Rio Novo Gold Inc.

Rio Novo Gold Inc.

November 08, 2012 06:00 ET

Rio Novo Gold Receives Positive Feasibility Study for Its Almas Gold Project

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 8, 2012) - Rio Novo Gold Inc. (TSX:RN) (TSX:RN.WT) ("Rio Novo" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the results of the definitive Feasibility Study ("the FS") for its 100%-owned Almas Gold Project ("Almas" or "the Project"), located in Tocantins State, Brazil. The FS is authored by Pincock Allen & Holt (PAH), Rio Novo's independent engineering consultant, and complies with the requirements of National Instrument 43-101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects".

The results of the FS were presented to Rio Novo's Board of Directors and unanimously approved. The construction of the Project is now subject to the successful arrangement of project financing. Rio Novo sees strong interest from various financial institutions to finance the project. A number of indicative term sheets have been received from financial institutions and the company is now working along with its financial advisor to arrange the most optimal financial structure for the Project.

Highlights of the Almas FS are as follows:

  • The NI 43-101 compliant FS confirms a technically feasible and economically robust project, with the following economics based on a discount rate of 5%:
Gold Price
IRR (%)
1,450 Flat 131.2 22.1 2.8
1,460 Deck Price (1) 152.9 28.4 1.9
1,700 Flat 233.0 34.2 1.9
(1) Based on 3-year trailing average gold price up to Nov 5, 2012 - Price Deck (US$/oz) - $1,750 (2014); $1,650 (2015); $1,550 (2016); $1,410 (2017/27)
  • Proven & Probable Reserves of 763,940 ounces of gold, based on a gold price of US$1,350 per ounce;

  • Average annual refined gold production of 73,172 oz over the first three years of production at an average grade of 1.25 g/t;

  • Total refined gold production of 700,754 oz over 13.5 years at an average grade of 0.87 g/t with;

  • Full ramp up to 2.05 Mtpa capacity by mid H1 2014, pending financing;

  • Average gold recovery of 92% to bullion;

  • Pre-production capital expenditures of US$150.0 million, including pre-stripping of the Paiol pit and recoverable taxes;

  • Sustaining capital expenditures of US$88.4 million, including pre-production stripping of Cata Funda and Vira Saia pits, recoverable taxes and mine closure costs;

  • Average Life of Mine ("LOM") cash operating costs of US$721/oz;

  • Cash operating costs of US$ 483/oz in the first 3 years of mine production;

Commenting on the announcement, Rio Novo's President & CEO, Julio Carvalho, stated, "The completion of the FS of the Almas Gold Project is a major achievement for Rio Novo and puts the company back on track to achieve its plan of becoming a gold producer. We always thought of this project as being at the core of our strategy to support and self-fund future growth of the Company, and the positive outcome of the FS further enhances the realization of this objective. The positive FS is another key element of project de-risking, along with the previously granted Construction License and the purchased ball mill, which is now on the Almas site. We continue to see opportunities to optimize the project as we work on detailed engineering over the next several months. In addition, Rio Novo's dominant land position in the Almas gold district creates future upside potential to grow our resource base through continuing exploration".

Total reserves are to be mined from three deposits; Paiol, the project's primary deposit, and two satellite deposits, Vira-Saia and Cata Funda, located 5km and 15km away, respectively. The total reserves to be processed also include spent heap leach residue stockpiled by Vale, Almas' previous operator.

The project development concept, as envisioned in the FS, begins with the construction of a new gold mill which will utilize crushing, ball milling, gravity and carbon-in-leach ("CIL") to recover gold bullion. The facility will be located in the Paiol area. Simultaneously, the Paiol open pit will be dewatered and pre-stripped to prepare for production. Mine production will be by a conventional open pit, drill and blast, truck and shovel operation.

