Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia--(Newsfile Corp. - February 24, 2021) - Steppe Gold Ltd (TSX: STGO) ("Steppe Gold" or the "Company") is pleased to announce an updated independent Mineral Resource Estimate at its 100% owned ATO Gold Mine. This estimate will form the basis of the upcoming bankable feasibility study ("BFS") due out in Q2 2021.
- Resources at the ATO Gold Mine have doubled to 2.45 M oz of Au Eq, up from 1.22M oz Au Eq
- Increased ATO Measured and Indicated Resources ("M&I") to 41.6 Mt at average Au Eq grade of 1.67g/t
- M&I resources have increased to 2.24 Moz of Au Eq, using a cut-off grade of 0.15g/t for oxide and 0.4g/t Au Eq for fresh rock ores
- M&I resources show 1.39 M oz gold and 20.48M oz silver
- Inferred Resources at ATO of 208,000 oz Au Eq.
- Increase in the M&I resource is due primarily to significant expansion through drilling at the ATO 4 Deposit and incorporation of a maiden resource at the Mungu Deposit
- Increase in average grade across the resource to 1.67g/t Au Eq
- The ATO 4 Deposit, where mining has recently commenced, shows M&I resource of 15.68 Mt at 1.62g/t for total 819,000 oz Au Eq
- The maiden resource at the Mungu discovery shows M&I resource of 7.57 Mt at 1.74g/t for 424,000oz Au Eq
Mr. Bataa Tumur-Ochir, President and CEO, commented, "We are very pleased to report on the significant update of the resources at our 100% owned ATO Gold Mine. Our drilling efforts since 2018 have clearly demonstrated the great promise shown for this project and the potential we saw at the outset. With production commenced in April 2020, we have proven the low cost profile of the ATO Gold Mine with market low cash costs below $600/oz. This dramatic increase in the ATO resource further underpins the long life attributes of the project. Internal studies and our drilling analysis have long supported the growth potential of ATO Gold Mine and sampling during mining has also shown strong positive grade reconciliations. This resource update validates this.
The new Resource supports our Phase 2 expansion Project and shows ample resources for a circa 2.5 Mt per annum fresh ore development. The Bankable Feasibility Study remains on schedule to be released Q2 2021 and we are optimistic that this study will bear out a robust economic result and a further 10 plus years of production at 150k oz Au Eq with a focus on the fresh rock ores."
Mr Matthew Wood, Executive Chairman also commented, "While the resource update is consistent with the strong results of our definition and infill drilling programs in the past three years, we are very pleased to see independent verification of the block model and zone extensions at ATO. I am particularly pleased to see the results at ATO 4 and the Mungu discovery and the high percentage of resources in the M&I category. The resource interpretations also show further potential zone extensions, for which there are numerous targets. We plan to ramp up the exploration program in 2021, with the aim of unlocking additional value on the ATO property with an internal target of 3 - 5 M oz across our licences."
MINERAL RESOURCE UPDATE
The updated mineral resource estimate includes drill data as of December 2020. It includes 55 drill holes for a total of 18,200m drilled in 2020. A total of 53,000m has been drilled since 2018. The drilling information was used to update the interpretation of the geologic model, geometry of the mineralized zones and domains resulting in a higher degree of confidence in the resource estimate.
|Table 1: ATO - Preliminary 43-101 Classified Resources by Oxidation surface level|
|CLASS BY||Deposit||Cut-off||SG||Tonnes||Au||Ag||Pb||Zn||Au Eq||Au metal||Ag metal||AuEq metal|
|OXIDATION LEVEL||AuEq(g/t)||(kg/m3)||(M t)||(g/t)||(g/t)||(%)||(%)||(g/t)||(k oz)||(k oz)||(k oz)|
|MEASURED + INDICATED|
|MEAS + IND||TOTAL||41.62||1.04||15.31||0.38||0.63||1.67||1,390||20,479||2,238|
Notes for ATO Property Resource Estimate, February 22, 2021.
(1) The mineral resource estimate follows CIM definitions and guidelines for mineral resources.
(2) Results are presented in situ and undiluted and considered to have reasonable prospects for economic extraction.
(3) Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves have not demonstrated economic viability.
(4) Contained gold estimates have not been adjusted for metallurgical recoveries.
(5) Mineral Resources are estimated using a 0.15 g/t Au Eq cut-off grade for oxide material and a 0.4 g/t Au Eq cut-off grade for fresh material.
