical depth of 230 meters. The mineral resource estimate has been defined by 632 drill holes drilled by Pegasus and Billiton Australia Gold Pty. Ltd. in the late 1980s through the mid-1990s. Tetra Tech reviewed the integrity of the drill-hole database and developed a computer model to estimate and classify the estimated mineral resources. The model reflected Tetra Tech’s geological interpretation of the deposit, which constrained the mineralization to the shear zones using geological information and assays from 49,178 samples obtained from the drilling. Lower grade, erratic mineralization in the hanging wall of the shears has not been included in the mineral resource estimate.

Sampling and assaying were performed under the supervision of prior operators in conjunction with evaluation of the Batman pit and are discussed in the 2022 FS, as part of the overall Project sampling and assaying methodology.

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Drilling

Batman Deposit

The Batman deposit resource drillhole database consists of both pre-Vista and Vista drill holes. All of the Vista resource drill holes are HQ-size core holes. Vista has drilled a total of 92 HQ diamond drill holes totaling 58,863 meters. All of the Vista diamond drill core samples were sawn into half splits for assaying purposes.

The pre-2007 exploration database (pre-Vista) consists of 743 drill holes, of which 226 are diamond drill holes and 517 are percussion drill holes. These drill holes total approximately 98,000 meters. The diamond core was a combination of NQ and HQ sizes, with the NQ core being sawed into half splits and the HQ core being sawed into quarter splits.

The table below shows a summary of Batman Deposit drilling from 1988 to 2017. A large percentage of the historical drilling was by reverse circulation (“RC”) of less than 100 meters in depth. The RC drilling was used for ore grade control during the mining operations of Pegasus and General Gold Resources. Vista’s drilling discovered a larger Batman Deposit resource by probing deeper with diamond drilling averaging 550 meters in depth.

Batman Deposit Drilling History

Date

Reference

Holes (#)

Percussion (m)

Diamond (m)

RC
(m)

1988

Truelove

17

1,475

1989

Kenny, Wegmann, Fuccenecco

133

6,263

8,562

3,065

1990

Wegmann, Fuccenecco, Gibbs

122

5,060

8,072

1991

Billiton

149

501

202

3,090

1992

Zapopan

18

1,375

1,320

1993

Zapopan

16

2,814

1994-1997

Pegasus Gold

170

22,534

1998-2000

General Gold Resources

105

7,436

26,365

2007

Vista