VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Calibre Mining Corp. (“Calibre” or the “Company”) (TSX: CXB; OTCQX: CXBMF) is pleased to announce the results of its Pavon Open Pit Gold Mine Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”), utilizing a portion of the installed 2.2 million tonne per annum capacity at the Libertad mill. As announced on January 21, 2021, Calibre has commenced open pit mining and transporting Pavon Norte ore to its Libertad mill and expects to ramp up production throughout the year. The PFS was undertaken by WSP in Canada in 2020 and 2021 on behalf of Calibre. All figures are expressed in United States Dollars.
PAVON OPEN PIT GOLD MINE: PFS HIGHLIGHTS
|•||Reserve Gold Price||$1,400 per ounce|
|•||Initial Mine Life||4 years|
|•||Average Life-of-Mine (“LOM”) Throughput||877 tonnes per day|
|•||Average LOM Grade||4.86 g/t gold, 7.0 g/t silver|
|•||Average LOM Recovery||94% gold, 35% silver|
|•||Average Annual Gold Production||47,000 ounces|
|•||Average LOM Total Cash Costs1||$650 per ounce|
|•||Average LOM All-In Sustaining Costs1 (“AISC”)||$711 per ounce (net of Ag credits)|
|•||Total Gold Production||188,213 ounces|
|•||After-tax NPV5% ($1,700/oz gold)||$106.4 million|
Darren Hall, Chief Executive Officer of Calibre, stated: “In 14 months, since announcing the Pavon open pit resource, Calibre has permitted Pavon Norte, and commenced ore deliveries to the Libertad mill. Over the past two months, the team has safely and steadily increased ore haulage rates in-line with our expectations contributing to the Company’s 2021 consolidated gold production guidance of between 170,000 and 180,000 ounces. Pavon has been a great example of our ‘Hub-and-Spoke’ operating model, by demonstrating how satellite deposits can be efficiently permitted and provide ore to our Libertad mill, extending mine life and generating robust cash flows. Pavon mineralization is open at depth, and along strike, beyond the pit constrained mineral resource limits included in the PFS indicating good potential to expand the resource as exploration drilling advances during 2021.”
Mr. Hall continued, “Given our recent success at Pavon, drilling and technical studies have commenced at the Eastern Borosi Project, which we are progressing to be our next high-grade satellite mine.”
- Reserves consider no new drill data after December 2015;
- Step out drilling underway to expand gold resources along strike and down dip;
- Additional resources outside of the reserve mine plan offer potential to extend mine life;
- Significant surplus capacity at the Libertad mill;
- Underpins potential for low-cost organic production growth.
TABLE 1 – PAVON RESERVE ESTIMATE (DECEMBER 31, 2020)2
TABLE 2 – PAVON RESOURCE ESTIMATE* (DECEMBER 31, 2020)3
|*Indicated Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves.|
TABLE 3 – PAVON: PFS FINANCIAL SENSITIVITY MODEL ($ MILLION, AFTER-TAX)
|Gold Price Assumption ($/oz)||1,400||1,500|
|Cumulative after-tax free cash flow ($’000)||80,220||92,824||118,032||143,240|
|After-tax NPV5% ($’000)||71,760||83,294||106,364||129,433|
|After-tax NPV10% ($,000)||64,585||75,211||96,463||117,715|
The financial models in the PFS were prepared by SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd. (formerly Roscoe Postle Associates Inc.). The PFS includes metal price sensitivities detailed in the technical report, which is expected to be published on www.sedar.com in March 2021.
TABLE 4 – PAVON: PFS PRODUCTION AND COST OUTLOOK
|Tonnes Mined (000t)||281||299||424||276||1,281|
|Waste Mined (000t)||2,235||3,266||4,898||3,556||13,954|
|Strip ratio (W:O)||7.95||10.91||11.54||12.87||10.89|
|Tonnes Milled (000t)||281||279||410||311||1,281|
|Grade Milled (g/t Au)||3.54||3.48||5.85||5.99||4.86|
|Gold Production (oz)||30,075||29,339||72,615||56,183||188,213|
|Total Cash Costs1 ($/oz)||849||939||540||536||650|
|Non-Sustaining Capital ($m)*||9.45||2.54||–||–||11.99|
|*Includes 14% contingency.|
Total capital costs of $20.74 million are split between $11.99 million of non-sustaining and $8.75 million of sustaining capital costs. The $11.99 million in non-sustaining capital costs include a 14% overall contingency.
2021 non-sustaining capital costs of $9.45 million are included in the Company’s growth capital guidance of $35-40 million for the year.
