$477 Million pre-tax NPV5%; pre-tax IRR OF 37.3% (post-tax $328 Million and 30.2%) at US$1,600 per ounce gold
Highlights (all currencies are reported in Canadian dollars unless otherwise specified):
Treasury Metals Inc. (TSX: TML) (OTCQB: TSRMF) (Frankfurt: TRC1) is pleased to announce the results from a preliminary economic assessment for the Company’s Goliath Gold Complex which includes the Goliath, Goldlund and Miller deposits along a prospective 65-kilometre trend in northwestern Ontario. The PEA, prepared by Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc. in accordance with National Instrument 43-101, demonstrates the potential to develop a low-cost 5,000 tonnes per day combined open pit and underground mining operation with strong economics and the opportunity for significant benefit to the Company, Indigenous Nations and local stakeholders.
“With the announcement of the PEA results today, combined with receipt of the federal Environmental Assessment approval in 2019, we have confirmed the Goliath Gold Complex has sufficient critical mass and we expect Treasury Metals to become one of Ontario’s next gold producers. Our robust base case for the project supports a 13-year mine life with average annual production of 102,000 ounces of gold for the first nine years with a post-tax NPV of $328 million and IRR of 30.2%,” said Jeremy Wyeth, President and CEO of Treasury Metals. “The project is underpinned by a high-quality resource, and we have taken a conservative approach to resource estimation, with the total M&I ounces virtually unchanged from previous estimates. We also see significant exploration potential across our 330-square-kilometre land package. In 2021, we are focusing on in-fill and definition drilling to better define the resource, while also initiating step-out drilling to test new targets around both the Goliath and Goldlund deposits.”
Treasury continues to advance Goliath Gold Complex through the commencement of trade-off optimization studies as part of the pre-feasibility level study work, baseline environmental work, community engagement and other critical activities to the required level to facilitate the provincial permitting process.
Goliath Gold Complex PEA Overview
The Goliath Gold Complex PEA was prepared by Ausenco in collaboration with other technical consultants and the Company’s operations and exploration teams (see Qualified Persons section below).
The PEA was prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 and the technical report that summarizes the results of the Goliath Gold Complex PEA will be filed on the Company’s website and on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.
PEA Assumptions and Economic Results
|Gold price assumption||per ounce||US$1,600|
|Net present value (NPV 5%)||$ millions||$477|
|Internal rate of return (IRR)||%||37.3%|
|Average annual cash flow*||$ millions||$74|
|Cumulative cash flow (undiscounted)*||$ millions||$991|
|Net present value (NPV 5%)||$ millions||$328|
|Internal rate of return (IRR)||%||30.2%|
|Average annual cash flow*||$ millions||$58|
|Cumulative cash flow (undiscounted)*||$ millions||$775|
|Total LOM recovered gold||,000 ounces||1,064|
|Average annual mining rate||million tpa||1.8|
|Average annual gold production, years 1-9||ounces/year||102,000|
|Peak gold production in year 5||ounces||119,000|
|Gold Recovery (LOM)||%||93.64%|
|Initial capital costs||$ millions||$233|
|AISC**||US$ per ounce Au||$911|
|*Cash flows during operational period|
|**AISC includes cash costs plus sustaining capital, closure cost and salvage value|
The PEA is preliminary in nature, includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Mining and Processing
The PEA considers a combined open pit and underground mining operation utilizing the resources from three different pit areas over the life of the mine. It is envisioned that mining will be initiated at the Goliath project due to both its proximity to the processing facility and its existing federal EA approval. With significant environmental and baseline work underway it has been assumed that mining at the Goldlund deposit will follow the initial start of production by approximately one year. The Goliath underground operations are expected to begin development in year three with first underground production to come in year four of the proposed mining operations. Proposed open pit and underground mining is envisioned as being conventional truck and loader/shovel and long hole stoping, respectively.
