Gold exploration company Rainy River said it has completed a preliminary assessment of its Rainy River project, which indicates that the gold project in northwest Ontario is viable.

The Toronto-based company believes that the economics of the project will be further improved, once data from its most recent drill results are incorporated into a full feasibility study.

The proposed open-pit and underground operation is expected to annually produce about 330,000 ounces of gold and almost 500,000 ounces of silver, over a roughly 13-year mine life, the company said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Average operating costs over the life-of-mine are expected to be about $550 per ounce and the project is seen as going into production in the second-half of 2015.

We believe this is a positive milestone for the Rainy River Gold Project as it demonstrates a viable project with further upside based on recent drilling, said RBC Capital Markets analyst Stephen Walker in a note to clients.

Walker noted however that the project's anticipated capital cost of about $1.45 billion was above RBC's expectation of $1.2 billion.

Rainy River shares, recently promoted to the Toronto Stock Exchange from the TSX Venture Exchange, closed at C$7.07 on Wednesday.