Sabina Gold & Silver Announces 2014 Back River Work Program and Annual Budget
—Focus on advancement of Back River while conserving cash—
Approximately $24 million total spend in 2014 with expected yearend balance of $34 million
Vancouver, BC – Sabina Gold & Silver Corp (SBB.T) (the “Company”) is pleased to outline the objectives of its 2014 project development and exploration program for its 100% owned Back River project in Nunavut, Canada, as well as its budget for 2014.
The 2014 Back River work program has been estimated to total approximately $19 million and will include a modest drilling program following up on successes in 2013; environmental and permitting activities, development studies and property holding costs. Including corporate general and administrative and other project related costs, the annual budget for 2014 is expected to be approximately $24 million.
In 2013, the Company completed approximately 82,000 metres of drilling at Back River, primarily focused on upgrading and extending the resources for inclusion in the upcoming feasibility Study (“FS”). The results of this drilling were included in an updated Back River Mineral Resource estimate announced early in March.
Additionally, since the completion of the pre-feasibility October, 2013, studies have been ongoing to assess opportunities for project optimization prior to launching the FS. These studies include metallurgical testing, mining methods, sequencing and costs as well as logistics alternatives. These studies are expected to be completed during the month of April. The studies, updated mineral resource estimate and 2014 drilling will also be included in the Back River FS.
“We have a very good foundation of information with which to launch our FS,” said Rob Pease, President & CEO. “Our objective was to accomplish most of the work to support the FS in 2013 and early 2014 and we believe we are well positioned to advance the project through the FS and final permitting phases. One of the opportunities identified last year was a new high grade resource at the Echo zone which we believe could have a positive impact on early mine life economics. We have decided to launch a focused drill campaign at the Echo deposit to upgrade and possibly increase the resources for inclusion in the FS. While we are there and the camp is mobilized, we will take the opportunity to test some interesting targets around the Echo and Goose Main zones. We believe these could all be value add targets in the early mine life of the project. We are excited about the next phase of advancement for the project and look forward to launching our FS.”
The priority for the Company in the next 18 months is to advance Back River through feasibility and environmental assessment, de-risking the project while minimizing cash consumption. During the year, the market can look forward to updates on the project, drilling results from the Echo Zone and permitting progress.
The Company expects to end 2014 with a cash balance of approximately $34 million. In 2015, it is anticipated that another $11 million will be required to fully engineer and permit the project (including corporate General and Administration costs, but assuming no exploration). The Company is well positioned to retain a significant treasury through to the end of 2015. During 2014, project financing options to construct Back River will be explored so that the Company is in position to move forward once the project has been de-risked.
2014 Back River Work Program
Goose Camp is now open with a view to having three drills up and running on the project by April 20th, 2014.
- To mobilize a drilling program to convert and possibly increase resources at the Echo deposit;
- To drill test two or three high potential exploration targets for new resource additions to the Goose property;
- To complete ongoing optimization studies on the project that began in 2013, i.e. metallurgical testing, mine sequencing and capital and mining cost studies;
- To incorporate results of Echo drilling and optimizations studies into the FS to be launched later this year and completed in the first half of 2015;
- To continue necessary environmental and baseline work for the Final Environmental Impact Statement;
- To continue with community engagement for the project;
The Echo Zone, located approximately 1.5km southwest of the Goose Main deposit and strategically located near planned mine infrastructure was initially discovered at Back River when Sabina purchased the property in 2009. With the subsequent discovery of the Llama and Umwelt deposits the Echo zone was not fully advanced as an exploration target.
Based on its proximity to other Goose deposits and it’s high grade nature, (e.g. holes 13GSE435 returning 13.13g/t Au over 12.55m and 13GSE395 returning 7.73g/t Au over 12.20m), in 2013, re-interpretation of prior drilling results led to a renewed exploration and resource definition program that was successful in defining a mineral resource at Echo. The zone is open to depth and laterally to the north. The 2014, 6000 meter drill program is designed to upgrade a portion of the inferred resources at Echo to the indicated category as well as explore deposit extensions.
In addition to the Echo drilling, an exploration drilling program of approximately 2500 meters is planned to test two to three high priority targets located in and around the existing Goose deposits. Positive attributes of the targets have been defined using the results from ongoing geologic modeling in combination with geophysical data sets and the results of previous drilling programs.