The process plant will treat 1.8Mt of ore per year at an average throughput of 4,875 tonnes per day with an availability of 92%. The plant design includes a three-stage crushing circuit, ball mill, gravity concentration, classification, standard leach and Carbon-In-Leach (CIL) technology, and detoxification before deposition into a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF).
The process plant has been designed to realize an average recovery of 95.7% of the gold sourced from Goliath, 91.9% sourced from Goldlund, and 89.6% sourced from Miller over the life of the project. Of this, the gravity circuit recovers 17%-44% of the gold across the three different ore sources. Gold recovery has been based on metallurgical test work completed on Goliath and Goldlund material between 2011 and 2017 with the confidence in recoveries reflecting the more extensive metallurgical work done at Goliath compared to Goldlund and Miller. Metallurgical testing planned for 2021 at Goldlund and Miller is expected to improve recovery assumptions.
The Company will provide additional details related to Tailings Management and Closure in the PEA report filed on SEDAR within 45 days.
|Mining & Processing Inputs|
|Mine life – Total||years||13.5|
|Open Pit (Year 1-5 average)||tpd||45,000|
|Underground (Peak production)||tpd||1,400|
|Total Mill feed||million tonnes||21.0|
|Open Pit – gold grade||g/t||1.17|
|Open Pit – silver grade||g/t||0.80|
|Total waste||million tonnes||82.5|
|Total Material Mined||million tonnes||103.5|
|Open pit strip ratio||waste:mill feed||3.93|
|Total mill feed (underground)||million tonnes||3.0|
|Underground – stope gold grade||g/t||3.67|
|Underground – silver grade||g/t||9.05|
|Total tonnes processed||Million tonnes||24.0|
|Mill head grade – gold||g/t||1.47|
|Mill head grade – silver||g/t||1.82|
|LOM gold recovery||%||93.6%|
|LOM silver recovery||%||60.0%|
A mine plan summary is included in Appendix 1 at the end of this news release.
Mining costs for owner operated mining were developed from first principles with local vendor quotations and detailed haulage profiles. Process plant operating costs were developed based on the labour requirements and calculated consumption rates of reagents, consumable materials, and electrical power associated with the plant equipment. Costing factors were applied leveraging in-house data based on comparable gold milling operations in Ontario. Processing costs include plant maintenance and upkeep.
|Operating Costs (life of mine average)|
|Mining costs (open pit)||$/t mined||3.27|
|Mining costs (open pit)||$/t processed||16.95|
|Mining costs (underground)||$/t processed||70.31|
|Processing costs||$/t processed||11.37|
|G&A costs||$/t processed||2.28|
|Total site operating costs||$/t processed||40.70|
|Cash costs (LOM)*||$/oz Au||699|
|All-in sustaining costs (LOM)**||$/oz Au||911|
|*Cash costs consist of mining costs, processing costs, mine-level general & administrative expenses and refining charges and royalties|
|**AISC includes cash costs plus sustaining capital, closure cost and salvage value|
Initial and Sustaining Capital Costs
Initial capital costs in the PEA are estimated to be $233 million including a contingency of 5% on mining equipment, and 25% on all other direct costs, excluding pre-production stripping. Life of mine sustaining capital is estimated at $313 million, primarily for Goliath underground development and TSF construction. A small sustaining capital budget is allocated to the processing plant, with general plant maintenance and upkeep accounted for in operating costs.
|Initial Capital Costs ($ millions)|
|Mining equipment and infrastructure||$20|
|Project delivery, owner’s costs and other indirects||$43|
|Total Initial Capital||$233|
|Sustaining Capital Costs ($ millions)|
|Underground mine development||$136|
|Process plant sustaining capital||$1|
|Site closure and reclamation||$24|
|Total Sustaining Capital||$313|
Site closure and reclamation include final closure costs for the Goliath, Goldlund and Miller projects. Costs address demolition of facilities, placement of covers on the tailing facility and waste rock storage areas, and revegetation of disturbed areas.
