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First Mining Announces Closing of Earn-In Transaction with Big Ridge Gold

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First Mining Announces Closing of Earn-In Transaction with Big Ridge Gold





First Mining Gold Corp. (TSX: FF) (OTCQX: FFMGF) (FRANKFURT: FMG) is pleased to announce that, further to the Company’s news release dated April 6, 2021, Big Ridge Gold Corp. (TSX-V: BRAU) has received final approval from the TSX Venture Exchange  in relation to the earn-in transaction that has been agreed to between First Mining and Big Ridge with respect to the Hope Brook Gold Project located in Newfoundland, Canada.  Accordingly, the Transaction has now closed, and Big Ridge has commenced its earn-in of up to an 80% interest in Hope Brook pursuant to the terms of the definitive earn-in agreement that was entered into between First Mining and Big Ridge on April 6, 2021.


In accordance with the terms of the Earn-In Agreement, Big Ridge paid $500,000 in cash, and issued 11,500,000 shares of Big Ridge, to First Mining upon closing the Transaction.  Big Ridge can earn a full 80% interest in the Project through a two-stage earn-in over five years by incurring a total of $20 million of qualifying expenditures, and issuing up to a further 25,000,000 shares of Big Ridge to First Mining over this five-year period.  The other key terms of the Earn-In Agreement are presented further below.


“We are extremely pleased with the addition of Big Ridge to our partnership portfolio and look forward to seeing the Big Ridge team unlock the value of our Hope Brook project and the surrounding highly prospective land package.” stated Dan Wilton, CEO of First Mining.  “Hope Brook has one of the largest existing resource endowments in Newfoundland, which has become one of the hottest exploration jurisdictions on the planet.  First Mining shareholders will retain significant exposure to Hope Brook through an initial 19% equity interest in Big Ridge, a retained 20% project interest in Hope Brook, milestone share and cash payments, and a highly attractive NSR royalty. We are confident that the team at Big Ridge, with their deep development and operating experience, will unlock value for our shareholders through their $20 million investment in Hope Brook.”


Earn-In Details:


On Closing

First Mining received the following from Big Ridge upon closing of the Transaction:

  • $500,000 cash
  • 11,500,000 shares of Big Ridge, representing 19.8% of Big Ridge’s outstanding common shares


Stage 1 Earn-In

Up until the third anniversary of the closing date of the Transaction, Big Ridge can acquire a 51% interest and form a joint venture with First Mining by:

  • Spending $10,000,000 on qualifying expenditures at Hope Brook
  • Issuing an additional 15,000,000 shares of Big Ridge to First Mining
  • Issuing to First Mining a 1.5% net smelter returns (“NSR”) royalty on Hope Brook; 0.5% of the royalty can be bought back for $2,000,000 by Big Ridge


Stage 2 Earn-In

Following the completion of the Stage 1 Earn-in and up until the fifth anniversary of the closing date of the Transaction, Big Ridge can increase their ownership in the joint venture to 80% by:

  • Spending an additional $10,000,000 on qualifying expenditures at Hope Brook
  • Issuing shares to First Mining in the amount that is the lesser of i) 10,000,000 shares of Big Ridge; or ii) such number of Big Ridge shares that will result in First Mining owning 19.9% of Big Ridge’s outstanding shares following the issuance


Additional Terms

  • First Mining has exercised its right to nominate one individual to the Big Ridge Board (Ken Engquist, COO of First Mining, has been nominated)
  • First Mining will be free carried to a feasibility study
  • $2,000,000 cash payable to First Mining upon the declaration of commercial production at Hope Brook
  • Once formed, the joint venture will pay First Mining a royalty of US$1 per tonne in respect of any aggregate material sold from Hope Brook


Hope Brook Mineral Resource Estimate for Gold at 3.00 g/t Au Cut-off


Category Tonnes Grade Au (g/t) Contained Au (oz)
Indicated 5,500,000 4.77 844,000
Inferred 836,000 4.11 110,000
1. Based on the technical report titled “2015 Mineral Resource Estimate Technical Report, Hope Brook Gold Project, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada” with an effective date of January 12, 2015, and which is available at under First Mining’s SEDAR profile.
2. Resource includes only the Mine Zone and 240 Zone areas.
3. Resource is based on the partial percentage block model with dike material removed. Dike percentage is estimated at 18% for the Mine Zone and 0% for the 240 Zone.
4. The gold grades reflect applications of domain-specific raw assay capping factors that range between 55 g/t and 3 g/t Au.
5. The rounding of tonnes may result in apparent differences between tonnes, grade and contained ounces.
6. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of Mineral Resources may be materially affected by environmental permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other relevant issues.


About Big Ridge

Big Ridge is a well-capitalized, Canadian-focused gold exploration and development company led by Michael Bandrowski as President & CEO, a former mining capital markets executive, and Jim Kirke as CFO, former CFO of Marathon Gold.  The Board of Directors of Big Ridge is comprised of a highly successful group of experienced mining executives and geologists: Nick Tintor (founder of Anaconda Mining), Bill Williams (former Interim CEO of Detour Gold) and Rick Mazur (CEO of Forum Energy).  Big Ridge recently optioned its Destiny gold project to Clarity Gold, which has the potential to provide significant capital to fund work programs at Hope Brook.


Qualified Person

Hazel Mullin, P.Geo., Director, Data Management and Technical Services of First Mining, is a “Qualified Person” for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, and she has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical disclosure contained in this news release.


About First Mining Gold Corp.

First Mining is a Canadian gold developer focused on the development and permitting of the Springpole Gold Project in northwestern Ontario. Springpole is one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in Canada. The results of a positive Pre-Feasibility Study for the Springpole Gold Project were announced by First Mining in January 2021, and permitting activities are on-going with submission of an Environmental Impact Statement for the project targeted for 2021. The Company also holds a large equity position in Treasury Metals Inc. who are advancing the Goliath-Goldlund gold projects towards construction. First Mining’s portfolio of gold projects in eastern Canada also includes the Pickle Crow (being advanced in partnership with Auteco Minerals Ltd.), Cameron, Hope Brook, Duparquet, Duquesne, and Pitt gold projects.


Posted June 8, 2021

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