VANCOUVER, BC - Maritime Resources Corp. (MAE-TSX Venture, "Maritime") is pleased to announce that they have completed the Prefeasibility Engineering Study and Economic Assessment ("PFS" or "Study") aimed to reopen the past producing Hammerdown gold project in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
The PFS was evaluated on the Measured & Indicated NI43-101 mineral resource estimate for the past producing Hammerdown gold deposit. The study was completed by WSP Canada Inc. (“WSP”), an independent third party engineering firm, with the mandate to evaluate the potential of bringing the past producing gold mine back into commercial production.
The Study was successful in demonstrating a viable mining operation with low upfront capital and short time line to the start of gold production. The engineering design optimizes a small foot print within the historical mine area as well as utilizing some of the existing underground infrastructure where possible. The operation is schedule to run at a capacity of approximately 400 metric tons per day (‘mtpd’) over a five-year mine life.
The results show positive economics, strong internal rate of return, short payback period and significant cash flow under reasonable commodity price assumptions. The pre-tax operating cash cost to produce an ounce of gold is $558 CDN with an all in pre-tax-cost (including capital, sustaining capital and operating cost) of $955 CDN per ounce of gold.
In addition, there remain numerous opportunities for improvement to reduce the planned development and capital costs. Maritime will continue to evaluate these opportunities with a goal to fully optimize the returns from the mining operation.
PRE-FEASIBILY STUDY (‘PFS’) HIGHLIGHTS
(All currency is expressed in Canadian dollars ($CA) unless otherwise noted.)
- Project Pre-tax net present value (‘NPV8%’) of $71.2 million with an IRR of 46.8% per cent.
- Project after-tax net present value (‘NPV8%’) of $44.2 million with an internal rate of return (‘IRR’) of 34.8%
- Net pre-tax cash flow of $104 million, undiscounted. Net after-tax cash flow of $69 million, undiscounted.
- Total Development and Capital Cost Estimate for the five-year life of mine of $67.8 million,
- Mine Development Capital of -$16.8 million
- Equipment Capital of - $10.6 million
- Infrastructure Capital of - $13.0 million
- Sustaining Capital - $12.9 million
- Indirect costs of - $ 7.3 million
- Contingency of - $7.2 million
- Mine life for the current plan at Hammerdown is five years, producing approximately 174,000 ounces at an average of approximately 35,000 ounces per year. Basic assumptions used for the compilation of this PFS:
- Gold Price of US$ 1,250 per ounce
- Exchange Rate of 0.8 US$ : 1 CA$ (or 1 US$ : 1.25 CA$)
- Project discount rate of 8%
- Mill recovery of 97% based on the historic treatment of the ore at the nearby Nugget Pond Gold Mill from 2000 to 2004.
Doug Fulcher, President and CEO of Maritime commented:
“We are pleased with the results of the PFS as it demonstrates that the Hammerdown Gold mine has the potential to convert Maritime into a junior gold producer. Through the ongoing partnership and discussions with Rambler Metals and Mining, Maritime hopes to quickly advance Hammerdown towards commercial productions by, utilizing the Nugget Pond gold mill where ore from this deposit was processed in the past.
“In addition to a high internal rate of return and short payback period, the project has numerous opportunities that could further enhance the project’s economics. We are confident that with access to the underground workings, combined with a surface diamond drilling program, our understanding of the deposit and the mineralization will significantly increase. The surface exploration program will aim to extend the gold vein system along trend, to test the blue sky potential, while a more focused program will be designed to improve the confidence level of any inferred material so that it can be further considered for inclusion in the reserve and mine plan.
“Being a Canadian asset, Maritime benefits not only from working in one of the safest jurisdictions in the world, but also from selling commodities in US dollars whilst most costs remain in Canadian dollars. This, combined with high grade, low capital costs and low project risks, makes the Hammerdown mineral asset unique amongst its peers.