Almas Gold Project Base Case Statistics
Gold Reserve Parameters Unit Amount
Gold Reserve oz 763,940
Gold Price used to calculate Reserves US$/oz 1,350
Cut-off Grade Au, g/t 0.29
Average Grade (fully diluted) Au, g/t 0.87
Operating Parameters
Production Start-up Year 2014
Mining Method Open-Pit
Total Strip Ratio (including pre-stripping) Waste:Ore 4.87:1
Run of Mine (ROM) Material to Process K tonnes 27,304
Average ROM Grade to Process Plant Au (g/t) 0.87
Throughput Mtpa 2.05
Average Gold Recovery % 92%
Total Gold Production (after refining) oz 700,755
Average Production during the first 3 years oz 73,172
Average grade during the first 3 years Au (g/t) 1.25
Life of Mine Years 13.5
Financial Parameters
Realized Gold Price (flat) US$/oz 1,450
Initial Capital Expenditures US$M 150.0
Sustaining Capital Expenditures (all-in) US$M 88.4
Mine Closure Costs US$M 5.5
Salvage Credit US$M 12.5
LOM Avg. Cash Operating Costs US$/oz 721.3
LOM Avg. Total Cash Costs US$/oz 775.0
Exchange Rate R$:US$ 2.00
Government Royalty (all deposits) % 1.0
Paiol Royalty % 1.7
Cata Funda Royalty % 1.2
Vira-Saia Royalty % 2.5
Effective Corporate Tax Rate % 15.25

Financial Analysis

The cash flow model was based on the production schedule, associated gold grades, metallurgical recoveries and capital and operating expenditures ("Capex" & "Opex") outlined in this press release. The analysis assumed delivery of refined gold bars with a payable gold content of 99.8% at a flat LOM market price of US$1,450/oz, less a cost of US$7.00/oz for refining, freight on delivery and insurance. The average net revenue per year is US$79.5 million in the first 10 years of operation starting in 2014. The average annual after-tax free cash flow is estimated to be about US$29.6 million in the same period.

The table below summarizes the sensitivity of the Project's Net Present Value ("NPV") to variations in gold price, and capital and operating costs.

(%) USD/Oz NPV@5%
US$/t ROM US$/Oz NPV@5%
20% 1,740.0 249.0 22.26 865.6 69.1 179.9 106.4
15% 1,667.5 219.9 21.33 829.5 85.5 172.5 112.5
10% 1,595.0 190.6 20.40 793.5 101.9 165.0 118.7
5% 1,522.5 161.1 19.48 757.4 116.2 157.5 124.9
Base Case 1,450.0 131.2 18.55 721.3 131.2 150.0 131.2
-5% 1,377.5 101.9 17.62 685.3 146.3 142.5 137.4
-10% 1,305.0 70.6 16.69 649.2 161.2 135.0 143.6
-15% 1,232.5 38.5 15.77 613.1 175.8 127.5 149.8
-20% 1,160.0 5.9 14.84 577.1 190.4 120.0 156.1

Almas Mineral Reserve Statement

The reserves estimate used to complete the FS was developed by PAH and derived from the measured and indicated resource estimate detailed in the press release published on October 25th, 2012 (Rio Novo Gold Upgrades Resources at Its Almas Gold Project: In total, 91% of reported measured and indicated resources were converted to proven and probable reserves.

The open-pit mineral reserves were estimated using diluted resource model and pit optimization constrained within Whittle pit shells utilizing appropriate mining and processing costs as defined by the FS; US$1,350 per ounce of gold and average cut-off grade of 0.29 Au g/t.

The table below details the final estimates of Proven & Probable Reserves:

Paiol Deposit (COG=0.281 g/t Au) Tonnes
g/t Au
oz Au
Proven 15,199 0.80 389,765
Probable 7,430 0.84 201,026
Total Proven & Probable 22,630 0.81 590,791
Paiol Heap Leach (COG=0.350 g/t Au) Tonnes
g/t Au
oz Au
Proven 1,648 0.88 46,752
Total Proven 1,648 0.88 46,752
Vira Saia Deposit (COG=0.314 g/t Au) Tonnes
g/t Au
oz Au
Proven 1,787 1.13 64,920
Probable 361 1.09 12,601
Total Proven & Probable 2,148 1.12 77,521
Cata Funda Deposit (COG=0.350 g/t Au) Tonnes
g/t Au
oz Au
Proven 558 1.82 32,668
Probable 322 1.57 16,209
Total Proven & Probable 879 1.73 48,877
Total Reserves (COG=0.293 g/t Au) Tonnes
g/t Au
oz Au
Proven 19,192 0.87 534,105
Probable 8,113 0.88 229,836
Total Proven & Probable 27,305 0.87 763,941
(1) The reserve estimates shown in the table above meet the CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, prepared by the CIM Standing Committee on Reserve Definitions, adopted by CIM Council on November 27, 2010.

