Mr. Frank Basa reports
GOLD BULLION RECEIVES POSITIVE PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR THE ROLLING START TO GOLD PRODUCTION AT GRANADA
Gold Bullion Development Corp. has received the preliminary feasibility study (PFS) for the rolling start at Granada. All-in total cash costs for gold production at the higher grades of 4.24 grams per tonne gold from the open pits assessed by this study are $797 (U.S.) per ounce at an internal rate of return of 169 per cent before tax. The payback period for the $6.7-million needed to commence the rolling start is just under seven months, with a net present value (NPV) of $24.65-million before taxes, discounted at 6 per cent within three years. The project has an after-tax IRR of 139 per cent, with an after-tax NPV of $20.04-million. At this stage of the property development, the PFS delineates gold production of 73,585 ounces at the annual rates of 25,669, 27,556 and 20,361 ounces per year, respectively, over the next three years. The higher-grade resource to be mined for the rolling-start gold production is based on reserves of 569,000 tonnes at 4.24 g/t for 73,600 ounces of gold at a cash cost of $797 (U.S.) per ounce. Mill feed including dilution is 170,000 tonnes at 3.72 g/t gold in the proven category and 398,600 tonnes at 4.46 g/t gold in the probable category. These gold grades demonstrate and are indicative of the inherent flexibility the company has with respect to grades contained in the current resource at the 11,000-hectare Granada mine property.
The rolling-start study was prepared as a stand-alone project utilizing custom milling (see MOU (memorandum of understanding) press release dated April 10 for details) at a local mill and solely relates to those mineral reserves located within the open pits of the Granada deposit. The rolling start does not take into account the underground mineral resources, which also constitute a significant part of the Granada project.
The synergy of accessing an existing operating mill in the prolific gold-producing Abitibi region of Quebec in tandem with the proposed open-pit rolling-start mineral extraction plan brings the company into position as a potential gold producer. During this initial development phase, the company is continuing to study and analyze the economics around underground mine development and will also engage in rightsizing property holdings.
The company also has drill-defined targets to the north of the Long Bars zone aimed at corroborating earlier drill data that outlined the potential for an additional one million to two million ounces of gold at grades of 3.0 to 4.2 grams per tonne (press release dated Nov. 13, 2013). The current higher-grade resource estimation and the potential addition to the resource cover approximately 20 per cent of the already-explored Long Bars zone. By increasing the input grade of the open-pittable resource when practical, derisking of the project will remain a continuing priority going forward.
This preliminary feasibility study was prepared by SGS Canada Inc. in Blainville, Que., with additional contributions from other leading engineering firms and consultants, in accordance with and as defined by National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
SUMMARY OF ROLLING-START GOLD PRODUCTION PFS HIGHLIGHTS
Gold price (U.S. $/ounce) 1,260
Canadian $ to U.S. $ rate 1.11
Open-pit rolling-start mineral reserves (ounces) 77,460
Mine plan tonnage (thousand tonnes) 569
Mine plan grade (grams/tonne) 4.24
Production rate (annualized ore tonnes per day) 550
Days of operation per year 350
Estimated gold mill recovery (per cent) 95
Total gold recovered (ounces) 73,585
Preproduction period (years) 0.2
Rolling-start mine life (years) 3
Average annual gold production (ounces) 24,528
Preproduction capital ($ millions) $6.7
Sustaining capital and restoration ($ millions) 2.89
Cost per tonne milled ($/t) (1) 120
Average total cash cost per ounce (U.S. $/ounce) (2) 797
Payback from start of production before tax (years) 0.56
Internal rate of return (before tax) (per cent) 169
Net present value, before tax, 6-per-cent discount
($ millions) 24.65
Payback from start of production, after tax (years) 0.67
Internal rate of return (after tax) (per cent) 139
Net present value, after tax, 6-per-cent discount
($ millions) 20.04
Note: Part of taxes will be offset by past property
(1) Includes 3-per-cent NSR (net smelter royalty) costs.
