Steppe Gold Provides Update on ATO Gold Mine Expansion
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia--(Newsfile Corp. - July 29, 2020) - Steppe Gold Ltd. (TSX: STGO) ("Steppe Gold" or the "Company") is very pleased to provide an update on the Bankable Feasibility Study ("BFS") underway for the expansion of the ATO Gold Mine into fresh rock ores with a planned production profile of approximately 150,000oz gold equivalent per year and an estimated ten year mine life.
In parallel with the company's aggressive exploration program currently underway at the ATO Gold Mine, the Company has retained technical and project management advisers and is now working towards the completion of a BFS with a target date of March 2021. The BFS is built on a previously completed Centerra Gold 2012 Internal Feasibility study and on further internal studies undertaken by Steppe Gold from 2017 to present.
The Company is currently working on updating all resources and reserves for the ATO1, ATO2 and ATO4 deposits in addition to a maiden resource and reserve for the Mungu Discovery. Steppe Gold has completed a substantial amount of drilling at the ATO Gold Mine since resources and reserves were last calculated. The Company has drilled 1,840 metres at ATO1, 1,662 metres at ATO2, 14,760 metres at ATO4 and over 26,573 metres have been drilled at the Mungu Discovery.
Financing strategies for the ATO Gold Mine Expansion are advancing in parallel with the BFS process with construction targeted for commencement in mid-2021. The Company has commenced discussions with project finance and lending groups and it expects to fund its equity contribution from operating cash flows and cash on hand. Post the recent placement of shares to Eric Sprott the Company has approximately US$22M cash on hand with regular gold sales from the ATO Gold Mine continuing.
The Company expects a smooth transition from open cut oxide ores being heap leached to the processing of open cut fresh rock ores through a new flotation and CIL circuit. The Company is targeting first production from the ATO Gold Mine Expansion in mid to late 2022.
Steppe Gold CEO Mr Bataa Tumur-Ochir commented "With our Phase 1 production now well underway and generating strong cash flows, we are excited to be accelerating the expansion of the ATO Gold Mine into fresh rock ores. Previous studies by Centerra and our own in-house work provide us with a high level of confidence in the economic potential of the fresh rock expansion.
This larger second phase will clearly demonstrate that the ATO Gold Mine is a robust, long life, low cost operation with considerable exploration growth through aggressive drilling programs."
The technical content of this news release has been reviewed and approved by Enkhtuvshin Khishigsuren as the Qualified Person.
Cautionary Statements: Estimates noted above were prepared for local Mongolian requirements and are not currently compliant with NI 43-101.
Steppe Gold Limited
Steppe Gold is Mongolia's Premier Precious Metals Company.
For Further information, please contact:
Bataa Tumur-Ochir, CEO and President
Shangri-La office, Suite 1201, Olympic Street
19A, Sukhbaatar District 1,
Ulaanbaatar 14241, Mongolia
Tel: +976 7732 1914
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
The above contains forward-looking statements that are subject to a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in our forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause such differences include: changes in world commodity markets, equity markets, costs and supply of materials relevant to the mining industry, change in government and changes to regulations affecting the mining industry. Forward-looking statements in this release include, among other things, statements regarding the trading of the Common Shares and business, economic, and political conditions in Mongolia. Although we believe the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, results may vary, and we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws.
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