Mine Schedule and Production

The development time to full mine ramp up is about 18 months, starting immediately after the completion of project financing arrangements and the timing thereof, is beyond the control of the Company.

The three identified deposits in the FS (Paiol, Vira Saia and Cata Funda), which comprise the Project, will be mined as conventional open pits. The remaining gold content of the old leach pad left by the previous operator, Vale, is also included in the mine schedule.

Mining operations will include overburden stripping, waste transportation and disposal, ore blasting, loading, hauling, and dumping at the processing plant. Mining will utilize a combination of hydraulic excavators, large front end loaders and 35 tonnes haul trucks as the primary mining equipment. The FS is based on owner-operated equipment.

The preparation of the Paiol pit for production, including pre-stripping and ore stockpiling, is currently planned to begin by mid-2013, assuming completion of financing. Production is expected to start in the first half of 2014, with the extraction of primary ore from the Paiol pit.

The production schedule anticipates the delivery of 1.8 Mt of run-of-mine ("ROM") ore at grade of 1.25 g/t during 2014 as part of the ramp-up schedule. Average annual planned production over the life of mine is 2.05 Mtpa of ROM at 0.87 Au g/t average grade over the 13.5-year mine life. Average LOM strip-ratio is estimated at 4.87 to 1. Ore grade will be higher than average in the first 3 years, estimated to be at 1.25 g/t Au.

The Cata Funda pit will commence production in 2015, and continue through to 2016. Production at the Vira-Saia pit will also commence in 2015, and continue through to 2018. The Leach Pad reserve will be processed from 2018 to 2020.

The ore from Paiol, Vira Saia (5km), Cata Funda (15km) and the Leach Pad will be transported by road to the mill located in the Paiol area. Each of the three pits will have local waste dumps.

At the current level of resources, and considering LOM average metallurgical recovery of 92%, operations result in a production of 702,159 ounces of bullion. The total gold payable after refining is 99.8%, or 700,755 ounces of gold.

The table below sets out the production schedule over the life of the Project.

Waste Ore Au
2013 21,754 - - - -
2014 10,640 1,811 1.25 73.0 5.88
2015 6,136 2,050 1.54 101.8 2.99
2016 6,455 2,050 0.95 63.1 3.15
2017 13,931 2,050 0.82 54.2 6.80
2018 13,126 2,050 0.80 53.2 6.40
2019 13,287 2,050 0.67 44.4 6.48
2020 13,172 2,050 0.65 42.6 6.43
2021 12,518 2,050 0.67 43.9 6.11
2022 11,885 2,050 0.92 60.7 5.80
2023 9,289 2,050 1.30 85.7 4.53
2024 815 2,050 1.12 73.5 0.40
2025 - 2,050 0.44 28.8 -
2026 - 2,050 0.41 27.2 -
2027 - 894 0.41 11.9 -
Total 133,007 27,305 0.87 763.9 4.87

Metallurgy and Processing

In September 2010, SGS Geosol Análises Minerais, Geoquimicas e Meio Ambiente in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and Dr. Homero Delboni Jr. at the Laboratórios de Simulação e Controle at Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo in the Departamento de Engenharia de Minas e de Petróleo (LSC/EPUSP) were selected to conduct a new metallurgical testwork program to provide the design basis for the recovery of gold from the Almas deposits. The metallurgical extraction process developed included semi-autogenous and ball mill (SAB) comminution, followed by the gravity recovery of coarse gold with centrifugal concentrators and the extraction the remaining fine gold by the carbon in leach process.

In April 2011, Rio Novo acquired a large ball mill capable of processing approximately 2.05 million tonnes per year from the Almas deposits. As a result, the SAB comminution circuit was replaced by a conventional crushing/ball mill circuit. This ball mill has already been delivered to the Almas site.