(2) Does not include the 3-per-cent NSR and capital
Frank J. Basa, president and chief executive officer, commented on progress thus far: "We are very pleased with the PFS on the rolling start. Due to the dedication and diligence of Gold Bullion's technical team and consultants, we have delivered this study and a PEA [preliminary economic assessment] within 20 months of completing the last drill program and are excited to see mining at Granada restart. This goal is consistent with our stated strategy to create shareholder value through successful exploration and development of brownfield properties located in the prolific and prosperous Abitibi region."
The delivery of the rolling-start preliminary feasibility study completes the first stage of Gold Bullion's continuous development program at Granada. By advancing the Granada project to commercial production, the company has demonstrated positive economics, environmental forethought and social gain, while mitigating the technical, financial and environmental risks of the project.
As permitting and social acceptance issues could have affected mineral reserves, the company held 29 separate meetings prior to PFS completion. Five were with key stakeholders, and there was one public meeting. The company has already incorporated the majority of the feedback, views and recommendations from those meetings into the PFS.
Discussions with stakeholders will continue in the near term to ensure the final feasibility study integrates all available input with the goal of enhancing and maximizing economic, environmental and social gains for all concerned parties.
In the context of re-engineering to increase the robustness of the Granada project, mineral resources were remodelled with mineral zones having a minimum horizontal width of seven metres, down to elevation 237.5 m. This resource model has been used for pit optimization and design for the rolling-start project. This model starts from the surface and pit bottom, to elevation 237.5 metres.
In order to address mining underground, mineralized zones have been remodelled with three to four metres horizontal width below elevation 237.5 metres. Highlights include a measured and indicated combined underground gold resource of 325,450 ounces of gold at an average grade of 5.10 g/t gold plus 25,700 ounces inferred at a grade of 7.14 g/t gold.
The details of the underground model are presented in an attached table.
MINERAL RESOURCES -- UNDERGROUND
Resource class Tonnage Gold Ounces
Under pit to Z equals 237.5 m, cut-off grade above 1.69 g/t
Measured 371,500 3.10 37,000
Indicated 462,000 3.72 55,000
Measured plus indicated 833,500 3.44 92,250
Inferred 33,500 6.85 7,400
UG beneath Z equals 237.5 m, COG above three g/t
Measured 392,000 5.60 70,600
Indicated 759,000 6.66 162,600
Measured plus indicated 1,151,000 6.30 233,200
Inferred 78,500 7.25 18,300
Combined, rounded numbers
Measured 763,500 4.38 107,600
Indicated 1,221,000 5.54 217,600
Measured plus indicated 1,984,500 5.10 325,450
Inferred 112,000 7.14 25,700
The mineral resources are blocks above the gold cut-off grade (COG), composite and have been capped at 30 g/t for the estimation of mineral resources. The density to convert volume to tonnage is 2.7. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The completed version of the PFS will contain further details and is to be provided within the next 45 days from the date of this press release as required by NI 43-101 regulations.
Mr. Basa, president and chief executive officer, commented on property resources at lower grades: "We have made progress from our [NI] 43-101 low-grade resource at one gram per tonne gold, which was standing at 1.6 million ounces measured and indicated with 1.0 million ounces inferred as per the Nov. 15, 2012, press release, with a revised resource of 934,000 ounces measured and indicated at 2.21 g/t gold with 627,000 ounces inferred at 2.23 g/t gold as per the PEA issued Feb. 4, 2013 (effective Dec. 21, 2012). The scenarios noted in the PEA was part of the optimization process, included increasing the open-pit resource grade from one g/t to two g/t. The material is still there; however, it has been re-engineered with the PFS rolling start to reduce risk and fast-track the project."
Claude Duplessis, PEng, consultant for SGS, is responsible for validating the database and estimating the mineral resources described herein and has reviewed and approved the contents of this news release including after tax (relying on another expert). Mr. Duplessis is a qualified person and is independent of Gold Bullion within the meaning of NI 43-101. Jonathan Gagne, Eng, and Gaston Gagnon, Eng, mining engineers at SGS, are responsible for the mining and economic aspects before tax of the disclosure and have reviewed and approved the contents of this news release. Mr. Gagne and Mr. Gagnon are both qualified persons and are independent of Gold Bullion within the meaning of and as defined by NI 43-101 regulations.
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