Moneta Completes Acquisition of Garrison Project from O3 Mining to Create a Leading Canadian Gold Development Company with 4.0m Oz Gold Indicated and 4.4m Oz Gold Inferred
Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - February 24, 2021) - Moneta Porcupine Mines Inc. (TSX: ME) (OTC Pink: MPUCF) (XETRA: MOP) ("Moneta" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that the Company has completed the acquisition of all the issued and outstanding shares of Northern Gold Mining Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of O3 Mining Inc. (TSXV:OIII) (OTCQX: OIIIF) ("O3 Mining"), which owns 100% of the Golden Bear assets, including the Garrison Gold project located adjacent to and contiguous with Moneta's Golden Highway project in the Timmins Gold Camp as previously announced on January 14, 2021 (Press release ME-PR 01-2021) (the "Transaction").
Under the terms of the Transaction, O3 Mining was issued approximately 150 million common shares of Moneta and currently owns approximately 27% of the outstanding Moneta shares. The shares are subject to a hold period ending December 31, 2022.
Gary O'Connor, CEO of Moneta, commented, "Finalizing the acquisition of the Golden Bear assets with overwhelming support from our shareholders has transformed Moneta into one of the largest gold development companies in North America with a significant resource and land holding in Canada's most prolific gold mining camp. The Golden Bear assets, including the Garrison Gold deposits, occur adjacent to our flagship Golden Highway project and provide significant synergies and multiple options for the development of our gold resources. Moneta now holds 3,967,000 ounces of indicated gold resources and 4,399,000 ounces of inferred gold resources including both high-grade bulk tonnage underground deposits and near surface open pit resources. We are pleased to have a highly successful project development company as a partner. With the closing of the recent $22.6M financing, Moneta is well funded to test the expansion potential of the integrated project. With the completion of the current 70,000 m drill program, we plan to update the resource estimate later this year followed by an updated and expanded preliminary economic assessment study (PEA) on the combined projects."
José Vizquerra, President and CEO of O3 Mining, commented, "O3 Mining is pleased to unlock value for our shareholders through our investment in, and support of, Moneta, and the future development of a large and long-life gold project in Timmins, Ontario - one of Canada's most productive gold camps. The consolidation of these two historically fractioned mining camps will allow for a more systematic exploration strategy going forward and will unlock value for our shareholders and Moneta shareholders alike as the project develops. We look forward to partnering with Moneta's management team, through our board representation, and being part of Moneta's growth story in the Timmins Mining Camp, in our role as a significant shareholder."
Concurrent with the closing of the Transaction, the Board of Directors of Moneta will now be represented by Mr. Mark NJ Ashcroft, Mr. Rodney Cooper, Mr. Alex Henry, Mr. Gary O'Connor, Mr. Ian C Peres, and Mr. Josef Vejvoda, to be joined by O3 Mining nominees, Mr. José Vizquerra and Mr. Blair Zaritsky. Director biographies can be found at www.monetaporcupine.com and www.O3mining.com.
The Board of Directors at Moneta wishes to thank retiring Moneta Board of Director members, Mr. Mark Wayne and Dr. Kevin Heather for their numerous contributions to the success of the Company. Mr. Alex Henry, Chairman of Moneta commented, "We are very grateful to have had Mark and Kevin serve on our board over the past several years. Their dedication and knowledge added significantly to Moneta's growth." Mr. Gary O'Connor, CEO added, "On behalf of our entire board, we are very grateful to Mark and Kevin for their vast knowledge and insight into the development of large gold projects and their efforts to help create one of the largest gold projects in North America today."
Moneta also intends to consolidate its share capital on a 6 for 1 basis (the "Consolidation"), subject to the receipt of all necessary approvals, at its next annual general meeting "AGM". The Consolidation will require approval by not less than two-thirds (66 2/3%) of the votes cast by the Moneta shareholders present in person, or represented by proxy, at Moneta's next AGM.