(6) A conversion factor of 31.103477 grams per ounce 453.59237 grams per pound are used in the mineral resource estimates.
(7) Au Eq has been calculated using metal prices ($1,880/oz for gold, $26/oz for silver).
(8) The QP is not aware of any known environmental, permitting, legal, title-related, taxation, socio-political or marketing issues, or any other relevant issue not reported in this release that could materially affect the mineral resource estimate.
Map 1: it is looking 350 and down 10. Pipe 1 red, Pipe 2 green, Pipe 4 cyan, Mungu to right multicolours. Blue coordinate grid 100 m spacing. Topo contoured at 2 m intervals grey, 10 m red.
To view an enhanced version of Map 1, please visit:
Map 2: E/W cross-section at 5,367,000 N. Pipes 2 (left) and 4 (right). Coloured on Au_Eq grades. Topo green line, oxidation base black, transition base red. Coordinate grid at 50 m spacing. Holes projected 15 m either side of section.
To view an enhanced version of Map 2, please visit:
Map 3: Same section with resource classes. Measured orange, Indicated yellow, Inferred blue.
To view an enhanced version of Map 3, please visit:
Map 4: E/W cross-section 5,367,627 N through Mungu.
To view an enhanced version of Map 4, please visit:
Map 5: Same Mungu section with resource classes.
To view an enhanced version of Map 5, please visit:
QUALIFIED PERSONS AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION
The updated block model mineral resource estimate was prepared by Robin Rankin MSc DIC MAusIMM (CP) and a "Qualified Person" as defined in NI-43-101 and is considered to be "independent" of Steppe Gold for purposes of NI-43-101.
The full technical report, which is being prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI-43-101"), will be available on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) under the Company's issuer profile within 45 days from this news release. The effective date of the current mineral resource estimate is February 22, 2021.
The technical and geoscientific content of this release has been compiled, reviewed and approved by Enkhtuvshin Khishigsuren, Vice President of Exploration Company and a "Qualified Person" as defined in NI-43-101.
The health and safety of our employees, contractors, vendors, and consultants is the Company's top priority. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Steppe Gold has adopted all public health guidelines regarding safety measures and protocols at all of its mine operations and corporate offices. In addition, our internal COVID-19 Taskforce continues to monitor developments and implement policies and programs intended to protect those who are engaged in business with the Company.
Through care and planning, to date the Company has successfully maintained operations, however there can be no assurance that this will continue despite our best efforts. Future conditions may warrant reduced or suspended production activities which could negatively impact our ability to maintain projected timelines and objectives. Consequently, the Company's actual future production and production guidance is subject to higher levels of risk than usual. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation and will provide updates as they become available.
About Steppe Gold
Steppe Gold is Mongolia's premier precious metals company.
For Further information, please contact:
Bataa Tumur-Ochir, CEO and President
Shangri-La office, Suite 1201, Olympic Street
19A, Sukhbaatar District 1,
Ulaanbaatar 14241, Mongolia
Tel: +976 7732 1914
Cautionary Statements Regarding Estimates of Mineral Resources
This news release uses the terms measured, indicated and inferred resources as a relative measure of the level of confidence in the resource estimate. Readers are cautioned that mineral resources are not economic mineral reserves and that the economic viability of resources that are not mineral reserves has not been demonstrated. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by geology, environmental, permitting, legal, title, socio-political, marketing or other relevant issues. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource category. The mineral resource estimate is classified in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum's "CIM Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves" incorporated by reference into NI 43-101. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies or economic studies except for Preliminary Assessment as defined under NI 43-101. Readers are cautioned not to assume that further work on the stated resources will lead to mineral reserves that can be mined economically.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Reserves and Resources
The mineral reserve and resource estimates reported in this news release were prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") as required by Canadian securities regulatory authorities. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") applies different standards in order to classify and report mineralization. This news release uses the terms "measured", "indicated" and "inferred" mineral resources, as required by NI 43-101. Readers are advised that although such terms are recognized and required by Canadian securities regulations, the SEC does not recognize such terms. Canadian standards differ significantly from the requirements of the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in these categories constitute or will ever be converted into mineral reserves. In addition, "inferred" mineral resources have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource exists, is economically or legally mineable or will ever be upgraded to a higher category of mineral resource.
This news release contains "forward-looking information" which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the future financial or operating performance of the Company and its projects. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "believes" or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this press release and the Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. 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. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances, management's estimates or opinions should change, except as required by securities legislation. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.