The PFS is based on reserves from the Pavon Norte and Central open pit deposits being trucked to the Libertad processing mill. The reported AISC1 includes average LOM mining costs of $2.36/ tonne mined, processing costs of $22.00/tonne milled plus $2.50/tonne tailings costs, $5.00/tonne milled G&A and $32.00/tonne milled ore transportation costs as well as sustaining capital and closure costs mentioned previously.
By implementing our ‘Hub-and-Spoke’ operating model and by developing the Pavon gold project, the Libertad Complex processing life has been significantly extended and is now expected to generate robust cash flows over several years.
The Pavon satellite deposit (“Spoke”) feeding into the Libertad Complex represents a portion of the mill feed from 2021 through 2024. The Pavon PFS demonstrates the value of the Company’s operating approach by utilizing the surplus capacity at the Libertad mill, investing in exploration to expand the current mineral resource base at Pavon as well as the opportunity for additional low-cost growth. Over 50% excess mill capacity exists at the Libertad mill underpinning Calibre’s focus on exploration to expand resources and discover new satellite deposits which could provide future mill feed.
Pavon represents an average of 0.32 million tonnes per annum of mill feed over the next four years, additional mill feed sources include those at Limon and Libertad as per the 2020 Preliminary Economics Assessment (“PEA”) (see August 11, 2020 news release for further details) leaving an average of 1.5 million tonnes of surplus annual mill capacity over the next four years as a significant opportunity for organic growth via further conversion of Mineral Resources, exploration success, artisanal ore purchases or toll milling.
The Pavon project represents a newly emerging gold district in Nicaragua in a region that has remained largely underexplored by modern methods. Historical exploration focused on delineating resources within the near surface portions of the Pavon Norte, Central and South deposits where indicated resources totaling 231,000 ounces of gold averaging 5.16 g/t have been delineated within the upper 100 meters.
Pavon Norte and Central in combination with the Pavon South vein system also host additional inferred resources totaling 63,000 ounces of gold averaging 3.39 g/t. Exploration drilling initiated by Calibre in Q4 2020 has returned positive results from several step-out holes drilled along and beyond the margins of the currently defined open pit reserves, demonstrating that significant potential exists to expand mineral resources along strike and down dip at both deposits (see February 23, 2021 news release and figures). Two diamond drill rigs are currently testing the potential for lateral and vertical extensions and to the Pavon Norte and Central vein systems. The Company’s exploration team is also actively conducting field surveys to identify areas with potential for new gold discoveries within the project area. Calibre looks forward to providing further updates as exploration at Pavon continues to advance.
Technical Report and Qualified Person
The PFS was undertaken by WSP in Canada in 2020 and 2021 on behalf of Calibre. This news release has been reviewed and approved by Todd McCracken, P.Geo. of BBA E&C Inc (formally of WSP QP for Pavon Geology/Mineral Resources), Shane Ghouralal, MBA, P.Eng. (WSP QP for Pavon Mining/Mineral Reserves and Infrastructure), and Isabelle Larouche,– P.Eng. (WSP QP for Pavon Metallurgical Testing/Mineral Processing) as well as Grant A. Malensek, P.Eng. of SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd. (SLR QP for Pavon Economic Analysis).
A La Libertad Technical Report prepared by SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd., (formerly Roscoe Postle Associates Inc.) in accordance with NI 43-101 which will include the Pavon pre-feasibility study results will be filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) within 45 days of this news release. Readers are encouraged to read the Technical Report in its entirety, including all qualifications, assumptions and exclusions that relate to the Mineral Resource. The Technical Report is intended to be read as a whole, and sections should not be read or relied upon out of context.
Darren Hall, MAusIMM, President & Chief Executive Officer, Calibre Mining Corp. is a “Qualified Person” as set out under NI 43-101 has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information in this press release.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Darren Hall, Chief Executive Officer
For further information, please contact:
Vice President, Corporate Development & IR
About Calibre Mining Corp.
Calibre Mining is a Canadian-listed gold mining and exploration company with two 100%-owned operating gold mines in Nicaragua. The Company is focused on sustainable operating performance and a disciplined approach to growth. Since the acquisition of the Limon, Libertad gold mines and Pavon Gold Project, Calibre has proceeded to integrate its operations into a ‘Hub-and-Spoke’ operating model, whereby the Company can take advantage of reliable infrastructure, favorable transportation costs, and multiple high-grade mill feed sources that can be processed at either Limon or Libertad, which have a combined 2.7 million tonnes of annual mill throughput capacity.