Economic Sensitivity to Gold Price
Sensitivities of post-tax NPV and post-tax IRR to gold price per ounce are as follows:
|Initial CAPEX||Total OPEX||FX|
|Initial CAPEX||Total OPEX||FX|
All-in-sustaining costs* are built up as follows:
|AISC US$ per ounce of Au*|
|Subtotal Cash Cost||$699|
Mineral Resource Estimate
The mineral resource estimate for Goliath used as the basis for the PEA with an effective date of December 16, 2020 was completed using a total of 726 surface drill holes with an aggregated length of 238,036 metres and a total of 96,912 assays. The QP responsible for the resource estimate is Pierre Desautels P.Geo of AGP Mining Consultants.
For Goldlund, the mineral resource estimate with an effective date of October 23, 2020 was completed using a total of 176,498 metres of drill core and channel samples entered as pseudo holes distributed in 856 surface drill holes, 189 surface trench channel samples, 480 underground drill holes, and 246 underground channel samples for a total of 114,102 gold assays. The QP responsible for the estimate is Chris Keech P. Geo. of CGK Consulting Services Inc.
For Miller, the mineral resource estimate with an effective date of October 26, 2020 was completed using a total of 96 surface drill holes totalling 7,386 metres. Of those, 26 intersected the mineralized domains and were used in the resource estimate. The QP responsible for the estimate is Paul Daigle P. Geo of AGP Mining Consultants.
The table summarizes the resource estimate for all three deposits. The material amenable to open pit extraction was reported within Lerchs-Grossman optimized resource constraining shell, while the material amenable to underground extraction was reported within a 3-dimensional wireframe representing a likelihood of being coherent mining shapes with reasonable prospect of being accessed. Open pit resource constraining shell and underground resource shapes were provided by AGP’s Engineering team.
For the Goliath Deposit, a gold price of US$1,700 /ounce and a silver price of US$23 /ounce was used for the cut-off determination. For open pit resources, a cut-off of 0.25 g/t gold was used. Resources below the open pit shell used a cut-off of 1.60 g/t gold to define possible underground resources. For the Goldlund and Miller Deposits, a gold price of US$1,700 /ounce was used for the cut-off determination. For open pit resources, a cut-off of 0.26 g/t gold was used. Resources below the open pit shell at Goldlund used a cut-off of 1.60 g/t gold to define possible underground resources.
|Goliath Open Pit||0.25||1,471||1.90||90|
|Goliath Open Pit||0.25||26,956||0.87||757|
|Goldlund Open Pit||0.26||24,300||1.07||840|
|Total Measured and Indicated||55,417||1.10||1,965|
|Goliath Open Pit||0.25||5,644||0.65||76|
|Goldlund Open Pit||0.26||14,400||0.56||260|
|Miller Open Pit||0.26||1,981||1.24||79|
|Note on Mineral Resources:|
|(1) Mineral resources are estimated in conformance with the CIM Mineral Resource definitions referred to in NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. This mineral resource estimate covers the Goliath Deposit, the Goldlund Deposit and the Miller deposit.|
|(2) Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The quantity and grade of the reported Inferred Mineral Resources in this estimation are conceptual in nature and are estimated based on limited geological evidence and sampling. Geological evidence is sufficient to imply but not verify geological and grade or quality continuity. For these reasons, an Inferred Mineral Resources has a lower level of confidence than an Indicated Mineral Resources and it is reasonably expected that the majority of Inferred Mineral Resources could be upgraded to Indicated Mineral Resources with continued exploration.|
|(3) Goliath: Mineral resources are reported within an optimized constraining shell using a gold price of US$1700/Oz and a Silver price of US$23/Oz and recoveries of 95.5% for gold and 62.6% for silver and a base mining, processing + G&A costs of $CDN18.68/tonne open pit, $CDN93.54/tonne for underground.
Grades were estimated using 1.5-meter capped composites via Ordinary kriging for the Main and C zones and inverse distance cubed for all other zones.
|(4) Goldlund: Mineral resources are reported within an optimized constraining shell using a gold price of US$1700/Oz and gold recovery of 89% and a mining and processing + G&A costs of $CDN18.51/tonne open pit, $CDN93.53/tonne for underground and $CDN2.71/tonne for base mill feed cost.
