Argonaut Gold Inc.

Argonaut Gold Inc.

September 17, 2015 17:00 ET

Argonaut Gold Announces Updated Economic Parameters to the December 2013 Magino Prefeasibility Study

Updated Market Conditions Boost Magino's Prefeasibility Study After-Tax NPV at 5% to $235 Million with an After-Tax IRR of 21% and a Payback of 3.8 Years

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 17, 2015) - Argonaut Gold Inc. (TSX:AR) (the "Company", "Argonaut Gold" or "Argonaut") is pleased to provide an update on the prefeasibility study using economic parameters applicable to its 100% owned Magino gold project, located near Wawa, Ontario (the "Magino Gold Project"). All amounts herein are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

The Company working together with JDS Energy & Mining Inc. ("JDS"), has updated the financial model for the Magino Gold Project prefeasibility study ("PFS"). The Magino Gold Project PFS was issued with an effective date of December 17, 2013 (the December 2013 PFS"). The updates applied to the December 2013 PFS to reflect current market conditions include adjusting the USD:CAD foreign exchange rate from 0.95 to 0.80, the fuel price from US$0.90/L to US$0.74/L and the cyanide price from US$2.97/kg to US$2.40/kg, as well as the cyanide consumption from 0.75 kg/tonne to 0.50 kg/tonne based on updated metallurgical test work. Additionally, the mining fleet capital costs were updated based on current market conditions.

At present, using a 0.35 g/t gold grade cut-off, the Magino Gold Project hosts an indicated mineral resource of 127.8 million tonnes at 1.01 grams per tonne ("g/t") gold for 4.2 million ounces and an additional inferred mineral resource of 30.0 million tonnes at 1.08 g/t gold for 1.0 million ounces. Using a cut off grade of 0.31 g/t gold, the probable mineral reserve is 60.2 million tonnes at a grade of 0.90 g/t for 1.75 million ounces with a strip ratio of 2.6:1. This update does not include any of the drilling recently completed at the project. The December 2013 PFS used less than 50% of the measured and indicated resource or 60.1 million tonnes of the 127.8 million tonnes and less than 40% of the resource if the inferred tonnes are considered. The low percentage of usage of the resource was due to land boundary restrictions which have subsequently been removed since the December 2013 PFS was issued. The Company continues to work on scenarios to realize greater returns on the total resource.

Pete Dougherty, President and CEO of Argonaut Gold stated: "The market conditions have changed since the December 2013 PFS on the Magino Gold Project was published. By using updated parameters, the project as defined, demonstrates solid economics, with an improved Net Present Value ("NPV") and Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") (NPV and IRR are defined in the December 17, 2013 technical report as sited under "technical information" in this release). In fact, under prevailing market conditions the price of gold would have to drop below $825 per ounce before this project has a negative NPV. This information coupled with the recent drilling results continues to strengthen the project and provide us with additional confidence that the Magino Gold Project is one of the top undeveloped multi-million ounce deposits in Canada."

Dec 2013 PFS September 2015 Update
Gold price (US$/oz) $1,250 $1,250 $1,100 $900
F/X rate (USD:CAD) 0.95 0.80 0.80 0.80
Cyanide (price and consumption) US$/tonne $2.23 $1.20 $1.20 $1.20
Fuel (US$/L) $0.90 $0.74 $0.74 $0.74
Gold ounces recovered (000's) 1,661 1,661 1,661 1,661
Cash cost (US$/gold ounce) $693 $564 $564 $564
Initial capital costs(US$M) $356 $302 $302 $302
Sustaining capital & closure costs (US$M) $58 $49 $49 $49
NPV before tax @ 5% (US$M) $302 $517 $336 $94
NPV after tax @ 5% (US$M) $199 $359 $235 $69
IRR before tax 21% 34% 25% 12%
IRR after tax 18% 29% 21% 10%

Vice President of Technical Services, Bob Rose said "The Magino Gold Project has many exciting development options. The update of the December 2013 PFS shows the improved economics of the Magino Gold Project, even in today's gold price environment. The Company will be preparing an updated resource model incorporating the recent drill program. Additionally, we will be looking at the best alternatives to develop the project capturing more of the full resource of nearly 4.2 million indicated ounces and 1 million inferred ounces. To increase capture of ounces, we are looking at all options including smaller and larger processing plants and combined milling/heap leaching scenarios together with overall optimization of the resource. We plan to issue a full update to the Magino Gold Project PFS by the end of the year which will incorporate current market conditions and maximize the value based on the review of these options."

Magino Deposit Overview

To view the figure associated with this release, please visit the following link:

Path Forward

The 2015 Magino drilling results and optimization studies will be incorporated into an updated mineral resource and updated PFS for the Magino Gold Project, which is expected to be released in late 2015.

Technical Information and Mineral Properties Reports and Quality Control

The Magino Gold Project PFS updates were reviewed by JDS under the supervision of Michael Makarenko, P.Eng., an Independent Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"). The scientific and technical information related to the mine plan in this release has been reviewed and approved by Mr. Dino Pilotto, P.Eng., an Independent Qualified Person within the meaning of NI 43-101.

Mr. Thomas Burkhart, Argonaut's Vice President of Exploration is the Company's Qualified Person responsible for the contents of this press release and has reviewed and approved the information in the release pursuant to NI 43-101. For further information on the Magino Gold Project please refer to the report listed below on the Company's website or on

Magino Gold Project Preliminary Feasibility Study Technical Report for the Magino Project, Wawa, Ontario, Canada dated January 30, 2014 and with an effective date of December 17, 2013

About Argonaut Gold

Argonaut Gold is a Canadian gold company engaged in exploration, mine development and production activities. Its primary assets are the production stage El Castillo mine in Durango, Mexico, and La Colorada mine in Sonora, Mexico. Advanced exploration stage projects include the San Antonio project in Baja California Sur, Mexico, the Magino project in Ontario, Canada and the San Agustin project in Durango, Mexico. The Company also has several exploration stage projects, all of which are located in North America. The Company is pursuing a development strategy for the San Agustin project that it expects to rely upon common infrastructure with the nearby El Castillo mine. In the event that this strategy is proven out, the Company intends any future development of the San Agustin project to proceed as an extension of the El Castillo mine.

Creating Value Beyond Gold

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" under applicable Canadian securities laws concerning the business, operations and financial performance and condition of Argonaut Gold Inc. ("Argonaut" or "Argonaut Gold"). Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to estimated production and mine life of the various mineral projects of Argonaut; the estimation of mineral reserves and resources; the realization of mineral reserve estimates; the timing and amount of estimated future production; costs of production; and financial impact of completed acquisitions; success of exploration activities; the benefits of the development potential of the properties of Argonaut; the future price of gold, copper, and silver; synergies; and currency exchange rate fluctuations. Except for statements of historical fact relating to Argonaut, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan," "expect," "project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are based on a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Many of these assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of Argonaut and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct.

Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from results anticipated by such forward-looking statements include variations in ore grade or recovery rates, changes in project parameters, changes in market conditions, risks relating to international operations, fluctuating metal prices and currency exchange rates, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated.

These factors are discussed in greater detail in Argonaut's most recent Annual Information Form and in the most recent Management's Discussion and Analysis filed on SEDAR, which also provide additional general assumptions in connection with these statements. Argonaut cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. Investors and others who base themselves on forward-looking statements should carefully consider the above factors as well as the uncertainties they represent and the risk they entail. Argonaut believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in this press release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release.

Although Argonaut has 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 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. Argonaut undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Statements concerning mineral reserve and resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements to the extent they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered if the property is developed. Comparative market information is as of a date prior to the date of this document.

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