Sabina Initiates Permitting Process at Back River Project, Nunavut; Files NI 43-101 Technical Report
MOVING TO PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY; ANNOUNCES ADDITION TO TECHNICAL TEAM
Vancouver, BC - Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. (SBB-T) is pleased to announce the completion and filing of the technical report for the previously announced Back River Gold Project Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) (see press release dated May 29, 2012). The detailed NI 43-101 technical report has been filed on SEDAR and is available on Sabina’s website and on www.sedar.com.
Sabina is also pleased to announce that it has filed a preliminary Project Description with the Nunavut Water Board in Nunavut. This filing is expected to trigger the Environmental Assessment Process and associated permitting activities which Sabina anticipates will take between two and three years to complete.
Preliminary Economic Assessment
As previously announced, the PEA was prepared by SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (“SRK”) and contemplates a scenario with concurrent open-pit and underground mining operations delivering mineralized material from the Llama, Umwelt, Goose and George deposits to a centralized 5,000 tonne per day (“tpd”) processing facility located near the Umwelt deposit. Gold production is projected to average ~300,000 oz/year over 12.3 years for total production of 3,677,000 oz Au, beginning in late 2016 or early 2017. Sabina is currently funded to advance the Project through final feasibility and permitting. The conclusions and recommendations of the PEA are that the Project may be economically viable and the Company should proceed to a Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”).
All dollar figures are in C$ and the study assumes a 1:1 US$:C$ exchange rate. Base case commodity assumptions of $1,250/oz gold and $1.20/litre diesel were used. Highlights include:
- Post-tax NPV-5% of $650 million and IRR of 25%; pre-tax NPV-5% and IRR of $1.1 billion and 32%;
- Life-of-mine (“LOM”) after-tax net cash flow of $1.1 billion on gross revenues of $4.6 billion with a payback period of 3.0 years;
- Processing rate of 5,000 tpd producing an average of ~300,000 oz Au per year from open pit and underground extraction;
- Pre-production capital of $450 million. Sustaining capital (including sequenced mine development after commencement of commercial production) of $388 million for total LOM capital of $839 million including closure and contingencies;
- Total cash costs of $542/oz LOM including royalties, refining and transport;
- Capital and operating costs estimated using a combination of first principle calculations, experience and factored costs; experience includes actual results from comparable northern projects;
- A total of 20.7 million tonnes of mineralized material to be milled over 12.3 years with a LOM average grade of 6.13 g/t gold and metallurgical recoveries of 90%;
It should also be noted that this PEA is preliminary in nature as it includes inferred mineral resources which are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that the PEA forecast will be realized.
The Company plans to immediately embark upon a PFS that is expected to take approximately one year to complete and that will incorporate the results of the ongoing 2012 exploration program.
In order to manage this study, Wes Carson will be joining the Sabina team as Vice President of Project Development to replace Mr. Leon Coetzer, who is returning to South Africa. Mr. Carson brings 12 years of mining leadership experience to Sabina, joining us from Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. where he was most recently VP & General Manager, Mt. Milligan. Prior to this he held various positions within the mining industry, including roles with Terrane Metals Corp., Barrick Tanzania, Placer Dome (Canada), Elk Valley Coal Corporation and Cominco Metals Ltd. Mr. Carson holds a B.A.Sc. in Mining & Mineral Process Engineering from the University of British Columbia. The Company extends a warm welcome to Wes and good fortune to Leon in his future endeavours.
On June 26 Sabina filed a preliminary Project Description and applications for a Type A Water License and associated Land Use Permit with the Nunavut Water Board (“NWB”), Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (“AANDC”), and the Nunavut Impact Review Board (“NIRB”) which is expected to trigger the Environmental Assessment Process with the NIRB.
Rob Pease, President & CEO commented: “Our environment and community relations team, under the leadership of Matthew Pickard, has been working tremendously hard to ensure that complete project information is being disseminated to regulators and communities in the West Kitikmeot Region and that feedback is being received. We just concluded our first set of full community engagement tours in Kugluktuk, Cambridge Bay, Kugaaruk, Taloyoak and Gjoa Haven and were very encouraged by the strong attendance and interest demonstrated in our project. We look forward to continuing this open dialogue as we move Back River through the permitting process.”
Sabina anticipates filing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DEIS”) following the completion of the PFS in 2013.
SABINA GOLD & SILVER CORP.
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. is an emerging precious metals company with district scale, world class undeveloped assets in one of the world’s newest, politically stable mining jurisdictions: Nunavut, Canada.
Sabina’s primary assets, all located in Nunavut, consist of: the Back River Gold Project, currently in the pre-feasibility and permitting phase; the Wishbone Claims, a vastly prospective grass roots project; and the Hackett River Silver Royalty, a silver production royalty on Xstrata’s Hackett River project comprised of 22.5% of the first 190 million ounces produced and 12.5% of all silver produced thereafter.
For further information please contact:
Nicole Hoeller, Vice-President, IR
1 888 648-4218
Forward Looking Statements
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 and timing of exploration programs and various studies including the PFS, and exploration results, the results of the PEA, the potential tonnage, grades and content of deposits, timing, establishment and extent of resources estimates, potential production from and viability of the Company’s properties, production and operating costs and permitting submission and timing. 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; 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, 2011 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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