The process plant, which was designed by Tetra Tech do Brasil Minérios e Metais Ltda (former Conestoga-Rovers e Associados Engenharia Ltda), has a nominal annual treatment capacity of 2.05 million tonnes of ROM material. It employs three-stage crushing with a primary jaw crusher and secondary and tertiary cone crushers in closed circuit with vibrating screens. Crushed material reclaimed from the stockpile will feed a single stage ball mill, in closed circuit with hydrocyclones to produce a final ground product of nominally 80% passing 74μm. A gravity concentration circuit using centrifugal concentrators has been incorporated into the ball mill recycle stream to recover coarse gold. Gold not recovered by the gravity concentrator will be extracted in a carbon-in-leach circuit which will be designed to provide a nominal residence time of 20hrs at 45% solids by weight. Gold recovered on activated carbon will be recovered by desorption, electrowinning and smelting to gold bullion. All treatment methods employed in the design are conventional.

The combined gravity and CIL circuits are expected to deliver a LOM average metallurgical recovery of 92% (91.5% recovery rate at Paiol; 96.8% at Cata Funda; 94.7% at Vira Saia; 87.4% at Leach Pad).


Power Supply - Power supply to the project is available from the regional electrical utility company, CELTINS (Centrais Elétricas do Tocantins). The area is served by several hydroelectric power plants. A demand in the order of 12MW is estimated at full milling capacity. Power will be supplied by CELTINS from the Porto Alegre do Tocantins substation, located approximately 20km from Paiol, via a 138kV overhead power line to a local substation at the plant site, and will be distributed to the mill and mine facilities by a local network.

Water Supply - Water will be drawn from the largest local river, the Rio Manoel Alves at a point south of the tailings storage facility ("TSF"). Water will be pumped via the TSF where it will be combined with reclaimed water and pumped to the reclaimed water pond located adjacent to the plant.

Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) - Waste (tailings) from the process will be treated to recover water and cyanide for recycle to the process. The dewatered tailings will then go through the Sulphur Dioxide/Air process to destroy the remaining cyanide before pumping to the impoundment area 3.0 km south of the process plant, for permanent storage. To maximize water conservation, excess water from the tailings slurry will be recovered and reused in the process plant. The impoundment has sufficient capacity to hold the waste produced over the first 6 years of production. Initially, the impoundment structure will be constructed to hold 2 years of production. The structure will be raised and lengthened to increase capacity every 2 to 3 years of operation. The resulting expenditures have been accounted for in the sustaining capital estimates. The waste produced in the remaining years of the mine life will be deposited in the Vira Saia pit.

Estimated Capital and Operating Expenditures

The initial capital expenditure amounts to approximately US$150.0 million. This includes about US$3.7 million of recoverable taxes, and contingencies of US$9.8 million. The initial capital expenditure required for the project, and the disbursement schedule, is shown in the table below.

Initial Capex
US$ 000
Civil Works 40,821
Metal Structures 3,674
Mechanical Equipment & Boiler 29,124
Piping 2,671
Electrical 11,318
Automation & Instrumentation 3,629
Electromechanical Erections 19,643
Spare Parts 1,246
Total Direct Capital Costs 112,126
Indirect Costs (1) 28,021
Contingency 9,810
Total Initial Capex 149,958
Recoverable Taxes (PIS/COFINS) 3,714
Total Initial Capex Net of Recoverable Taxes 146,243
(1) Indirect Costs US$'000
EPCM 8,560
Owners Team & Manpower 5,511
Temporary Facilities 5,061
Land Acquisitions 4,257
Other 4,632
Total Indirect Costs 28,021

Sustaining capital expenditure during the operation is US$88.4 million, including US$4.1 million in recoverable tax credits and US$5.5 million in mine closure costs. Taxes are recovered within the same period that capital expenditures are incurred, which effectively brings the net sustaining capital estimate to $78.8 million. This capital estimate includes planned increases in the mining fleet, TSF expansion and miscellaneous infrastructure requirements.

Sustaining Capex
2014-2027 US$000
Tailings Dam 29,712
Mine Equipment 26,475
Pre-Stripping & Waste Piles 17,377
Environment & Mine Closure 11,688
Other 3,121
Sustaining Capex Sub Total 88,373
Recoverable Taxes (PIS/COFINS) (4,071 )
Salvage Credit (12,500 )
Total Sustaining Capex 71,802

The table below details the annual sustaining capital expenditure requirements.

