Sulliden Gold Corporation
TSX : SUE

Sulliden Gold Corporation

December 08, 2009 10:39 ET

Sulliden Gold Corporation: Shahuindo Gold Project Delivers Positive Economics

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 8, 2009) - Sulliden Gold Corporation ("Sulliden" or the "Company") (TSX:SUE) is pleased to announce the completion of a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") and an updated NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Statement for its Shahuindo Gold Project in Peru. The PEA was prepared by AMEC Americas Limited ("AMEC") through their Vancouver and Lima offices. The results indicate a mining project with estimated cash operating costs of $403 per gold equivalent ounce, capital expenditures of $89.4 million and annual gold production of approximately 105,000 equivalent ounces. Sulliden now intends to proceed with a bankable Feasibility Study while initiating the largest exploration drilling program to date on the property.

The PEA supports an open pit, heap leach mining process for the oxide portion of the Shahuindo deposit. The study omits the transition and sulphide mineralization that exists at Shahuindo, representing an additional opportunity that will be the subject of future evaluation.

Peter Tagliamonte, President and CEO of Sulliden commented, "The completion of the positive PEA marks an important milestone for Sulliden as we progress towards our target of becoming a gold producer. AMEC's analysis confirms Shahuindo as a project with solid economics and producing gold with good cash costs. Exploration results at Shahuindo have continued to demonstrate significant growth potential as each additional exploration campaign is conducted. We view the Shahuindo property as significantly under-explored with only 40,000 meters of exploration drilling completed to date and only 7,500 meters since 2004. In the coming months, Sulliden will begin its most comprehensive exploration drill program to date with the objective of continuing to increase the current mineral resources. We view the PEA as an excellent foundation and consider it the starting point for Shahuindo which we anticipate will continue to grow in size and magnitude."

Sulliden will host a conference call on Thursday, December 10th, 2009 at 11:00 am EST. Those interested in participating in the call should dial (416) 340-2216 (Local and International) or toll-free (866) 226-1793 (North America).

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PRELIMINARY ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT:

- Average life of mine cash operating cost of $403 per gold equivalent ounce

- Average annual gold production of 104,968 equivalent ounces. Gold production of 94,866 ounces per year, and silver production of 347,948 ounces per year

- Estimated start-up capital expenditures of $89.4 million on an owner operated basis and life of mine sustaining capital of $14.3 million

- At $775 per ounce gold, pre-tax Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 25.3% and NPV of $53.8 million using a discount rate of 8% for the base case

- At $875 per ounce gold, pre-tax Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 38.2% and NPV of $99.6 million using a discount rate of 8%

- Estimated start-up capital expenditures of $89.4 million on an owner operated basis and life of mine sustaining capital of $14.3 million

- Mineral Resource of 1.05 million ounces indicated and 0.29 million ounces inferred of gold and 29.8 million ounces indicated and 3.5 million ounces inferred silver

- Opportunities to improve Project economics and Mineral Resources for feasibility study



ECONOMIC SENSITIVITIES

Table 1: Shahuindo Gold Project NPV & IRR for Various gold prices

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Price Gold Price IRR Undiscounted Discounted Cash
Scenario (US$ per ounce) (%) Cash Flow Flow at 8%
(US$) (ii) (US$) (ii)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base Case 775 25.3 108,064,000 53,787,000
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875 38.2 174,402,000 99,621,000
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975 50.3 240,739,000 145,454,000
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Spot(i) 1140 69 350,197,000 221,079,000
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(i) Source www.kitco.com on December 8, 2009
(ii) Amounts are on a Pre-Tax Basis


HIGHLIGHTS OF THE UPDATED MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE

AMEC has prepared a Mineral Resource Estimate incorporating the results of the August 2009 drilling campaign (See October 27th, 2009 news release). This Mineral Resource Estimate is summarized in Table 2.

The Preliminary Economic Assessment is based upon exploiting the highest grade and most readily accessible oxide mineralization in the Mineral Resource. The Mineral Resource for the property consists of 51.8 million tonnes with an average gold grade of 0.63 grams per tonne in the Indicated category and 18.0 million tonnes with an average gold grade of 0.50 grams per tonne in the Inferred category. The oxide portion of the mineralization within the Mineral Resource consists of 44.5 million tonnes of material with an average gold grade of 0.58 grams per tonne in the Indicated category and of 17.7 million tonnes of material with an average gold grade of 0.49 grams per tonne in the Inferred category as shown in Table 2 below.