“With this study now in-hand we will continue our efforts into the permitting aspects of the project while reviewing options to potentially fund the reopening of the Hammerdown Gold mine.”
MINERAL RESOURCE AND RESERVE UPDATE
As part of the PFS, a new geological resource and reserve has been estimated for the Hammerdown project. Tables 1 and 2 below outline the results of this updated estimate which will also be detailed in the technical report filed with SEDAR. No inferred mineralisation was included in the reserve estimate.
Table 1 Mineral Reserve Estimate Summary for the Hammerdown Gold Project
|Proven Reserves (undiluted, unrecovered)||118,600||15.17||57.8|
|Probable Reserves (undiluted, unrecovered)||320,600||11.79||121.5|
|Total Proven and Probable Reserve|
|Dilution (all sources)||261,400||0||0|
|Reserve (diluted and recovered)||700,600||7.96||179.4|
Note: see Mineral Reserve Statement Notes below
Table 2 Mineral Resource Estimate for the Hammerdown/Rumbullion/Muddy Shag Gold Deposits
|Total Measured + Indicated||925,670||10.60||315.6|
Note: see Mineral Resource Statement Notes below
The procedures used for the resource and reserve estimation processes are consistent with the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (‘CIMM’) best practices and NI 43-101 guidelines. Generally, figures are rounded to reflect the accuracy of the estimate; numbers may not total due to this rounding.
Pre-Feasibility Study (‘PFS’) SUMMARY
The PFS is based on the measured and indicated mineral resources only within the Hammerdown deposit. The Orion deposit, located approximately 1.5 km from Hammerdown gold mine, was not considered a part of this study and remains an opportunity for the project.
Ore mined at Hammerdown will be trucked and processed, at approximately 400 mtpd, at the Nugget Pond mill through a toll milling arrangement with Rambler Metals and Mining Canada Limited with whom Maritime has a strategic alliance.
Ore will be mined by way of a combination of both Long Hole and Mechanized Cut and Fill, utilizing the original access portal and a small portion of the existing underground workings.
Mine life in the PFS is approximately 5 years producing an average of approximately 35,000 ounces of gold per year with an all in pre-tax cost of approximately $955 per ounce.
Additional opportunities exist to improve the low risk, low capital base case scenario, including:
- Additional resource growth through the exploration and development of the Inferred Resource at Hammerdown that sits within the existing mine plan and contains up to 377,000 oz. gold;
- The potential of open pit production from Orion, not included is this study, during the first few years of operations;
- Further studies on both mining method, to minimize dilution, as well as underground development. This work will be initiated once the portal has been reopened and refurbishing of the underground workings have begun.
- Integration of ore pre-concentration at the mine site. This could potentially allow for further optimization of mine production by reducing the amount of waste and improving the grade being delivered to the mill;
- A detailed review will be completed of all surface infrastructure including, utilities, building and electrical etc. to determine the optimal use of and requirements for this equipment;
- All mine and surface mobile equipment is purchased upfront as new. There may be opportunities to source some equipment in the used market or possible arrange equipment financing terms with a supplier. A review of both size and quantity of mobile equipment will be completed for optimization and potential reduction in up front capital.
A National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) technical report will be filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com within 45 days, before the end of April 2017.