Based on the results of the PFS last fall, the Company decided to embark on a FS for Back River. Originally, the Company had anticipated launching the FS late in 2013 and completing the FS by the third quarter of 2014. However, as the Company has determined the FS would be best served by including the updated resource estimates, metallurgical testing, and results of other ongoing optimization studies as well as Echo drilling, the FS will likely be launched early in the second half of 2014 with an expected completion date in the first half of 2015. The environmental assessment and permitting process is ongoing and is being closely coordinated with the engineering FS schedule.
These schedule changes will result in approximately a six to twelve month delay in the proposed project start up currently outlined in the PFS.
Back River Technical Report
On March 4, 2014, the Company announced an updated Mineral Resource Estimate on the Back River Project. The corresponding 43-101 technical report entitled “Mineral Resource Update for the Back River Gold Property, Nunavut, Canada” was filed on www.sedar.com on March 27, 2014 and can also be found on the Company’s website at www.sabinagoldsilver.com
The Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 as pertains to the Back River Project, is Angus Campbell, P.Geo, Vice-President, Exploration, for the Company.
True widths for the intercepts reported in this news release have not yet been determined.
Diamond drill core was sent to TSL Laboratories in Saskatoon, Sask. Quality control is monitored on a continual basis and utilizes a system of standards, blanks and duplicates to ensure analytical accuracy. The protocols and procedures used in 2013 are the same as those used in earlier campaigns by Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. and have been deemed appropriate in the Company’s 43-101 compliant resource reports.
SABINA GOLD & SILVER CORP.
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. is an emerging gold developer with district scale, world class assets in one of the world’s newest, most politically stable mining jurisdictions: Nunavut, Canada.
Sabina’s primary assets, all located in Nunavut, consist of: the Back River Gold Project, currently in the feasibility and permitting phase; the Wishbone Claims, a vastly prospective grass roots project; and the Hackett River Silver Royalty, a silver production royalty on Glencore Canada’s Hackett River project comprising 22.5% of the first 190 million ounces produced and 12.5% of all the silver produced thereafter. The Company is well funded and ended 2013 with $58 million in cash.
All news releases and further information can be found on the Company’s website at www.sabinagoldsilver.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
For further information please contact:
Nicole Hoeller, VP, Communications: 1 888 648-4218
Forward Looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws (the “forward-looking statements”), including our belief as to the extent, results and timing of exploration programs and various studies including the FS, and exploration results, the results of the PFS, the potential tonnage, grades and content of deposits, timing, establishment and extent of resources and reserves estimates, potential production from and viability of the Company’s properties, production and operating costs and permitting submission, timing and receipt of necessary permits and project approvals for future operations and access to project funding. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurance that the future circumstances, outcomes or results anticipated in or implied by such forward-looking statements will occur or that plans, intentions or expectations upon which the forward-looking statements are based will occur. While we have based these forward-looking statements on our expectations about future events as at the date that such statements were prepared, the statements are not a guarantee that such future events will occur and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors which could cause events or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors and assumptions include, among others, the effects of general economic conditions, commodity prices, changing foreign exchange rates and actions by government and regulatory authorities and misjudgments in the course of preparing forward-looking statements. In addition, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Known risk factors include risks associated with exploration and project development; the need for additional financing; the calculation of mineral resources and reserves; operational risks associated with mining and mineral processing; fluctuations in metal prices; title matters; government regulation; obtaining and renewing necessary licences and permits; environmental liability and insurance; reliance on key personnel; the potential for conflicts of interest among certain of our officers or directors; the absence of dividends; currency fluctuations; labour disputes; competition; dilution; the volatility of the our common share price and volume; future sales of shares by existing shareholders; and other risks and uncertainties, including those relating to the Back River Project and general risks associated with the mineral exploration and development industry described in our Annual Information Form, financial statements and MD&A for the fiscal period ended December 31, 2013 filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators and available at www.sedar.com. Although we have attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking 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. We are under no obligation to update or alter any forward-looking statements except as required under applicable securities laws. This news release has been authorized by the undersigned on behalf of Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.
Rob Pease, President & CEO
930 West 1st Street, Suite 202
North Vancouver, BC V7P 3N4
Tel 604 998-4175 Fax 604 998-1051
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