Gold grades were estimated using 2.0 m capped composites within 9 mineralized zones using ordinary kriging.
|(5) Miller: Mineral resources are reported within an optimized constraining shell using a gold price of US$1700/Oz and gold recovery of 89% and a mining, base mill feed and G&A cost of US$21.22/tonnes.
Grades were estimated using 2.0 m capped composites within the granodiorite domain using Inverse Distance Cubed interpolation.
|(6) Summation errors may occur due to rounding.|
Overall, a more conservative approach was taken to the mineral resource estimation methodologies on all sites in anticipation of a potential future mining and construction decision. For both Goliath and Goldlund a probabilistic estimation approach was used to model the gold and silver mineralization.
For Goliath, this differs from the previous mineral resource estimate approach that used discrete wireframes created from both geological contacts and drill assay results for the underground model and wider wireframes for the open pit model. With the new methodology, the entire mineralized corridor for the Main Zone and C-Zone were wireframed conventionally and then, internally sub-divided in a low grade, medium grade and high grade components using a probabilistic approach. The resulting single model respects the known geological information while ensuring that the grade distribution is more representative of the field condition. This has resulted in having a more conservative approach to continuity of the mineralization in both the low grade (Open Pit) and high grade (Underground) zones.
For Goldlund, the mineral resource estimation approach has considered a more conservative treatment of unsampled historic intervals to limit the influence of high-grade samples within the mineralized zones. The Goldlund probability mineral resource estimation approach has also revised the search strategy and geological domains to ensure that the modelling better reflects the controls on gold mineralization. This has resulted in a more conservative mineral resource estimate with more tonnes at a lower average grade above cut-off. Drilling is currently underway that specifically targets areas that have insufficient drill hole density with the goal of increasing the confidence in the continuity and adding inferred mineral resources in those areas.
The results of these updated resource estimates allow for a much larger proportion of Measured and Indicated resources to be included in the proposed mining plan. The following graph shows the high proportion of Measured and Indicated resources within the proposed mine plan. Additional exploration drilling is currently ongoing that is anticipated to enhance resource continuity based on this approach to previously assumed levels.
Permitting and Approvals
The approach to environmental permitting and approvals for the Goliath Gold Complex will be to treat the Goliath, Goldlund and Miller deposits as three distinct projects for provincial permitting, all being processed at the mill facility within the existing federal EA approval for Goliath.
The schedule for permitting and approvals for the Goliath Gold Project is more advanced than the schedule for Goldlund and Miller, given that a Federal Environmental Assessment (EA) has already been completed for this Project. Specifically, on August 19, 2019, Treasury Metals received Federal Government approval under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 for the Goliath Gold Project, with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada concluding that with implementation of appropriate mitigation measures, the Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Therefore, following the release of the PEA, the Goliath Gold Project may proceed directly into provincial permitting and other environmental approvals using the updated proposed mining plan, while additional baseline data collection will be completed for Goldlund and Miller to support anticipated future provincial approval processes. A full year of baseline data collection has been completed for the Goldlund site and will continue throughout the remainder of 2021 to support the anticipated future provincial approval processes.
The PEA has outlined a number of initiatives that may enhance the project which include:
The Company intends to immediately initiate trade-off and optimization studies as part of a formal Pre-Feasibility Study, baseline environmental work, and other critical studies with a view to completing all required engineering work to facilitate the provincial permitting process later this year. Engagement with local communities and Indigenous Nations will also continue throughout the year.
In addition, the Company will continue exploration drilling at the Goldlund deposit totalling approximately 42,000 metres, which will include both infill and definition drilling, as well as additional drilling at the Miller deposit. The Company intends to mobilize a second drill at the Goliath deposit in the spring to conduct infill and definition drilling totalling approximately 27,000 metres in order to explore targets at depth and along strike which are outside the existing resource. Contingent on the success of the drill program and market conditions, the Company may consider mobilizing a third exploration drill.