Table 3 Project Economics
|Total Operating Cost Estimate||97.1||$ M|
|Total Capital Cost Estimate (Over LOM)||67.8||$ M|
|Before-Tax Cash Flow||104||$ M|
|After-Tax Cash Flow||69||$ M|
|Before-Tax Net Present Value (8% discount)||71.2||$ M|
|After-Tax Net Present Value (8% discount)||44.2||$ M|
|Internal Rate of Return, Before-Tax||46||%|
|Internal Rate of Return, After-Tax||34.8||%|
|Before-Tax Payback Period, from start of production||1.7||Years|
|After-Tax Payback Period, from start of production||1.9||Years|
Table 4 Summary Project Parameters and Economics
|Exchange Rate||0.8||US$: 1 CA$|
|LOM Capital Estimate|
|Mine Development Capital||16.8||$ M|
|Mine Development Sustaining Capital||5.5||$ M|
|Mine Equipment Capital||7.2||$ M|
|Mine Equipment Sustaining Capital||7.1||$ M|
|Water Management||0.7||$ M|
|Power, Electricity||3.9||$ M|
|Reclamation, Closure, Post-Monitoring||1.0||$ M|
|Royalty Buy Back||1.0||$ M|
|Indirect Costs||7.3||$ M|
|LOM Operating Cost Estimate|
|Crushing, Loading, Transport||14.6||$ M|
|General & Administrative||7.1||$ M|
Operating Cost Per Ton
Operating Cost Per Oz/Au
|Refining, Transportation Charges||1.0||$ M|
|Reclamation Bond & Associated Cost||0.2||$ M|
|Salvage Value||(2.7)||$ M|
|Mining Dilution (Stopes, Drifts)||60||%|
|Mining Recovery (Stopes, Drifts)||100||%|
|Mill Recoveries (Au)||97||%|
The table below summarises the sensitivities associated with metal pricing, project operating expenditures (‘OPEX’) and capital expenditures (‘CAPEX’).
Table 5 Summary of Sensitivities
|Gold Price||28.4 $M||49.8 $M||71.2 $M||92.6 $M||114.0 $M|
|Operating Cost||86.6 $M||78.9 $M||71.2$M||63.5 $M||55.7 $M|
|Capital Cost||84.4 $M||77.8 $M||71.2 $M||64.6 $M||58.0 $M|
|Note: Before-Tax NPV at 8%|
MINERAL RESERVE AND MINERAL RESOURCE STATEMENTS
MINERAL RESERVE NOTES
The Mineral Reserves Estimate was prepared by WSP Canada Inc. (WSP). The mineral reserve estimate identifies the economically mineable mineral contained within stope shapes that have a final diluted grade of 3.0 g/t or higher. Above cut-off grade resource material less than 3 metres from historically mined workings was determined non-mineable due to safety concerns. This non-mineable material has been excluded from the reserves.
Tables 1 & 6 NOTES
Tonnages and grades depicted in Tables 1 & 6 reflect inclusion of all sources of dilution and by combining longitudinal retreat with near 60% dilution provides a 100% mining recovery.
All figures are rounded to reflect the accuracy of the estimate; numbers may not total due to this rounding. The CA$1,481 NSR for the reserve material was calculated using an all-in costs of 138 per tonne of ore milled for longhole mining and $153 per tonne of ore milled for cut and fill mining.
The ore reserves are based upon:
- A forecast long term metal price of US$1,250 per ounce for gold
- A long-term USD/CDN FX rate of 1:0.80
- A process recovery of 97% and
- Other royalty and refining factors.
Table 6 Mineral Reserve Estimate by Method by Level for the Hammerdown Gold Project - 16 February 2017
|Level||Longhole Stopes||Longhole Sills||Cut and Fill Stopes||Cut and Fill Sills||Total|
MINERAL RESOURCE NOTES
The Resource Estimate was prepared by WSP Canada Inc (WSP). The mineral resource estimate is based on the combination of geological modeling, geostatistics and conventional block modeling using the Ordinary Krig method of grade interpolation. The mineral resources were estimated using a block model with parent blocks of 5m X 5m X 5 m split three times into sub-blocks. The geological model including mineralized intercepts was generated by Maritime personnel and then audited by WSP. The QAQC protocols and corresponding sample preparation and shipment procedures have been reviewed by WSP.
Tables 2 & 7 NOTES
- CIM definition standards were followed for the resource estimate.
- The 2016 resource models used Ordinary Krig grade estimation within a three-dimensional block model with mineralized zones defined by wireframed solids.