Table 2: Shahuindo Gold Project Mineral Resource Summary

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Gold Silver Gold Silver
Ore Type Tonnes (grams/tonne) (grams/tonne) (ounces) (ounces)
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Oxide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Indicated 44,500,000 0.58 13.2 830,000 18,800,000
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Inferred 17,700,000 0.49 6.0 280,000 3,400,000
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Transition
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Indicated 2,000,000 0.87 39.7 60,000 2,600,000
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Inferred - - - - -
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Sulphides
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Indicated 5,300,000 0.93 49.6 160,000 8,400,000
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Inferred 300,000 1.12 14.2 10,000 100,000
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Mineral Resources have an effective date of 30 November, 2009 and were estimated under the supervision of AMEC Senior Geologist Christopher Wright P.Geo. (APGO 0901). Mineral resources are within an economic life of mine pit and above an economic cut off grade of 0.17 g/t Au for oxide and 0.57 g/t Au for transition and sulphide resources. Block model constructed on whole block grades using 0.20 g/t Au gradeshell.

ECONOMIC CONSTRAINTS FOR MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATES

Mineral Resources were estimated using a cap grade of 7 grams per tonne for gold and 300 grams per tonne for silver and are constrained within a life of mine pit shell optimized using the following assumptions:

- Final pit wall angles varying from 35 degrees to 40 degrees

- Gold Price of US$890 per ounce and silver price of US$13.25 per ounce

- Gold recovery of 80% for oxides, 85% for transitional and sulphide mineralization

- Silver recovery of 15% for oxides, 75% for transitional and sulphide mineralization

- Base mining cost of $1.31 per tonne

- Process, Mining, General and Administrative costs of $3.76 per tonne for oxide mineralization and $13.46 per tonne for transitional and sulphide mineralization

- For the Mineral Resource a cut off grade of 0.17 grams per tonne AuEQ of gold equivalent was applied for oxide resources and a cut off grade of 0.57 grams per tonne was applied for transitional and sulphide Mineral Resources. AuEQ was calculated based on the above price, cost and recovery assumptions for gold and silver. The gold and silver prices used are different from those used in the PEA. The intent of the life of mine pit shell and optimistic metal prices are to demonstrate a Mineral Resource with reasonable potential for economic extraction.

NEXT STEPS

Sulliden continues its strategic path to advance the Shahuindo Gold Project on both the engineering and the exploration fronts.

The completed Preliminary Economic Assessment addressed many of the standard trade-off studies associated with a pre-feasibility study, therefore Sulliden plans to proceed directly with a bankable Feasibility Study in early 2010. Baseline environmental studies on the property that were initiated in July 2009 continue to progress. The Company plans to commence mine permitting in conjunction with the completion of the Feasibility Study in 2010.

Over the next twelve months Sulliden will initiate a comprehensive and significant exploration campaign to further expand the mineral resource. The Shahuindo Gold Project has seen very little exploration with only 40,000 meters of drilling completed on the 8,000 hectare mining concession, which is significantly under-drilled for a project of this size. Sulliden completed 4,100 meters of drilling in August 2009 and confirmed significant resource growth potential at Shahuindo (See October 27th 2009 press-release and new mineral resource model by AMEC). The goal of the upcoming campaign will be to significantly increase the mineable resource within the current pit design and its extensions, as well as identify new targets within the Shahuindo concession.

SHAHUINDO GOLD PROJECT LOCATION

The Shahuindo Gold Project is located in one of the world's most prolific gold producing districts in a region of world-class gold mines that include Barrick Gold's Lagunas Norte Mine, 30 km to the south, (1.2 million ounces of gold produced in 2008), and the Yanacocha Mine operated by Newmont Mining Company, 80 km to the north (1.8 million ounces of gold produced in 2008). The Shahuindo property covers approximately 8000 hectares of mining concession in northern Peru at a good working altitude of 2,700 to 2,900 meters. The site is approximately 60 kilometers by road from the service centre of Cajamarca and 25 kilometers from the municipal centre of Cajabamba.

The property contains a large-scale epithermal gold system of which the mineralization is found in three recognized parallel trends. The Main Mineralized Corridor (MMC) extends virtually continuously over 6 km of strike length, with the current resource defined over approximately 4km.

To view "Figure 1 - Shahuindo Project location map", please visit the following link:

http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/seimap1208.pdf



Table 3: Project Assumptions and Base Case Parameters

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base Case Assumptions
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Gold price (Per ounce) $775
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Silver price (Per ounces) $11.5
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Gold recovery (%) 80
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Silver recovery (%)(i)(i) 15
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Annual Discount rate (%) 8
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mine Life (Years) 7
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ore delivery to leach pad (Tonnes per day) 15,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual royalty (%) 1.5
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Refining cost (Per ounce of Au) $3
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mine Parameter
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Life of Mine Ore crushed (Tonnes) 37,800,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Life of Mine Waste mined (Tonnes) 74,500,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Life of Mine Strip ratio (Waste to ore) 1.97
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Life of Mine average gold grade (Grams per tonne) 0.7
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Life of Mine average silver grade (Grams per tonne) 13.6
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average annual gold production (Ounces) 95,900
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average annual silver production (Ounces) 351,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capital Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pre-production capital ($) 89,400,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sustaining capital ($) 14,300,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Restoration ($) 7,000,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Operating Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mining cost (Per tonne) $1.47
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Processing cost (Per tonne) $2.47
------------------------------------------------------------------------
General and Administrative cost (Per tonne) $0.92
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Refining charge (Per ounce of gold) $3.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Financial Analysis - Base Case
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPV @ I equals 8% discount pre-tax ($) 53,800,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
IRR pre-tax (%) 25.3
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Payback period (years) 3
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost per equivalent gold ounce ($) 403
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(i) All monetary values are in U.S. dollars
(ii) Silver mineralization occurs as refractory Argentojarosite, making
cyanide recoveries of silver difficult, further metallurgical test
work will be conducted.

The preliminary assessment includes inferred mineral resources that are
considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations
applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral
reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary assessment will be
realized.


QUALIFIED PERSON

The Preliminary Economic Assessment report was prepared by AMEC Americas Limited with the resource section under the supervision of Mr. Christopher Wright, P. Geo. (APGO, 901), an independent Qualified Person under standards set forth by National Instrument 43-101; the mining portion by Mr. Jay Melynk, P. Eng.; and the processing section by Dr. Lynton Gormely, P. Eng. Mr. Joe Milbourne, Vice President Technical Services for Sulliden is the Company's designated Qualified Person for the purposes of the study and has reviewed and approved the contents of this press release. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

CONFERENCE CALL

Sulliden will host a conference call on Thursday, December 10th, 2009 at 11:00 am EST during which senior management will discuss the report and will be available to respond to questions from analysts and investors. Those interested in participating in the conference call should dial (416) 340-2216 (Local and International) or toll-free (866) 226-1793 (North America). An audio recording of the call will be available on the Company website, www.sulliden.com.

ABOUT SULLIDEN

Sulliden is a Canadian-based mining company focused on the development of its principal asset, the Shahuindo Gold Project, located in Peru. This area is one of the world's most prolific gold producing districts and is home to world-class gold mines including Barrick Gold's Lagunas Norte Mine, 30 km to the south, and the Yanacocha Mine operated by Newmont Mining Company 80 km to the north; both million-ounce per year producing mines.

A positive Preliminary Economic Assessment prepared by AMEC for the Shahuindo Gold Project was completed in December 2009 and Sulliden will now proceed with a bankable Feasibility study in 2010. While the Company progresses towards its goal of reaching production by mid 2012, a significant focus is being placed on exploration drilling to expand the resource and reveal the upside potential of the Shahuindo deposit.

Sulliden is led by a strong management team with the proven ability to develop, finance, operate and explore mining projects and is uniquely positioned to generate superior value for its shareholders.

ABOUT AMEC

AMEC is a world-renown supplier of high-value consultancy, engineering and project management services in more than 30 countries around the globe.

On behalf of Sulliden Gold Corporation

Peter Tagliamonte, President and CEO

Stan Bharti, Chairman

For further information on Sulliden please visit the company website at www.sulliden.com.

If you would like to be added to Sulliden's news distribution list, please send your email address to contact@sulliden.com.

Caution regarding forward-looking information:

This press release contains "forward looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward looking information includes without limitation, statements regarding the effect of the results on the future financial or operating performance of the Company, the size and quality of the company's mineral resources, progress in development of mineral properties, future capital and operating expenses, capital and mine production costs, future metal prices and treatment and refining charges, the financial results of the company the future financial or operating performance of the Company, the prospective mineralization of the properties and planned exploration programs., the issue of permits, future production and sales volumes, capital and mine production costs, demand and market outlook for metals, planned exploration programs, anticipated production schedule and terms and the availability and likelihood of future acquisitions. Generally, forward looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, geopolitical and social uncertainties; the actual results of current exploration activities; acquisition risks; and other risks of the mining industry. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information 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 information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors concerning estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources: This press release uses the terms "measured", "indicated" and "inferred" "resources". We advise U.S. investors that while these terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission do not recognize them. "Inferred Resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of a feasibility study or prefeasibility studies, except in rare cases. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of a measured, indicated or inferred resource exists or is economically or legally mineable.

Contact Information

  • Sulliden Gold Corporation
    Scott Moore
    Vice President Corporate Development
    (416) 861-5903
    or
    Sulliden Gold Corporation
    Caroline Arsenault
    Manager Marketing and Investor Relations
    (416) 861-5805