Year Sustaining
Total Sustaining
Capex Net of Taxes
2014 12,099 625 12,724
2015 13,219 592 13,811
2016 14,146 593 14,738
2017 2,188 179 2,367
2018 10,913 577 11,490
2019 11,306 532 11,838
2020 1,114 50 1,164
2021 1,159 77 1,235
2022 3,223 285 3,508
2023 9,365 555 9,920
2024 115 9 124
Total 78,847 4,071 82,919
Mine Closure - - 5,455
Salvage - - (12,500 )

The LOM average operating cash costs is US$721.3/oz of gold, or US$18.55 per tonne of ROM. This amount does not include refining costs or government royalties (CFEM), which are considered as deductions to gross revenue. The average reclamation costs amount is US$689,700 per year, from year 1 to 14. The breakdown of mining, processing and general and administration costs are presented in the table below.

US$ / oz US$ / Tonne
Mining Ore 231.8 5.96
Process Plant 367.2 9.44
G&A 108.6 2.79
Reclamation 13.7 0.35
Op. Cash Costs 721.3 18.55
Refining Costs 14.7
Royalties (CFEM) 39.0
Total Cash Costs 775.0


Taxation of the project has been defined in accordance with the current legislation of the three levels of government in Brazil. An agreement was signed between Rio Novo and the State of Tocantins granting Rio Novo ICMS (VAT) exemption for a period of 15 years comprising the following exemptions; i) exemption of ICMS due on purchases of machinery and equipment, and principal consumables and supplies purchased in the State of Tocantins, as well as on electric power consumption, ii) exemption of the additional ICMS (10%) due on purchases of machinery & equipment, and the principal consumables and supplies purchased in other Brazilian states (effective rate thus reduced from 17% to 7%) and iii) exemption of ICMS due on imported machinery and equipment, and consumables and supplies.

At the federal level, the RECAP has been granted to the Almas project. The RECAP is a special tax regime which grants the exemption of PIS and COFINS taxes due on the acquisition of goods by export companies, as well as on purchases of machinery and equipment.

Given its location and characteristics, the project is also eligible for the tax incentive conceded by SUDAM (Amazon Development Superintendence). This incentive consists of a reduction of 75% of the regular corporate income tax (25%) applicable on the project for a ten-year period for new investments in the area of Legal Amazonia, which includes the Almas project. According to the current rules, this incentive must be submitted to, and approved by SUDAM prior to 31 December 2013.

Permitting Process

Paiol Mine and Plant

As reported on December 2, 2010, the Tocantins State Natural Resources and Environment Authority (NATURATINS) has granted to Rio Novo Mineração Ltda., owner and operator of the Almas Gold Project, the Construction License ("Licença de Instalação" or "LI") which enables this company to proceed with the overall construction of the Project. The LI authorizes the installation of the Paiol mine and Processing Plant upon fulfillment of typical technical and environmental preconditions, such as conclusion of the basic engineering, geotechnical and topographic studies, tailings detoxification studies and detailed environmental plans, all of which are derived from the definitive Feasibility Study.

To date, 100% of the environmental plans required under the LI including vegetation clearing, wildlife management and rescue, archeological survey and water grant applications, have been submitted for analysis by Naturatins and these analyses are progressing according to schedule.

The two authorizations that are considered the most critical preconditions for project construction have been secured, namely, the authorization from the Tocantins water department for installation of the Tailings Impoundment, granted on October 25, 2012 and the approval of the preventive archeological program by the National Cultural Heritage Institute (IPHAN). The archeological survey was completed in August 2012, without any relevant findings requiring rescue.

Cata Funda and Vira-Saia Deposits

The State of Tocantins, through Resolution COEMA-TO 07/05, instituted the Simplified License for projects with lower potential to cause negative environmental impact. Based on Naturatins' criteria for significance with regard to the context and intensity of impacts, both the Cata Funda and the Vira-Saia deposits have qualified for a Simplified Licensing Process. Specific Terms of Reference were issued in June 2012 requesting only "Supplemental Environmental Assessments for the Expansion of Mining Operations" for the location, conception, installation and operation of these deposits, as opposed to the normal Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") and separate 3-staged licensing process, usually required under the Brazilian legislation.

Contracting of the Environmental Assessment services to support the licensing application is proceeding.

