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Combined Mineral Reserves and Resources More than Double at Cerro Pelon and La Yaqui and Reserves Replaced at Young-Davidson
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Mar 24, 2016) -
All amounts are in United States dollars, unless otherwise stated.
Alamos Gold Inc. (TSX:AGI)(NYSE:AGI) ("Alamos" or the "Company") today reported its updated mineral reserves and resources as of December 31, 2015. For a detailed summary of mineral reserves and resources by project, refer to the tables below.
|TOTAL MINERAL RESERVES AND RESOURCES|
|Proven and Probable Gold Mineral Reserves|
|Young-Davidson - Surface||1,396||0.82||37||2,501||0.76||61||-44||%||9||%||-39||%|
|Young-Davidson - Underground||44,290||2.69||3,837||42,773||2.74||3,763||4||%||-2||%||2||%|
|Open Pit, Heap Leach||44,552||1.03||1,482||45,936||1.07||1,585||-3||%||-4||%||-7||%|
|El Chanate - Open Pit||19,317||0.59||365||27,213||0.57||501||-29||%||3||%||-27||%|
|El Chanate - Leach Pad Inv.||-||-||98||-||-||145||-||-||-32||%|
|Total El Chanate||19,317||0.75||463||27,213||0.74||646||-29||%||1||%||-28||%|
|Alamos - Total||109,716||1.67||5,880||119,101||1.62||6,201||-8||%||3||%||-5||%|
|Measured and Indicated Gold Mineral Resources (exclusive of Mineral Reserves)|
|Young-Davidson - Surface||1,739||1.24||69||1,739||1.24||69||-||-||-|
|Young-Davidson - Underground||7,955||3.45||883||13,946||3.19||1,430||-43||%||8||%||-38||%|
|Alamos - Total||316,968||1.07||10,917||282,647||1.00||9,087||12||%||7||%||20||%|
|Inferred Gold Mineral Resources|
|Young-Davidson - Surface||31||0.99||1||31||0.99||1||-||-||-|
|Young-Davidson - Underground||3,523||2.76||312||3,608||2.76||320||-2||%||-||-3||%|
|Alamos - Total||132,949||1.05||4,506||160,928||0.86||4,448||-17||%||23||%||1||%|
Total Proven and Probable mineral reserves decreased 5% to 5.88 million ounces at December 31, 2015, primarily reflecting mining depletion at Mulatos and El Chanate. Depletion was partially offset by an increase in mineral reserves at Young-Davidson and at the Cerro Pelon and La Yaqui deposits. The increase in underground mineral reserves at Young-Davidson marks the fifth consecutive year that mineral reserves have been at least replaced at the mine. At La Yaqui and Cerro Pelon, nearly 40,000 ounces of gold were added to mineral reserves as part of a very successful initial exploration program, the first of several programs planned for both deposits. Infill and exploration drilling continues to demonstrate the potential for further mineral reserve and resource growth. Very limited exploration drilling targeting mineral reserves within the main Mulatos open pit was completed in 2015 and none at El Chanate with the exploration focus on the higher priority and higher grade Cerro Pelon and La Yaqui deposits. Exploration spending at Cerro Pelon and La Yaqui totaled $8.5 million in 2015 with a further $8 million budgeted for 2016. A $1,250 per ounce gold price assumption was used in estimating the 2015 mineral reserves, unchanged from 2014. A detailed summary of Proven and Probable mineral reserves as of December 31, 2015 is presented in Table 1 at the end of this press release.
Alamos' total Measured and Indicated mineral resources (exclusive of mineral reserves) totaled 10.92 million ounces, as of December 31, 2015. This represents a 20% increase in ounces and 7% increase in grade from 2014 with the increases driven by the addition of higher grade mineral resources from Cerro Pelon and Lynn Lake.
Alamos' total Inferred mineral resources of 4.51 million ounces as of December 31, 2015 were up slightly from 2014 with the combined grade increasing 23%. This reflects the addition of higher grade ounces from Lynn Lake and La Yaqui.
The Company's $1,400 per ounce gold price assumption for estimating mineral resources is unchanged from 2014. Detailed summaries of the Company's Measured and Indicated, and Inferred mineral resources as of December 31, 2015 are presented in Tables 3 and 4 respectively, at the end of this press release.
