Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. Makes Good Progress on Updated Feasibility Study Completion Targeted for Q1 2021
Vancouver, BC – Sabina Gold & Silver Corp (SBB.T/SGSVF.OTCQX), (“Sabina” or the “Company”) is pleased to report on the status of the Updated Feasibility Study (“UFS”) on the proposed Goose Mine at its 100%-owned Back River Gold Project (“Back River” or the “Project”) in Nunavut, Canada.
“Work continues to advance the updated Back River resource estimate and Goose Project UFS for delivery in Q1, 2021,” said Bruce McLeod, President & CEO. “The significant exploration success we have delivered since the September 2015 feasibility study has been incorporated into the resource estimate and mine plan, along with many other improvements to the Project. This work continues to showcase the Goose Mine as a very compelling project: the first of many opportunities on Sabina’s 80km long Back River belt. Work continues at site, and we expect to complete our objectives for civil works to enable collaring our exploration decline in the spring of next year. We anticipate mobilizing out of camp in mid December.”
UPDATED FEASIBILITY STUDY
The September 2015 feasibility study (“2015 FS”) envisioned a 3,000 tonne per day (“TPD”) mine producing approximately 200,000 ounces a year over an 11.8-year mine life from a series of three open pits and one underground at the Goose site. Since that time, material discoveries and significant resource extensions have been made at the Project, including the two separate high-grade underground zones at Umwelt. Internal studies were undertaken to determine what potential improvement these areas might have to meaningfully increase the production profile and/or mine life, with a similar or marginally increased throughput, through a combination of open pit and underground mines at the Goose site. The Company is well advanced on the UFS which is expected in early Q1, 2021. The goal for the UFS is to increase gold production on an annual and total life of mine basis, which is expected to improve the overall financial metrics of the Project over the already positive economics demonstrated in the 2015 FS
Since the last Back River resource statement was completed, Sabina has drilled over 50,000 meters at the Goose site. This drilling has resulted in several discoveries as well as expansion of the known mineralized horizons at the Project. In 2020, exploration and infill drilling focused on areas that could positively impact the mine plan. Due to COVID, drilling to enable conversion to reserves was not achievable in 2020 for all of the new deposit areas. However, the new resource estimates will include updates to: Umwelt; Goose Main; Echo; and new inferred resources from the Nuvuyak and Llama Extension deposits. The George open pit resources will also be updated to reflect current metal price assumptions.
Reserve, Mining methods and Market Studies:
This Exploration success since the 2015 FS has enabled Sabina to re-envision the mine plan in the UFS. With early access to the high grade V2 Zone located below the Umwelt open pit, Sabina will add high-grade underground feed to the process plant early in the mine life and recover more higher-grade reserves earlier than envisioned in the 2015 FS. The mine plan will incorporate cut and fill mining methods plus cemented rock in select areas of the interface between the open pit and underground deposits, enabling production from areas previously excluded. The mining sequence in the UFS mine plan compared to the 2015 FS is outlined below.
Table 1: UFS re-envisioned mine plan relative to the 2015 Feasibility Study
|Mine Production Plan Sequencing|
|2015 Feasibility Study||2021 UFS|
|Umwelt Open Pit||Echo Pit|
|Llama Open Pit||Umwelt Underground|
|Goose Open Pit||Umwelt Open Pit|
|Umwelt Underground||Llama Open Pit|
|Goose Main Open Pit|
|Goose Main Underground|
Figure 1: Goose Mine Deposits Included in UFS
Processing, Test Work and Recoveries:
Since the 2015 FS, Sabina has undertaken additional metallurgical test work programs which have provided better certainty to the process plant design. These programs included: secondary grinding; leach vs flotation; detox; gravity recovery; and tailings and water quality test work. Results have confirmed the process plant operating parameters as well modest improvements to our baseline recoveries for most deposits. The process plant is designed as a traditional 3,000 TPD, primary/secondary/tertiary crushing, primary/secondary grinding, gravity separation, carbon-in-pulp, leach and detox plant. The plant has a design head grade between 6 and 12gpt with the capability to increase through-put in later years.
Sabina has made extensive improvements on all aspects of the Project scope. A brief outline of the significant improvements are as follows:
- Inaugural winter ice road and sealifts completed, gaining logistical, operational and cost experience which will be incorporated into the UFS;
- Significant reduction in earthworks for water management structures, (particularly earthworks scheduled for winter construction in the 2015 FS), thus reducing overall Project execution and schedule risk;
- Larger accommodation complex for an increased work force which enables underground and surface mining operations to run concurrently with construction;
- Enclosed power plant with larger and fewer power units generating heat recovery providing additional reliability for the power supply during operations;
- Shorter tailings lines which will reduce operational risk;
- A Sabina owned, on site oxygen plant and laboratory versus the previous model contemplated; and
- Three years of on-site seasonal construction experience providing improved understanding of operating in our northern environment which will be applied to estimated costs.
Environmental, Permitting and Social:
The Company is now in receipt of all major authorizations for construction and operations. More recent significant advances in permitting include: the final Project Certificate, received on December 19, 2017; the Type A Water License, received on November 14, 2018; and the listing to enable deposition of tailings on Schedule 2 of the Metals and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations, received on June 25, 2020. All project modifications were contemplated when the Company submitted it’s 2020 permit modification package to the regulatory authorities. Sabina continues to support the local communities within the region during COVID and continues to receive local support for the project.