The PEA for the Treasury Metal Goliath Gold Complex summarized in this news release was completed by Ausenco together with other technical consultants and will be incorporated in a NI 43-101 technical report which will be available under Treasury’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com, and on the Treasury website at www.treasurymetals.com within 45 days of this news release. The affiliation and areas of responsibility for each of the Qualified Persons involved in preparing the PEA, upon which the technical report will be based, are as follows: Mr. Tommaso Roberto Raponi, P.Eng – Qualified Person for Processing and Metallurgy; Mr. Pierre Desautels, P.Geo. – Qualified Person for Goliath Mineral Resource Evaluation; Mr. Christopher Keech, P.Geo – Qualified Person for Goldlund Mineral Resource Evaluation; Mr. Paul Daigle, P.Geo – Qualified Person for Miller Resource Evaluation; Mr. Gordon Zurowski, P.Eng – Qualified Person for Mine Engineering and Costing; Reagan McIsaac, Ph.D., P.Eng. – Qualified Person for Tailings Management; Sheila Daniel, P.Geo. – Qualified Person for Closure and Closure Costing,
By virtue of their education, membership to a recognized professional association and relevant work experience, Mr. Tommaso Roberto Raponi, Mr. Pierre Desautels, Mr. Christopher Keech,
Mr. Paul Daigle, and Mr. Gordon Zurowski, are independent Qualified Persons as defined under NI 43-101.
The Qualified Persons responsible for the preparation of the PEA and the technical report in respect thereof have verified the data disclosed in this news release, including sampling, analytical, and test data underlying the information contained in this news release. Geological, mine engineering and metallurgical reviews included, among other things, reviewing mapping, core logs, and re-logging existing drill holes, review of geotechnical and hydrological studies, environmental and community factors, the development of the life of mine plan, capital and operating costs, transportation, taxation and royalties, and review of existing metallurgical test work. In the opinion of the Qualified Persons, the data, assumptions, and parameters used to estimate Mineral Resources, the metallurgical model, the economic analysis, and the PEA are sufficiently reliable for those purposes. The technical report in respect of the PEA, when filed, will contain more detailed information concerning individual responsibilities, associated quality assurance and quality control, and other data verification matters, and the key assumptions, parameters and methods used by the Company.
Mark Wheeler, P.Eng., Director, Projects, and Adam Larsen, Exploration Manager, are both considered as a “Qualified Person” for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Project (“NI 43-101“), and have reviewed and approved the scientific and technical disclosure contained in this news release on behalf of Treasury.
About Treasury Metals Inc.
Treasury Metals Inc. is a gold focused company with assets in Canada. Treasury’s Goliath Gold Complex, which includes the Goliath, Goldlund and Miller deposits along a 65-kilometre trend, is located in Northwestern Ontario. The deposits benefit substantially from excellent access to the Trans-Canada Highway, related power and rail infrastructure, and close proximity to several communities including Dryden and Sioux Lookout, Ontario. The Company also owns several other projects throughout Canada, including the Lara Polymetallic Project, Weebigee-Sandy Lake Gold Project JV, and grassroots gold exploration property Gold Rock.
Ausenco is a global company based across 26 offices in 14 countries, with projects in over 80 locations worldwide. Combining deep technical expertise with a 30-year track record, Ausenco delivers innovative, value-add consulting studies, project delivery, asset operations and maintenance solutions to the mining & metals, oil & gas and industrial sectors
Mine Plan Summary
|Mill Feed||Mill Feed
|Goliath Mill Feed|
|Open Pit|| Mill Feed
|Underground|| Mill Feed
|Goldlund Mill Feed|| Mill Feed
|Miller Mill Feed|| Mill Feed
Mill Feed by Resource Category (CNW Group/Treasury Metals Inc.)
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We acknowledge the [financial] support of the Government of Canada.