Total mineral reserves at Young-Davidson increased to 3.87 million ounces of gold marking the fifth consecutive year that the mine has either replaced production or increased mineral reserves. The increase was driven by the addition of 74,000 ounces of underground mineral reserves, net of depletion, to 3.84 million ounces. Very little exploration drilling was completed in 2015 with the additions coming from the conversion of Measured and Indicated mineral resources through infill and stope definition drilling. Young-Davidson remains open at depth with excellent exploration potential. With a large mineral reserve base, exploration is not a near term focus. The Company will resume exploration activities once the lower mine has been developed allowing for exploration drilling platforms at depth.
In addition to the underground mineral reserves, the Company has 1.4 million tonnes of open pit stockpiles grading 0.82 g/t Au which will be used to supplement higher grade underground ore until underground mining rates ramp up to the mill capacity. Based on underground mining rates of 8,000 tonnes per day ("tpd"), the remaining mineral reserve life of the Young- Davidson mine is 15 years as of December 31, 2015.
Underground Measured and Indicated mineral resources at Young-Davidson decreased 38% to 0.88 million ounces with an 8% increase in grade to 3.45 g/t Au. A large portion of the decrease reflects the conversion of Measured and Indicated mineral resources into mineral reserves. Inferred mineral resources were largely unchanged at 0.31 million ounces.
Mulatos open pit, heap leach mineral reserves (including the Mulatos Mine, stockpiles, Cerro Pelon and La Yaqui) decreased 7%, or 103,000 ounces from 2014 reflecting mining depletion in the Mulatos Mine, partially offset by the increase in mineral reserves at Cerro Pelon and La Yaqui. The mineral reserve grade decreased slightly to 1.03 g/t Au though this remains 16% above the 2016 budgeted grade for open pit, heap leach production.
The mineral reserve grade of the Mulatos Mine, the current source of open pit, heap leach production, decreased slightly to 0.87 g/t Au, reflecting the conversion of approximately three million tonnes of material previously modeled as waste to ore. This contributed to a 30% decrease in the remaining life of mine waste-to-ore ratio to 0.7:1, down from 1.0:1 at the end of 2014. This will positively impact costs through lower waste stripping expenses in the years ahead.
Based on the 2016 budgeted throughput rates, the remaining mineral reserve life of the Mulatos Mine is six years as of December 31, 2015.
Underground mineral reserves at Mulatos decreased 85,000 ounces reflecting mining depletion and an updated underground mine plan. To date, the Company has realized a positive grade and a negative tonnage and ounce reconciliation at San Carlos. The block model and mine plan have been updated to reflect this, resulting in a decrease in tonnes at San Carlos, partially offset by a 75% increase in the mineral reserve grade to 11.7 g/t Au. This is expected to result in higher grades processed through the mill over a shorter remaining underground mineral reserve life of approximately one year. The Company is evaluating the potential for conversion of existing mineral resources to extend the mine life.
Measured and Indicated mineral resources at Mulatos increased slightly to 2.82 million ounces with the grade also increasing 5% to 1.14 g/t Au. The increase was driven by a new Measured and Indicated mineral resource at Cerro Pelon of 47,000 ounces grading 2.57 g/t Au, well above the current open pit mineral reserve grade. The majority of Cerro Pelon's mineral resources are located just north of the existing mineral reserve. As such, the Company expects a good proportion of those ounces to convert to mineral reserves through further infill drilling.
Inferred mineral resources at Mulatos increased 200,000 ounces driven by the new Inferred mineral resource of 232,000 ounces delineated at La Yaqui. These Inferred mineral resources reside in two new zones along the northwest-trending silica ridge located to the north-east of the existing mineral reserve (see Figure 2). These new zones and the large surrounding area of alteration will be the focus of the 2016 exploration program with the aim to further increase mineral reserves and resources at the project.
Cerro Pelon and La Yaqui
Mineral Reserves at Cerro Pelon and La Yaqui increased by 38,000 ounces to total 259,000 ounces. Despite a limited exploration program in 2015 due to time constraints brought on by a later than anticipated receipt of the surface rights, the Company was successful in growing the combined mineral reserve base by 17% while also adding a further 47,000 ounces of Measured and Indicated mineral resources and 236,000 ounces of Inferred mineral resources. With the potential conversion of existing mineral resources and promising ongoing exploration results, the Company expects further mineral reserve growth.