The Transaction was approved by written consent by a majority of holders comprised of more than 51.6% of Moneta shares on February 11, 2021 (see press release ME-PR 05-2021). In connection with the Transaction, the Board of Directors received a Fairness Opinion from Maxit Capital LP stating that, subject to the assumptions, limitations, and qualifications set out therein, the consideration to be paid by Moneta pursuant to the purchase agreement with O3 Mining is fair, from a financial point of view, to Moneta. As required under securities law, Moneta will file a Form 51-102F4 Business Acquisition Report ("BAR") within 75 days of the Transaction closing. The Company satisfied the escrow release conditions under the previously announced $3 million subscription receipt financing concurrently with the closing of the Transaction (see press release ME-PR 04-2021 dated February 04, 2021). As a result, the subscription receipts converted, for no further consideration, into 9,375,000 Moneta shares on closing.
Moneta holds 26,343 ha of prospective land in the Timmins Gold Camp including a joint venture with Kirkland Lake Gold Corporation (TSX: KL). The Company's flagship project, covering the Golden Highway and Garrison Gold Projects is located 100 km east of Timmins and hosts a total indicated resource of 3,967,000 ounces gold contained and a total of 4,399,000 ounces gold inferred at a 2.60 g/t Au at South West, 3.00 g/t Au cut-off for the other underground deposits and 0.30 g/t Au for the open pit deposits. The project includes a total of 3,335,000 ounces of open pit indicated resources contained within 116.7 Mt @ 0.89 g/t Au and 2,270,000 ounces of open pit inferred resources contained within 79.4 Mt @ 0.89 g/t Au. The project also includes 632,000 ounces of indicated underground resources contained within 4.9 Mt @ 4.05 g/t Au and 2,129,000 ounces of inferred underground resources within 15.7 Mt @ 4.21 g/t Au.
Preliminary economic assessment ("PEA") studies were completed on the Garrison open pit resources and the South West underground bulk mining resource in 2020. The Garrison PEA highlighted open pit mining operation consisting of a 12-year mine life with an after-tax NPV5% of C$321MM, IRR of 33% and a 2.3 year payback. The project envisaged open pit mining producing 121,000 oz/pa in years 1 to 8 (94,000 oz/pa LOM), at a strip ratio of 2.7:1 at a cash cost of US$721/oz using a gold price of US$1,450/oz and an exchange rate of US$0.75/C$. The PEA on the South West gold deposit, one of 6 deposits located on the Golden Highway project, highlighted an underground bulk mining operation consisting of an 11-year mine life with an after-tax NPV5% of C$236MM, IRR of 30% and a 3.4 year payback, generating C$371MM LOM after-tax free cash flow. The project envisaged producing 76,000 oz/pa at a cash cost of US$590/oz at a gold price of US$1,500/oz and an exchange rate of US$0.77/C$. The open pit resources and new underground discoveries have not yet been subjected to a preliminary economic assessment study at Golden Highway.
Moneta is currently drilling (70,000 m) the extensions of the resources in preparation of an updated resource estimate and combined PEA with an expanded scope and production profile.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Gary V. O'Connor, CEO
Linda Armstrong, Investor Relations
This news release includes certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements, collectively "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are frequently identified by such words as "may", "will", "plan", "expect", "anticipate", "estimate", "intend" and similar words referring to future events and results. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to information with the future performance of the business, its operations and financial performance and condition such as the Company's drilling program and the timing and results thereof; and the ability of the Company to finance and carry out its anticipated goals and objectives.
Forward-looking statements are based on the current opinions and expectations of management. All forward-looking information is inherently uncertain and subject to a variety of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, including the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, fluctuating commodity prices, competitive risks and the availability of financing, as described in more detail in our recent securities filings available at www.sedar.com. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in the forward looking-statements and we caution against placing undue reliance thereon. We assume no obligation to revise or update these forward-looking statements.
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