NOTE 1: Non-IFRS Measures
Calibre has included certain non-IFRS measures in this news release, as discussed below. The Company believes that these measures, in addition to conventional measures prepared in accordance with IFRS, provides investors with an improved ability to evaluate the underlying performance of the Company. These non-IFRS measures are intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. These measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS, and therefore may not be comparable to other issuers.
Total Cash Costs per Ounce of Gold Sold (“Total Cash Costs”)
Total Cash Costs include mine site operating costs such as mining, processing, and local administrative costs (including stock-based compensation related to mine operations), royalties, production taxes, mine standby costs and current inventory write-downs, if any. Production costs are exclusive of depreciation and depletion, reclamation, capital, and exploration costs. Total Cash Costs are net of by-product silver sales and are divided by gold ounces sold to arrive at a per ounce figure.
All-In Sustaining Costs per Ounce of Gold Sold (“AISC”)
AISC is a performance measure that reflects the expenditures that are required to produce an ounce of gold from current operations. While there is no standardized meaning of the measure across the industry, the Company’s definition is derived from the definition, as set out by the World Gold Council in its guidance dated June 27, 2013 and November 16, 2018, respectively. The World Gold Council is a non-regulatory, non-profit organization established in 1987 whose members include global senior mining companies. The Company believes that this measure is useful to external users in assessing operating performance and the ability to generate free cash flow from operations.
Calibre defines AISC as the sum of Total Cash Costs (per above), sustaining capital (capital required to maintain current operations at existing production levels), capital lease repayments, corporate general and administrative expenses, exploration expenditures designed to increase resource confidence at producing mines, amortization of asset retirement costs and rehabilitation accretion related to current operations. AISC excludes capital expenditures for significant improvements at existing operations deemed to be expansionary in nature, exploration and evaluation related to resource growth, rehabilitation accretion not related to current operations, financing costs, debt repayments, and taxes. Total AISC is divided by gold ounces sold to arrive at a per ounce figure.
NOTE 2: Pavon Reserves
- The mineral reserve estimates were prepared by Shane Ghouralal, P.Eng. MBA (Qualified Person for these mineral reserve estimates), reported using the 2014 CIM Definition Standards, and have an effective date of December 31, 2020.
- Mineral reserves are mined tonnes and diluted grade; the reference point is the mill feed at the primary crusher.
- Mineral reserves are reported at a cut-off grade of 1.26 g/t Au.
- Cut-off grade assumes Au of US$1,400/oz; 100% payable gold with a royalty of US$28/oz; selling cost are US$4.38/oz including offsite costs (refining and transport); and uses an 94% metallurgical recovery for Au and 35% for Ag. The cut off-grade covers processing costs of US$22.62/t, hauling costs of US$31.91/t, administrative (G&A) costs of US$4.91/t, tailings facility costs of US$2.56/t.
NOTE 3: Pavon Resources
- Mineral Resources were prepared in accordance CIM (2014) definitions. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
- Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves.
- This estimate of Mineral Resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, sociopolitical, marketing, or other relevant issues.
- Open Pit Mineral Resources are reported at cut-off grades of 1.17 g/t Au. Mineral Resources are estimated using a long-term gold price of US$1,500 per ounce.
- Appropriate mining costs, processing costs, metal recoveries, and inter-ramp pit slope angles were used to generate the pit shell.
- Rounding may result in apparent summation differences between tonnes, grade, and contained metal content. Tonnage and grade measurements are in metric units. Contained gold ounces are in troy ounces.
- Composites completed at 2 m down the hole.
- Contributing assay composites were capped at 29.03 g/t Au at Pavon Norte, 75 g/t Au at Pavón Central, and 17.18 g/t Au at Pavon South.
- A specific gravity value of 2.49 was applied to all blocks in rock and 2.30 was applied to all blocks in saprolite.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Information
This news release includes certain “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements in this news release that address events or developments that we expect to occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are identified by words such as “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “project”, “target”, “potential”, “schedule”, “forecast”, “budget”, “estimate”, “intend” or “believe” and similar expressions or their negative connotations, or that events or conditions “will”, “would”, “may”, “could”, “should” or “might” occur Forward-looking statements necessarily involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond Calibre’s control. For a listing of risk factors applicable to the Company, please refer to Calibre’s annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2019, available on www.sedar.com. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect Calibre’s forward-looking statements.
Calibre’s forward-looking statements are based on the applicable assumptions and factors management considers reasonable as of the date hereof, based on the information available to management at such time. Calibre does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management’s beliefs, expectations or opinions should change other than as required by applicable securities laws. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements.