Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.

TSX : SBB


Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.

March 04, 2014 06:27 ET

Sabina Gold & Silver Reports Updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the Back River Gold Project, Nunavut

Increase in overall contained Au ounces in the Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource categories

Significant Increase in Measured Au ounces from 304,000 ounces at 4.4 g/t Au and 2,168 kt to 1,714,000 ounces at 5.2 g/t Au and 10,210 kt for open pit

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 4, 2014) - Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. (TSX:SBB) is pleased to announce an updated Mineral Resource estimate for its 100% owned Back River Gold Project in Nunavut, Canada ("Back River or the "Project").

The updated Mineral Resource Estimate for Back River was undertaken by AMC Mining Consultants (Canada) Ltd. ("AMC"). This new estimate consists of a Measured Mineral Resource of 10.4 million tonnes grading 5.2 g/t for a contained 1,761,000 ounces Au, an Indicated Mineral Resource of 17.9 million tonnes grading 6.1 g/t for a contained 3,536,000 ounces Au and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 8.2 million tonnes grading 7.3 g/t for a contained 1,927,000 ounces Au. Results from drilling in 2013 and geologic modelling on all deposits has increased the Mineral Resource estimate at Back River.

"In 2013, we completed a very significant drill program of approximately 83,000 metres at Back River, none of which was included in the Back River pre-feasibility study ("PFS") released last fall," said Rob Pease, President & CEO, "The resulting increase in overall Mineral Resources and substantial increase in confidence in the continuity and grade of the deposits continues to demonstrate the high quality nature of the Back River Gold Project. We believe this increased Mineral Resource Estimate will increase the potential for a larger Mineral Reserve on the project. Additionally, we continue to make progress on optimization studies which could present opportunities for improved gold recovery and mining methods, the results of which will ultimately be used to support a Feasibility Study ("FS").

We believe we have a premier project, in a premier geopolitical jurisdiction, with a well-funded treasury. Sabina ended 2013 with approximately $58 million in the treasury, which will enable us to advance through permitting and engineering studies with a surplus of cash on hand. We are very excited about the next phase of growth for our Company as we work to become a gold producer."

Highlights of the new Mineral Resource estimate include:

  • Increase in Measured Au ounces from 304,000 ounces at 4.4 g/t Au and 2,168 kt to 1,714,000 ounces at 5.2 g/t Au and 10,210 kt for open pit and 47,000 ounces at 6.1 g/t Au and 236 kt for underground
  • Increase in total contained Au ounces of 735,000 in the Measured and Indicated Resource categories and 48,000 in the Inferred Resource category
  • Significant open pit Measured plus Indicated Mineral Resource of 3,415,000 ounces at 5.0 g/t Au and 21,066 kt
  • Underground Measured plus Indicated Mineral Resource of 1,881,000 ounces at 8.0 g/t Au and 7,288 kt

A NI 43-101 Technical Report on the updated Mineral Resource estimate for Back River is underway and will be filed within 45 days of this release in accordance with applicable securities laws. The new Mineral Reserve and economics for the Project are yet to be estimated and will be incorporated into a FS.

Table 1 - Back River Mineral Resource Estimate February 28, 2014

Classification Location Tonnes
(kt)
Au
(g/t)
Ounces
(koz)
Open Pit Measured Goose Main 4,627 4.3 638
Llama 1,886 5.9 355
Umwelt 3,697 6.1 722
Total Open Pit Measured 10,210 5.2 1,714
Open Pit Indicated Goose Main 2,896 4.2 391
Echo 230 6.9 51
Llama 864 5.9 165
Umwelt 1,974 5.4 341
George 4,891 4.8 753
Total Open Pit Indicated 10,856 4.9 1,701
Total Open Pit Measured & Indicated 21,066 5.0 3,415
Underground Measured Goose Main 107 6.2 21
Llama 128 6.1 25
Umwelt 1 9.2 0.3
Total Underground Measured 236 6.1 47
Underground Indicated Goose Main 863 7.4 206
Echo 377 6.8 82
Llama 750 8.8 211
Umwelt 3,377 8.9 969
George 1,686 6.8 367
Total Underground Indicated 7,051 8.1 1,835
Total Underground Measured & Indicated 7,288 8.0 1,881
Total Measured & Indicated OP + UG 28,354 5.8 5,297
Open Pit Inferred Goose Main 217 3.2 22
Echo 49 5.4 9
Llama 14 5.9 3
Umwelt 120 2.3 9
George 985 5.5 175
Total Open Pit Inferred 1385 4.9 217
Underground Inferred Goose Main 432 6.8 95
Echo 502 7.4 119
Llama 294 6.7 63
Umwelt 1,784 11.6 665
George 3,782 6.3 769
Total Underground Inferred 6,794 7.8 1,710
Total Inferred OP + UG 8,179 7.3 1,927
Notes:
  1. CIM definition standards were used for the Mineral Resources.
  2. The Qualified Persons are Dinara Nussipakynova, P Geo. and Andrew Fowler MAusIMM CP (Geo) both of AMC Mining Consultants (Canada) Ltd.
  3. Open pit Mineral Resources are constrained by an optimized pit shell at a gold price of $1500 oz Au.
  4. The cut-off grade applied to the open pit resources are 1.0 g/t Au. The underground cut-off grade for Goose Main, Echo, and Llama deposits is 3.5 g/t Au; and for Umwelt is 4.5 g/t Au. The underground cut-off grade for the George resources is 4.0 g/t Au.
  5. Metallurgical recovery varies with gold grade, averaging between 88 and 89%.
  6. The George underground Mineral Resources (LCP - North, LCP - South, Locale 1, Locale 2, GH & Slave) were estimated within mineral domains expanded to a minimum width of 2 m.
  7. Drilling results to December 31, 2013 were used.
  8. The increase in Measured Resources at Goose Main is attributed to re-verifying and resolving previous conflicts of historical surveys and geological data. This has resulted in increased confidence in interpreted geologic continuity and subsequently an increase in resource confidence.
  9. Numbers may not add due to rounding.
  10. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

Table 2 - Summary of difference between 2013 and 2014 Mineral Resource Estimates

Classification Year Tonnes
(Kt)
Au
(g/t)
Metal
(Koz Au)
%
Increase/
decrease
ounces
Measured 2013 2,168 4.4 304 479
2014 10,446 5.2 1,761
Indicated 2013 21,481 6.2 4,258 -17
2014 17,907 6.1 3,536
M & I 2013 23,649 6.0 4,562 16
2014 28,354 5.8 5,297
Inferred 2013 7,289 8.0 1,879 3
2014 8,179 7.3 1,927

Infill drilling in 2013 allowed Measured Resources to be classified at Llama and Umwelt for the first time. Gold price and cut-off grade assumptions remained the same as those used for the PFS for the updated Mineral Resource estimates, with the exception of Llama and Goose Main underground. For these two areas the cut-off grade was changed from 4.0 g/t to 3.5 g/t and for Umwelt underground the cut-off grade was changed from 5.0 g/t to 4.5 g/t. The cut-off grade changes reflected the final cost estimates generated in the PFS. The increase in Measured Resources at Goose Main is attributed to re-verifying and resolving previous conflicts of historical surveys and geological data. This has resulted in increased confidence in interpreted geologic continuity and subsequently an increase in resource confidence.

Background and Work Plans 2014

The Back River gold project is located in the West Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut, a new territory of Canada very supportive of responsible mineral resource development and exploration. The project has access to tide water and is situated approximately 75 km from Bathurst Inlet.

The Project is made up of a series of seven claim blocks of which only two have been the primary focus of exploration and resource development to date: Goose and George.

In October 2013 Sabina published a PFS for the Project prepared under the leadership of Tetra Tech by leading industry consultants. The Back River PFS is based on a conventional open pit mine supplemented by underground operations that feed a 5,000 tonne per day whole ore leach process plant. Operations are designed to produce an average of 287,000 ounces Au per year over the life of mine. The Project would be built over a 24-month period at an initial capital cost of $605 million with an estimated payback of 3.3 years from the start of operations.

In 2014, Sabina intends to continue to advance the Back River Project towards completion of a FS with:

  • A potential resource expansion drilling program in and around the new resource at Echo. As Echo is on the Goose property, work to bring this resource into the mine plan could have a positive impact on project economics as satellite mining at George can be pushed further into the mine life.
  • Ongoing optimization studies to support the FS, including metallurgical testing, mining method and schedule optimizations and additional trade-off studies. These activities are anticipated to be completed by the end of the first quarter.
  • Continuation of the environmental assessment and permitting process including the collection of additional environmental baseline data.

The Company expects to initiate a full FS later this year once all optimization studies are complete and analyzed. It is anticipated that results of these various studies will be reported throughout the year. The budget and work program for 2014 will be announced towards the end of the first quarter.

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 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 Zinc'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 ended 2013 with approximately $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.

Quality Assurance

The Mineral Resources for the Back River deposits were estimated by AMC Mining Consultants (Canada) Ltd. The Qualified Persons are Dinara Nussipakynova, P Geo. and Andrew Fowler MAusIMM CP (Geo) both of AMC Mining Consultants (Canada) Ltd., are independent of Sabina and they have approved the contents of this press release that pertain to their estimation work and results.

Mr. Angus Campbell, P. Geo. and Vice-President, Exploration for Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. is a Qualified Person under the terms of NI 43-101 and has reviewed the technical content of this press release for the Back River Project and has approved its dissemination.

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, 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, 2012 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

To view the maps accompanying this press release, click on the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/931053m.pdf

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