Aurvista Gold Reports Positive Preliminary Economic Assessment on Douay West Zone
Montreal, Quebec--(Newsfile Corp. - December 9, 2014) - Aurvista Gold Corporation (TSXV: AVA) (OTC: ARVSF) ("Aurvista" or the "Company") is pleased to announce positive results of the Company's Preliminary Economic Assessment (the "PEA") of the Douay West Zone (the "Project"), part of the Douay Gold Project located in northwestern Quebec within the prolific gold producing Abitibi Greenstone Belt (the "AGB").
Gold mines of the AGB have already produced 200 million ounces of gold (6,000 tonnes of gold) since the early 1900's. The more recently developed gold mines include Yamana's and Agnico-Eagle's Malartic Gold Mine estimated at just under 10 million ounces of reserves, located 115 km south of the Project, and Detour Gold's Detour Lake Gold Mine with an estimated 15 million ounces of gold in reserves located 125 km northwest of the Project.
The PEA was completed by Eugene Puritch, P. Eng., and Kirk Rodgers, P. Eng., of P&E Mining Consultants Inc. ("P&E") of Brampton (Ontario). P&E's National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the PEA will be posted under Aurvista filings on SEDAR at www.sedar.com within 45 days of this news release. The PEA referenced in this news release only considers the Douay West Zone and does not include any of the other known zones that comprise the Douay Gold Project. The Company intends to advance these additional zones sequentially using a scalable approach that is consistent with the Company's longer term strategy.
All dollar values referenced in this press release are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated.
The PEA considers both open pit and underground production options for the advancement of the Project. The study economics show a pre-tax Net Present Value ("NPV") of $25.0 million at a discount rate of 5% and post-tax NPV(5%) of $16.6 million using an approximate two-year average gold price of US$1,350 per ounce and an exchange rate of 1.00 $C=0.95 US$. The pre-tax internal rate of return ("IRR") for the project is 55% and the post-tax IRR is 40%.
The initial preproduction expenditure is estimated at $12.2 million to achieve first production from the open pit. The project life is 3.7 years, after approximately one-year of open pit pre-stripping. The Life of Mine ("LOM") cash operating cost is $800 per ounce of gold, and the LOM all-in sustaining cost is $1,195 per ounce of gold, with a 3.2 year pay-back period from the start of development.
The Project is considered viable with the current Mineral Resource estimates of 2,558,000 tonnes at an average grade of 2.77 g/t gold for 228,000 ounces of Indicated Mineral Resources and additional Inferred Mineral Resources of 1,413,000 tonnes at an average grade of 1.65 g/t gold for 75,000 ounces, based on a cut-off grade of 0.30 g/t gold. For further resource estimate information the reader may reference the Company's technical report titled "Douay Deposit National Instrument 43-101 Compliant Technical Report" dated August 2012, by Cliff Duke, P. Geo., of Riverbend Geological Services Inc., of Beausejour, Manitoba.
Based on these positive results, a Pre-Feasibility study on the Douay West Zone is planned for 2015. Aurvista plans a 4,000 metre drilling campaign to enhance the Project's economics. If this proposed drill campaign succeeds in increasing the size and quality of the compliant Mineral Resources and subsequently the projects production profile, this could result in a higher Net Present Value and extend the mine life. This PEA has an accuracy of +/- 40%, which is considered industry standard for preliminary capital and operating cost estimates.
Jean Lafleur, M.Sc., P. Geo., President and CEO of Aurvista commented "The high grade nature of the mineralization at Douay West could potentially allow successive open pit and underground mining of the currently defined Mineral Resources. The presence of historical buildings and infrastructure on site, as well as the excellent location in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt and northwestern Quebec's established mining districts, offers Aurvista the opportunity to generate significant cash flow from mining at reasonable cash cost per ounce. With much of the site infrastructure in place and considering that the mined product could be processed at a nearby toll milling operation, the capital requirements to bring Douay West into production are relatively low. Should production from the Douay West Zone be attained, I am confident that we will be able to extend the life of mine by adding mineral resources at depth and from the other zones that comprise the Douay Gold Project."