Debt Financing Discussion

Endeavour Financial has been engaged as Rio Novo's Financial Advisor to the Almas Project Financing. Endeavour's role is to identify and implement various financing options for the Project, including senior debt and subordinated debt.

Following release of the Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") in April 2012, Endeavour conducted a preliminary request for proposal ("RFP") process to seek bids from commercial banks to fund the Project's development by way of project financing. Response from the bank debt market has been positive, with several leading project finance institutions submitting competitive proposals for the financing. A number of institutions have also expressed interest in providing subordinated debt to the Project.

With the release of the FS, the interested financial institutions will be approached to commence due diligence and credit approval processes. SRK Consulting has been appointed as the Independent Engineer firm and is progressing the technical due diligence on behalf of potential lenders.

Comment from Endeavour: "We are very excited with the positive results of the FS which confirms the robust economics of the Project and enhances the financeability of the Almas Gold Project. Endeavour will work with Rio Novo to arrange the most beneficial financial structure for the Project".

Technical Report

Rio Novo will file a NI 43-101 compliant technical report on the Almas Gold Project outlining the Mineral Reserves Estimate and the results of the FS. The report will be available within 45 days at and on the Company's corporate website

Qualified Persons

The Almas Gold Project FS, including the reserve estimates and associated infrastructure and mining support infrastructure, was prepared by Pincock, Allen & Holt ("PAH") under the direction of Mr. Bart Stone and Mr. David Pires. Mr. Stone and Mr. Pires are Qualified Persons for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 and have reviewed and approved the contents of this news release, as applicable.

The basic process plant configuration, the design and capital estimate to FS level of the processing plant and recovery were prepared by Tetra Tech do Brasil Minerios e Metais Ltda (former Conestoga-Rovers e Associados Engenharia Ltda). Tetra Tech is a well-known international engineering company with many Qualified Persons on staff. Tetra Tech's South American projects are reviewed by Mr. Callum Grant, a Qualified Person. Mr. Callum has reviewed and approved the contents of this news release, as applicable.

Mr. Brian Arkell, Senior Vice President of Exploration at Rio Novo Gold Inc., is a Qualified Person, as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101, and has reviewed and approved the geological and exploration information contained in this release.

About Rio Novo

Rio Novo is focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold properties in Brazil and Colombia. The Company has Measured & Indicated resources of 1,191,252 oz and 1,464,831 Inferred oz of gold at two projects in Brazil (Almas and Guarantã Gold Projects) and one in Colombia (Toldafria Gold Project).

The Company's short-term goal is to become a producer of gold by bringing the Almas Gold Project, located in the State of Tocantins, into production in 2014. The Almas Project enjoys both established infrastructure, main grid hydropower in a proven and mining friendly jurisdiction and is permitted for construction.

About Endeavour Financial

Endeavour Financial is a private independent merchant banking company focused on providing expert and unbiased financial advisory services to the global natural resources sector. Endeavour Financial has a history of achieving success for clients based on resource industry focus, innovative transaction skills and the diverse professional backgrounds of its award-winning team. Offering advice in project, corporate and debt capital markets, equity-linked financings, mergers and acquisitions and strategic business development for over more than two decades, Endeavour Financial has established itself as a leading financial advisor in the natural resources sector. Specific to the mining sector, in the last ten years the firm has closed in excess of US$ 4 billion of development financings for single-asset emerging producers.

About Pincock Allen & Holt (PAH)

PAH is part of the Runge Limited Group, the world's largest dedicated group of mine planning professionals. PAH has earned a reputation as a premier international consulting and engineering firm and one of the oldest and most respected organizations within the mining and energy consulting community. Its corporate resume includes over 3,900 successfully completed assignments for many of the world's foremost precious metal, base metal, industrial mineral, coal and energy operations. PAH reports are widely used to secure project financing and successfully undergo reviews and audits.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements, other than of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements regarding the estimation of mineral resources, exploration results, potential mineralization, potential mineral resources and mineral reserves) are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often identifiable by the use of words such as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", may", "could", "would", "might" or "will", "estimates", "expect", "intend", "budget", "scheduled", "forecasts" and similar expressions or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, without limitation, failure to establish estimated mineral resources, the possibility that future exploration results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations, the price of gold and other risks identified in the Company's most recent annual information form filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities on Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

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