A total of 18,767 metres ("m") of drilling was completed at Cerro Pelon in 2015 with the focus on testing the continuation of mineralization to the north of the existing planned pit. The program was successful in delineating a new zone of mineralization 100 m to the north which has already yielded a 29,000 ounce, or 21% increase in mineral reserves to 170,000 ounces (see Figure 1). A further 47,000 ounce Measured and Indicated mineral resource has also been delineated of which the Company expects a large proportion will convert to mineral reserves with additional infill drilling that is already underway. Ongoing exploration programs indicate positive signs for mineralization to the north below a silica cap. Positive indicators include favourable structure, alteration and surface geochemical results. Drill testing beneath this approximately 800 m long silica cap will commence once infill drilling of the areas close to the planned pit is complete and will be the main focus of the 2016 Cerro Pelon exploration program. An exploration budget of $3 million has been planned for Cerro Pelon in 2016.
The 2015 exploration program at La Yaqui included 13,872 m of drilling and was successful in growing the existing mineral reserve by 11% to 89,000 ounces. Of greater significance, the program resulted in the discovery of two new zones of mineralization which contain an initial pit contained Inferred mineral resource of 232,000 ounces, nearly three times the size of the 2014 mineral reserve (see Figure 2). These new zones are located approximately 500 m northeast of the existing mineral reserve, at the south-eastern extent of a northwest-trending silica ridge. This ridge is approximately 1,000 m in strike length and has an approximate 900 - 1,000 m of down-dip extent. This is a large hydrothermal system that was outlined in significant detail during the 2015 exploration program. Continuous alteration is seen throughout the entire zone with ore-grade intercepts at distances of up to a 1.25 km from the existing mineral reserves.
The aim of the 2016 La Yaqui exploration program is to upgrade the Inferred mineral resources and to outline, delineate and define new zones of mineralization to further increase mineral resources and reserves. Approximately $5 million has been budgeted at La Yaqui for the year.
With the combined mineral reserve grade of Cerro Pelon and La Yaqui averaging 1.6 g/t Au, 80% higher than the current 2016 budgeted heap leach grade, these deposits are expected to supply substantially lower cost production at Mulatos starting with La Yaqui in mid-2017.
Highlight intercepts from the 2015 exploration program at Cerro Pelon and La Yaqui, including several previously released results (as indicated by *), are as follows:
Further highlights from recent drilling completed at Cerro Pelon and La Yaqui are presented in Tables 5 and 6 at the end of this release.
El Chanate's mineral reserves decreased to 463,000 ounces reflecting depletion. El Chanate is a mature operation with up three years of mining remaining, depending on the gold price. The operation will then transition to residual leaching and will continue to produce gold for up to another four years at substantially lower costs. The Company expects to recover approximately 100,000 ounces of gold once mining concludes through residual leaching, providing significant free cash flow.
Through the acquisition of Carlisle Goldfields, the Company consolidated 100% ownership of the Lynn Lake project and in doing so increased Measured and Indicated mineral resources by 1.97 million ounces, to 2.63 million ounces grading 2.03 g/t Au. Through the acquisition, Inferred mineral resources increased by 1.57 million ounces, to 2.09 million ounces.
The 2015 exploration program at Quartz Mountain resulted in a smaller but higher quality mineral resource. Through the conversion of Inferred mineral resources, an initial Measured and Indicated mineral resource of 339,000 ounces was declared on the project grading 0.87 g/t Au. Inferred mineral resources decreased to 1.15 million ounces with the grade increasing 14% to 0.91 g/t Au, in part reflecting a lower gold price assumption of $1,400 per ounce and the conversion to Measured and Indicated mineral resources.
Agi Dagi, Kirazli, Camyurt, Esperanza and Orion
Measured and Indicated and Inferred mineral resources for the Esperanza, Orion, Agi Dagi, Kirazli, and Camyurt projects were unchanged from a year ago.
Chris Bostwick, FAusIMM, Alamos Gold's Vice President, Technical Services, has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this news release. Chris Bostwick is a Qualified Person within the meaning of Canadian Securities Administrator's National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"). The Qualified Persons for the National Instrument 43-101 compliant mineral reserve and resource estimates are detailed in the following table.
|Jeffrey Volk, CPG, FAusIMM
||Director - Reserves and Resource,
Alamos Gold Inc.
|Young-Davidson, El Chanate, San
Carlos U/G, Lynn Lake, Orion
|Marc Jutras, P.Eng
||Principal, Ginto Consulting Inc.
||Mulatos Pits, Cerro Pelon, La
Yaqui, Carricito, Esperanza, Agi
Dagi, Kirazli, Camyurt, Quartz
|Chris Bostwick, FAusIMM
||VP Technical Services, Alamos
|Young-Davidson, El Chanate,
San Carlos Underground
|Herb Welhener, SME-QP
||VP, Independent Mining
|Mulatos Pits, Cerro Pelon, La Yaqui
Exploration programs for the Company are directed by Aoife McGrath, M.Sc., M.AIG, Alamos' Vice President of Exploration and a Qualified Person under the requirements of National Instrument 43-101. Field programs in Mexico are supervised by Kristen Simpson P.Geo., Alamos' Exploration Manager - Mexico, a Qualified Person under the requirements of National Instrument 43-101.