A decision was taken in 2013 by Aurvista to review possible mining methods for the Project. An internal concept study was concluded in late 2013 on its development using successive open pit and underground mining methods. The concept study yielded favorable results that prompted the Company to undertake a PEA.
The Douay Gold Project is located approximately 55 km southwest of Matagami and 120 km north of Amos, Quebec. It is accessible by paved Provincial Highway #109, which is the major north-south regional road linking the towns of Amos (Val-d'Or) and Matagami (James Bay). Access to the Project is via the public road network that extends onto the mine site. This network could be used to haul mineralized material off-site to nearby toll processing facilities. Utilities are available on site including hydro-electricity provided directly from Hydro-Quebec's power grid to the Company's on-site substation.
Proposed mining would start by open pit followed by underground mining. The deposit was explored by several past operators since the 1990's. A shaft collar and head frame, hoist and hoist house, office/dry area building and some shaft sinking materials were left on site by a previous operator in the 1990's. The Douay Gold Project was subsequently acquired by Aurvista from Société d'Exploration Minière Vior Inc. ("Vior") in August 2011.
The Project is situated just southeast of the existing shaft collar and head frame. The bedrock/overburden contact varies between 10 and 45 metres below surface. The mineralization dips at approximately 60° to 85° to the south and varies from approximately 15 metres to 30 metres in true width.
The PEA proposes a conventional truck and shovel open pit, followed by ramp access, and long-hole open stoping in the underground mine. The access decline will be developed in the footwall of the mineralization to access sublevels at a vertical spacing of approximately 25 metres. Since the LOM currently being contemplated is relatively short, the mining operation would be conducted on a contractor basis.
The mine plan is to extract the upper portions of the Mineral Resources (the top 100 metres) using open pit mining methods. While the open-pit is producing, an underground portal will be established on the pit wall and an underground ramp will be extended below the proposed crown pillar. Underground mining will progress in a top-down fashion with major sublevels every 25 metres defining groups of stopes.
The PEA schedule assumes mining of 419,000 tonnes of mineralized material in the open pit at an average grade of 3.16 g/t gold (at a cut-off of 1.17 g/t gold). The average dilution factor applied is 16.3% at a diluting grade of 0.32 g/t gold. Mining recovery has been estimated at 97%. The underground operation will mine 133,000 mineralized development tonnes at a grade of 4.57 g/t gold and 608,000 stoping tonnes at a grade of 4.83 g/t gold (at a cut-off grade off 3.25 g/t gold). The average planned dilution factor applied is 14.5% at a diluting grade of 1.82 g/t gold. Un-planned dilution has been estimated by adding an additional 5% at zero grade gold to mineralization after planned dilution. A mining recovery of 85% has been assumed.
The PEA has relied on limited metallurgical test work conducted by Laboratoire LTM Inc. in 2005. The body of the report is contained in a Systèmes Geostat International Inc. ("SGI") document. SGI commissioned the work to confirm amenability to cyanidation and to assess the effect of grind on extraction. While the results could not be verified, the test work was conducted on a sample composited from 30 individual assay reject samples that returned an average calculated head of 4.87 g/t gold. Cyanidation tests conducted on material ground to seven different size distributions ranging from 75% -200 mesh to 99% -400 mesh returned extractions ranging from 90% to 95%, indicating a minor effect of grind on extraction. The laboratory estimated an extraction of 93% based on a grind of 95% -200 mesh. On this basis, the PEA considered a recovery of 92% for both open pit and underground feed.
Due to the current size of the Mineral Resources it is expected that mineralization from the Project would be processed at a nearby external facility. Based on the limited available test work, the contracted mill would be a direct cyanidation plant as opposed to a flotation or flotation-cyanidation mill. A conventional CIP or CIL process would be suitable.
Additional details regarding the historic metallurgical test work will be contained in the PEA technical report.