CAPEX, OPEX and Financial:
Sabina is maintaining an initial nameplate throughput of 3,000 TPD in the UFS but the study will include an expansion to 4,000 TPD from sustaining capital in years four to five. As per the UFS guidelines, the team is achieving an AACE class III CAPEX estimate with the intention of converting to a class IV estimate for the process plant and selected aspects of remaining project scope after issuing the UFS. This will enable Sabina to obtain a fixed price proposal for construction execution. Completing the UFS while concurrently completing detail engineering will ensure details typically unrealized during a traditional feasibility study will be accurately represented and contribute to the overall accuracy of the study. The CAPEX and OPEX are being built up from first principles to reflect an updated execution strategy of a modified EPCM with Sabina self-managing as the Company has over the last three years. The inclusion of early underground mining activity along with price escalation and inflation, is expected to increase the overall CAPEX and OPEX when compared to the 2015 FS. The impact of an increased gold price and higher recovered ounces on an annual and life of mine basis are expected to improve the project economics when compared to the 2015 FS.
Sacré-Davey Engineering Inc., currently heading detail engineering, will be the overall author with the following companies contributing to the UFS.
|Firm||Area of responsibility|
|AMC Consultants||Resource Estimate|
|Knight Piésold Consulting||Geo-mechanical & Site water management Studies|
|Caneco||Process Plant and Metallurgy|
|SRK Consulting||Water management Structures|
|Mining Plus||Mining updates|
|DT Engineers||Balance of Plant Engineering|
|CGT Industrial Ltd||Construction estimates|
|ALS & BaseMet lab||Environmental and mineral processing lab works|
Sabina is working with Sacré-Davey Engineering Inc. and the other QP’s for delivery of the UFS in early Q1 2021 and detailed engineering to 90% by the end of Q1 2021.
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. is well-financed and is an emerging precious metals company with district scale, advanced, high grade gold assets in one of the world’s newest, politically stable mining jurisdictions: Nunavut, Canada.
Sabina released a Feasibility Study on its 100% owned Back River Gold Project which presents a project that has been designed on a fit-for purpose basis, with the potential to produce ~200,000 ounces a year for ~11 years with a rapid payback of 2.9 years (see “Technical Report for the Initial Project Feasibility Study on the Back River Gold Property, Nunavut, Canada” dated October 28, 2015).
The Project received its final Project Certificate on December 19, 2017. The Project received its Type A Water License on November 14, 2018 and its listing to enable deposition of tailings on Schedule 2 of the Metals and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations on June 25, 2020. The Company is now in receipt of all major authorizations for construction and operations.
In addition to Back River, Sabina also owns a significant silver royalty on Glencore’s Hackett River Project. The silver royalty on Hackett River’s silver production is comprised of 22.5% of the first 190 million ounces produced and 12.5% of all silver produced thereafter.
For further information please contact:
Nicole Hoeller, Vice-President, Communications: 1 888 648-4218
Forward Looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws (the “forward-looking statements”), including our belief as to the extent, results and timing of and various studies relating to engineering studies, infrastructure improvement activities, exploration results and permitting and licensing outcomes. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurance that the future circumstances, outcomes or results anticipated in or implied by such forward-looking statements will occur or that plans, intentions or expectations upon which the forward-looking statements are based will occur. While we have based these forward-looking statements on our expectations about future events as at the date that such statements were prepared, the statements are not a guarantee that such future events will occur and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors which could cause events or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors and assumptions include, among others, the effects of general economic conditions, commodity prices, changing foreign exchange rates and actions by government and regulatory authorities and misjudgments in the course of preparing forward-looking statements. In addition, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Known risk factors include risks associated with exploration and project development; the need for additional financing; the calculation of mineral resources and reserves; operational risks associated with mining and mineral processing; fluctuations in metal prices; title matters; government regulation; obtaining and renewing necessary licenses and permits; environmental liability and insurance; reliance on key personnel; the potential for conflicts of interest among certain of our officers or directors; the absence of dividends; currency fluctuations; labour disputes; competition; dilution; the volatility of the our common share price and volume; future sales of shares by existing shareholders; and other risks and uncertainties, including those relating to the Back River Project and general risks associated with the mineral exploration and development industry described in our Annual Information Form, financial statements and MD&A for the fiscal period ended December 31, 2019 filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators and available at www.sedar.com. Although we have attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. We are under no obligation to update or alter any forward-looking statements except as required under applicable securities laws. This news release has been authorized by the undersigned on behalf of Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.
Bruce McLeod, President & CEO
Suite 1800 – Two Bentall Centre
555 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V7X 1M7
Tel 604 998-4175 Fax 604 998-1051
You can view the Next News item:December 8th, 2020, Sabina Gold & Silver Reports Final Results from Successful 2020 Exploration Season at Back River Project, Nunavut
You can view the Previous News item:November 12th, 2020, Sabina Gold & Silver Updates on Detail Engineering and Constructability Review Contracts for Proposed Goose Mine at Back River Gold Project in Nunavut, Canada
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