- A cut-off grade of 3.0 g/t Au over 1.2 meters was used for reporting resources with capping of gold grades at 125 g/t at Hammerdown and 50 g/t at Orion.
- A Specific Gravity of 2.84 was applied.
- Numbers may not add exactly due to rounding.
- Mineral Resources, which are not mineral reserves, have not demonstrated economic viability.
- The quantity and grade of reported inferred resources in this estimation are uncertain in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define these inferred resources as an indicated or measured mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in upgrading them to an indicated or measured mineral resource category.
- Resources are inclusive of reserves.
Table 7 Mineral Resource Estimate for the Green Bay Property including:
Hammerdown/Rumbullion/Muddy Shag Gold Deposits and Orion Gold Deposit
|Measured and Indicated Total||ALL||2,022,170||7.28||473.2|
ABOUT MARITIME RESOURCES CORP:
Maritime Resources holds 100% of the Green Bay Property, located near Springdale, Newfoundland and Labrador. The property hosts the past producing Hammerdown gold mine and the Orion gold deposit separated by a 1.5 km distance, as well as the Lochinvar base metals/precious metals deposit.
The Hammerdown gold deposit was successfully mined by Richmont Mines between 2000 and 2004 while gold prices averaged $325/oz. During its operation, a total of 291,400 tonnes of ore were mined and milled, at an average grade of 15.83 g/t Au, recovering a total of 143,000 ounces of gold at an 8 g/t cut-off. All of the ore was processed at the Nugget Pond mill, now owned and operated by Rambler Metals and Mining Canada Limited, with an average gold recovery of 97.1%. Mining terminated in 2004 due to low gold prices with extensive gold mineralization remaining, although uneconomic at that time.
The Orion gold deposit consists of two main vein systems, both of which are open along strike, and down plunge to the northeast.
Bernard H. Kahlert, P.Eng. is the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical disclosure contained in this release.
The NI43-101 technical report has been compiled by WSP:
- Todd McCracken, P. Geo.: Resource Estimation;
- William McBride, P. Eng.: Reserve Estimation and Mining Methodology;
- Darlene Nelson P. Eng.: Rock Mechanics;
- Joanne Robinson, P. Eng.: Project Economics;
- Marianne Utiger, Eng.: Metallurgical Processing;
- Sébastian Bertelegni, Eng.: Surface Infrastructure
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
For further information, please call:
Cathy DiVito, Investor Relations Telephone: (604) 336-7322
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements:
Certain information included in this press release, including information relating to future financial or operating performance and other statements that express the expectations of management or estimates of future performance constitute “forward-looking statements”. Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding gold forecasts, the financial strength of the Company, estimates regarding timing of future development and production and statements concerning possible expansion opportunities for the Company. Where the Company expresses or implies an expectation or belief as to future events or results, such expectation or belief are based on assumptions made in good faith and believed to have a reasonable basis. Such assumptions include, without limitation, the price of and anticipated costs of recovery of gold, the presence of and continuity of such minerals at modeled grades and values, the capacities of various machinery and equipment, the availability of personnel, machinery and equipment at estimated prices, mineral recovery rates, and others. However, forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed, projected or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks include, but are not limited to, interpretation and implications of drilling and geophysical results; estimates regarding timing of future capital expenditures and costs towards profitable commercial operations. Other factors that could cause actual results, developments or events to differ materially from those anticipated include, among others, increases/decreases in production; volatility in metals prices and demand; currency fluctuations; cash operating margins; cash operating cost per ounce sold; costs per ton of ore; variances in ore grade or recovery rates from those assumed in mining plans; reserves and/or resources; the ability to successfully integrate acquired assets; operational risks inherent in mining or development activities and legislative factors relating to prices, taxes, royalties, land use, title and permits, importing and exporting of minerals and environmental protection. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements and the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained herein are made as at the date hereof and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or revise any such forward-looking statements or any forward-looking statements contained in any other documents whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable security law.