The PEA demonstrates positive economics for the extraction of the Mineral Resources using successive open pit and underground mining methods. In conducting this assessment, a gold price of US$1,350 per ounce of gold and exchange rate of 1.00 $C=0.95 US$ was assumed. The results indicate a pre-tax NPV at a 5% discount rate of $25.0 million, a post-tax NPV at a 5% discount rate of $16.6 million, and a payback period of 3.2 years from the start of prestripping of the open pit.
The project is robust, although sensitive to the price of gold. The following sensitivities to gold price for pre and post-tax undiscounted cash flow are presented in the table below.
|Undiscounted Pre-Tax Cash
Flow ($ millions)
|Undiscounted Post-Tax Cash
Flow ($ millions)
|An exchange rate of 1.00 $C=0.95 US$ has been used|
In this project, P&E has assumed that tax pools generated by the project can be deducted in the final year to create a tax loss. Since the Company is intending to develop a second project or phase of work, it is reasonable to assume that the Company will be able to eventually deduct these pools.
Operating and Capital Expenditures
Proposed initial capital expenditures will be minimal due to the decision to seek a toll milling arrangement, the existence of facilities on site, and the use of contractors in the mine operation. It is estimated that the LOM capital requirement are $56.8 million. The table below presents the major capital items during the life of the Project (excluding the open pit prestripping operation which is treated as an operating expense.)
|Capital Expenditures ($M)|
|Underground Development and Initial Stoping||$||50.1|
|Total Capital Expenditures||$||56.8|
The proposed mine plan for both the open pit and underground scenarios use a production rate of 900 tonnes per day of mineralized material. Based on this assumption, the following tables highlight the major key performance indicators.
|Average Production Rate||900 tpd|
|Average Gold Recoveries||92%|
|Overburden Stripping||$4.35 / tonne|
|Open Pit Mining Cost||$4.25 / tonne|
|Underground Stope Mining Cost||$65 / tonne|
|Mineral Haulage to Toll Mill||$7.00 / tonne|
|Crushing||$3.50 / tonne|
|Toll Milling||$30.00 / tonne|
|General & Administrative Cost||Variable based on Project Phase|
|Life of Mine Costs|
|Cash Operating Costs||C$800/oz|
The technical contents of this press release have been reviewed and approved by Mr. Chris Sharpe, P.Eng. Vice President Engineering for Aurvista Gold Corporation, and independent qualified persons Eugene Puritch, P. Eng., and Kirk Rodgers, P. Eng., both of P&E Mining Consultants Inc. All individuals are Qualified Persons pursuant to National Instrument 43-101 standards. The reader is advised that the PEA summarized in this news release is intended to provide an initial conceptual review of the project. The PEA mine plan and economic model include the use of Inferred Mineral Resources which are considered speculative geologically to have any 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.
About Aurvista Gold
Aurvista Gold Corporation is a junior gold exploration and development company. Aurvista's only asset is the Douay Gold Project, consisting of 221 wholly owned claims totaling approximately 11,430 hectares. The Douay Project's North West Zone has 32 designated claims for a total of 1,193 hectares and is in a Joint Venture agreement with SOQUEM. The Douay Project is located on the Casa Berardi Fault in northern Quebec. As of 2012, the Douay gold Project contains a NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource of 114,652,000 tonnes at 0.75 g/t gold (2.8 million ounces of gold) in the Inferred category and 2,689,000 tonnes at 2.76 g/t gold (238,400 ounces of gold) in the Measured and Indicated category, at a cut-off of 0.3 g/t gold. Details of the Douay Gold Project can be viewed on the Company's website at www.aurvistagold.com
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on assumptions, uncertainties and management's best estimate of future events. Actual events or results could differ materially from the Company's expectations and projections. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. When used herein, words such as "anticipate", "will", "intend" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, refer to Aurvista Gold Corporation's filings with Canadian securities regulators available on www.sedar.com or the Company's website at www.aurvistagold.com.
For further information please contact
Jean Lafleur, M. Sc., P. Geo.
President and CEO
Cell +1 514 975 3633
Facsimile +1 416 504 4129
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