Alamos is a Canadian-based intermediate gold producer with diversified production from three operating mines in North America. This includes the Young-Davidson mine in northern Ontario, Canada and the Mulatos and El Chanate mines in Sonora State, Mexico. Additionally, the Company has a significant portfolio of development stage projects in Mexico, Turkey, Canada and the United States. Alamos employs more than 1,300 people and is committed to the highest standards of sustainable development. The Company's shares are traded on the TSX and NYSE under the symbol "AGI".
The TSX and NYSE have not reviewed and do not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This News Release includes certain "forward-looking statements". All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release, including without limitation statements regarding forecast gold production, gold grades, recoveries, waste-to-ore ratios, total cash costs, potential mineralization reserves and resources, exploration results, and future plans and objectives of Alamos, are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to mining and processing of mined ore, achieving projected recovery rates, anticipated production rates and mine life, operating efficiencies, costs and expenditures, changes in mineral resources and conversion of mineral resources to proven and probable reserves, and other information that is based on forecasts of future operational or financial results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and assumptions of management.
Exploration results that include geophysics, sampling, and drill results on wide spacings may not be indicative of the occurrence of a mineral deposit. Such results do not provide assurance that further work will establish sufficient grade, continuity, metallurgical characteristics and economic potential to be classed as a category of mineral resource. A mineral resource that is classified as "inferred" or "indicated" has a great amount of uncertainty as to its existence and economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that any or part of an "indicated mineral resource" or "inferred mineral resource" will ever be upgraded to a higher category of resource. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into proven and probable reserves.
Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "plans", "estimates" or "intends", or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.
There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Alamos' expectations include, among others, risks related to international operations, the actual results of current exploration activities, conclusions of economic evaluations and changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined as well as future prices of gold and silver, as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Alamos' Annual Information Form and other disclosures of "Rick Factors" by Alamos and its predecessors, available on SEDAR and EDGAR. Although Alamos has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such 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.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors - Mineral Reserve and Resource Estimates
All resource and reserve estimates included in this news release or documents referenced in this news release have been prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (the "CIM") - CIM Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the CIM Council, as amended (the "CIM Standards"). NI 43-101 is a rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators, which established standards for all public disclosure an issuer makes of scientific and technical information concerning mineral projects. The terms "mineral reserve", "proven mineral reserve" and "probable mineral reserve" are Canadian mining terms as defined in accordance with NI 43-101 and the CIM Standards. These definitions differ materially from the definitions in SEC Industry Guide 7 ("SEC Industry Guide 7") under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Exchange Act. Under SEC Industry Guide 7 standards, a "final" or "bankable" feasibility study is required to report reserves, the three-year historical average price is used in any reserve or cash flow analysis to designate reserves and the primary environmental analysis or report must be filed with the appropriate governmental authority.
In addition, the terms "mineral resource", "measured mineral resource", "indicated mineral resource" and "inferred mineral resource" are defined in and required to be disclosed by NI 43-101 and the CIM Standards; however, these terms are not defined terms under SEC Industry Guide 7 and are normally not permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. "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 will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, except in very limited circumstances. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource exists or is economically or legally mineable. Disclosure of "contained ounces" in a resource is permitted disclosure under Canadian regulations; however, the SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute "reserves" by SEC standards as in place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures.
