Mr. Wendell Zerb reports
EXETER ADVANCES CASPICHE DEVELOPMENT -- DRILLING PROGRAM UNDERWAY
Exeter Resource Corp. has commenced a 6,000-metre drill program on its 100-per-cent-owned Caspiche gold-copper project in Chile.
The program, contracted to Synergy Drilling, is designed to improve the definition of the known oxide gold zone and other potentially leachable gold zones currently not included in the oxide gold heap leach mine plan.
While the gold oxide zone is well defined by previous drilling, the current program will bring confidence levels to feasibility standards, a necessary component of the company's plan to move Caspiche oxides to a production decision.
Importantly, material within a transition zone below the oxides is known, but not well defined. Drilling and metallurgical testwork on this material open the potential to add to the resources amenable to heap leaching.
Upon completion of the drilling program, Exeter expects to initiate advanced studies on the project using updated capital and operating cost estimates. Alternative infrastructure requirements associated with a recently optioned desalinated water will also be assessed (refer to the company's press release dated Jan. 17, 2017).
Caspiche is one of the largest gold discoveries made in Chile in recent years. Unique characteristics of the deposit include its sizable heap leachable zone and a lower, discrete higher-grade gold-copper core, within a low-grade envelope. This combination offers mining opportunities that range from modest-scale heap leach gold production, to larger-scale open pit/underground mining of the gold-copper zone.
Development options were assessed for Caspiche in the preliminary economic assessment, released in 2014. This report reviewed three potential development alternatives, all of which require significantly less capital than earlier studies.
In the 2014 PEA, the heap leach oxide gold project produced a projected average of 122,000 ounces gold-equivalent annually over a planned 10-year mine life, including 148,000 ounces AuEq annually in the first five years. The proposed project has a very low strip ratio (0.27:1) and favourable gold recoveries.
Over the course of the last 18 months, the company optimized Caspiche oxide development requirements, including detailed metallurgical studies. Importantly, the company advanced infrastructure alternatives, including securing a second water source.
Wendell Zerb, Exeter's president and chief executive officer, a qualified person within the definition of that term in National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical information in this corporate update.
Exeter is a Canadian mineral exploration company focused on the exploration and development of the Caspiche project in Chile. The property is situated in the Maricunga gold district, between the Maricunga mine (Kinross Gold Corp.) and the Cerro Casale gold deposit (Barrick Gold Corp. and Kinross Gold). The company currently has cash reserves of $16-million and no debt.
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