|Table 1: Total Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves as of December 31, 2015|
|PROVEN AND PROBABLE GOLD RESERVES (as at December 31, 2015)|
|Proven Reserves||Probable Reserves||Total Proven and Probable|
|(000's)||(g/t Au)||(000's)||(000's)||(g/t Au)||(000's)||(000's)||(g/t Au)||(000's)|
|Young-Davidson - Surface||1,396||0.82||37||-||-||-||1,396||0.82||37|
|Young-Davidson - Underground||14,282||2.73||1,255||30,008||2.68||2,582||44,290||2.69||3,837|
|Mulatos Main Pits||5,248||0.98||165||27,654||0.85||756||32,902||0.87||921|
|San Carlos Underground||83||15.49||42||77||7.66||19||161||11.73||61|
|El Chanate - Open Pit||11,480||0.55||204||7,837||0.64||161||19,317||0.59||365|
|El Chanate - Leach Pad Inv.||-||-||98||-||-||-||-||-||98|
|Total El Chanate||11,480||0.82||302||7,837||0.64||161||19,317||0.75||463|
|Alamos - Total||40,409||1.68||2,178||69,307||1.66||3,702||109,716||1.67||5,880|
|Table 2: Project Life-of-Mine Waste-to-Ore Ratios|
|as of December 31, 2015|
|Project Life-of-Mine Waste-to-Ore Ratios|
|as of December 31, 2015|
|Cerro Pelon Pit||2.25|
|La Yaqui Pit||0.16|
|El Chanate Pit||3.81|
|Table 3: Total Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources as of December 31, 2015|
|MEASURED AND INDICATED GOLD MINERAL RESOURCES (as at Dec 31, 2015)|
|Measured Resources||Indicated Resources||Total Measured and Indicated|
|(000's)||(g/t Au)||(000's)||(000's)||(g/t Au)||(000's)||(000's)||(g/t Au)||(000's)|
|Young-Davidson - Surface||496||1.13||18||1,242||1.28||51||1,739||1.24||69|
|Young-Davidson - Underground||4,248||3.47||474||3,707||3.43||408||7,955||3.45||883|
|San Carlos UG||236||6.03||46||367||5.42||64||603||5.66||110|
|Total Lynn Lake||15,010||1.99||960||25,293||2.05||1,669||40,303||2.03||2,629|
|Alamos - Total||52,353||1.54||2,588||264,615||0.98||8,328||316,968||1.07||10,917|
|MEASURED AND INDICATED SILVER MINERAL RESOURCES (as at Dec 31, 2015)|
|Measured Resources||Indicated Resources||Total Measured and Indicated|
|(000's)||(g/t Ag)||(000's)||(000's)||(g/t Ag)||(000's)||(000's)||(g/t Ag)||(000's)|
|Alamos - Total||22,584||7.21||5,233||152,829||6.87||33,754||175,413||6.91||38,987|
|Table 4: Total Inferred Mineral Resources as of December 31, 2015|
|INFERRED GOLD MINERAL RESOURCES (as at Dec 31, 2015)|
|Young-Davidson - Surface||31||0.99||1|
|Young-Davidson - Underground||3,523||2.76||312|
|San Carlos UG||162||4.93||26|
|Total Lynn Lake||50,704||1.28||2,089|
|Alamos - Total||132,949||1.05||4,506|
|INFERRED SILVER MINERAL RESOURCES (as at Dec 31, 2015)|
|Alamos - Total||26,049||5.15||4,312|
Notes to Mineral Reserve and Resource Tables:
|Gold Price||Cutoff||Gold Price||Cutoff||Met Recovery|
|Mulatos Main Open Pit||$||1,400||0.5||$||1,250||see notes||>50||%|
|San Carlos Underground||$||1,400||2.5||$||1,250||3.27||70||%|
|Cerro Pelon||$||1,400||0.3||$||1,250||see notes||75||%|
|La Yaqui||$||1,400||0.3||$||1,250||see notes||75||%|
|Young-Davidson - Surface||$||1,400||0.5||$||1,250||0.5||91||%|
|Young-Davidson - Underground||$||1,400||1.3||$||1,250||1.9||91||%|
|Quartz Mountain||$||1,400||0.21 Oxide,
To view Figure 1: Cerro Pelon Project – Simplified Geology Map with Intercepts, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1048060fig1.jpg.
To view Figure 2: Greater Yaqui Project Area – Simplified Geology Map with Intercepts, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1048060fig2.jpg.
|Table 5: Cerro Pelon - Select Composite Intervals|
|Intercepts calculated at a 0.3 g/t cut-off. Minimum width of 3 m and maximum internal waste of|
|* indicates previously released results|
|Table 6: La Yaqui - Select Composite Intervals from Exploration Drilling|
|Intercepts calculated at a 0.3 g/t cut-off. Minimum width of 3 m and maximum internal waste of 1.55 m.|
|* indicates previously released results|
Alamos Gold Inc.
Scott K. Parsons
Vice President, Investor Relations
(416) 368-9932 x 5439