Mr. Derek White reports
ASCOT REPORTS 2021 ANNUAL RESULTS
Ascot Resources Ltd. has released its audited consolidated financial results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2021. For details of the audited consolidated financial statements, management's discussion and analysis, and annual information form for the year ended Dec. 31, 2021, please see the company's filings on SEDAR.
Derek White, president and chief executive officer, commented: "Ascot continued to make solid progress on the project last quarter and early in 2022. The early works program was advanced with a focus on installing the ball and SAG (semi-autogenous grinding) mills, continuing work inside the mill building, and preparing for this year's outdoor construction season. The Mines Act permit was received in December, and the Environmental Management Act permit was received in January, enabling the commencement of full-scale construction and underground development planned for late April, 2022. The company recently closed a bought deal financing for gross proceeds of $64-million, providing additional funding for project construction this year. On the exploration front, we saw continued success and expansion at the Day zone, encouraging initial drill results at the Sebakwe zone and high-grade stope definition drill results at Big Missouri. We are eager to advance the Premier gold project this year towards precommissioning in Q4 2022, first gold pour in Q1 2023 and becoming Canada's next gold producer."
All amounts herein are reported in thousands of Canadian dollars unless otherwise specified.
Q4 2021 and recent highlights:
On March 8, 2022, the company closed a previously announced bought deal financing for total gross proceeds of $64,241. The net proceeds from the offering will be used for capital costs at the Premier gold project (PGP) for PGP's exploration program and for general corporate purposes.
- On Feb. 22, 2022, the company announced the remaining assay results from the 2021 drill program at PGP. These drill holes targeted areas of early stopes at the Big Missouri deposit with the aim of refining stope geometry and orientation as well as expanding stope shapes where possible and gathering additional grade information. The drill holes intercepted gold mineralization at or near defined stope shapes with numerous high-grade assays as high as 184.5 grams per tonne gold. Highlights from the drill results included:
27.52 g/t Au and 11.40 g/t silver over 8.00 metres from a depth of 68.4 m in hole P21-2379, including 66.70 g/t Au and 14.20 g/t Ag over 2.00 m;
- 36.36 g/t Au and 24.1 g/t Ag over 4.65 m from a depth of 56.4 m in hole P21-2373, including 184.50 g/t Au and 80.50 g/t Ag over 0.90 m. The interval is carried by the high-grade assay, but the width of the mineralized zone has been selected considering base metal and sulphide content in addition to gold and silver;
- 10.04 g/t Au and 15.91 g/t Ag over 7.00 m from a depth of 139.8 m in hole P21-2358, including 14.70 g/t Au and 22.33 g/t Ag over 4.00 m;
- 7.25 g/t Au and 4.57 g/t Ag over 6.00 m from a depth of 212.1 m in hole P21-2363, including 19.00 g/t Au and 6.10 g/t Ag over 2.00 m.
On Jan. 25, 2022, the company provided an update on PGP with respect to progress to date and development plans in 2022. The update included a detailed project schedule and an updated capital cost estimate for PGP. Building on the success of the early works program in 2021, Ascot remains on track to commence full-scale construction activities and underground development in April, 2022, with first gold pour targeted for the first quarter of 2023. With the Mines Act permit amendment (MAPA) in hand and a more definitive project schedule, Ascot reported an updated project capital estimate of $224,000, reflecting an increase of 27 per cent over the previous (March, 2021), project capital estimate.
- On Dec. 15, 2021, the company announced additional assay results from the first two drill holes of 2021 on the Sebakwe zone near existing resources and the Premier mill building, along with an overview and background on the Sebakwe zone itself. Highlights from the drill results included:
36.17 g/t Au and 20.6 g/t Ag over 7.10 m from a depth of 368.3 m in hole P21-2385, including 103.00 g/t Au and 26.5 g/t Ag over 1.00 m, and 139.50 g/t Au and 80.1 g/t Ag over 1.00 m;
- 29.60 g/t Au and 5.3 g/t Ag over 1.00 m from a depth of 328.5 m in hole P21-2385 -- only 39 m above the aforementioned 7.10 m interval;
- 39.00 g/t Au and 28.5 g/t Ag over 0.90 m from a depth of 324.5 m in hole P21-2386.
On Dec. 4, 2021, the company received the MAPA for construction and operation of PGP, and on Jan. 24, 2022, the Environmental Management Act (EMA) permit was also received, completing the joint MA/EMA permit for PGP.
On Nov. 17, 2021, the company announced additional assay results from the first drill hole at the Day zone near the Big Missouri deposit and the balance of drill results from near the Premier deposit. Importantly, the new drill hole at the Day zone has expanded mineralization approximately 400 metres to the south. Highlights from the drill results included:
4.13 g/t Au and 3.5 g/t Ag over 2.46 m from 291 m depth in hole P21-2331, including 7.73 g/t Au and 4.1 g/t Ag over 0.96 m at the Day zone;
- 17.05 g/t Au and 43 g/t Ag over 0.70 m from 51 m depth in hole P21-2323 in the area west of the Premier deposit.
Financial results for the three months and year ended Dec. 31, 2021
The company reported a net loss of $170 for Q4 2021 compared with $4,436 for Q4 2020. The lower loss in Q4 2021 was mainly driven by a $1,799 gain on change in estimate of production purchase agreement (PPA) liability due to a change in anticipated production schedule and a $1,659 decrease in loss on valuation of the company's convertible debt, driven by fluctuations in the variables used to calculate the fair value of the embedded derivative.
The company reported a net loss of $2,948 for 2021 compared with $8,427 for 2020. The lower loss in 2021 was mainly driven by a $3,515 gain on valuation of the company's convertible debt driven by fluctuations in the variables used to calculate the fair value of the embedded derivatives and a $1,799 gain on change in estimate of PPA liability.
Liquidity and capital resources
As at Dec. 31, 2021, the company had working capital of $47,002, and cash and cash equivalents balance of $59,130. During 2021, the company issued 98,027,377 common shares, 603,190 stock options and 40,781 deferred share units. Also 1.4 million stock options expired, 505,558 stock options were forfeited, 66,667 stock options were exercised and 29,167 restricted stock units were forfeited during 2021. Subsequent to Dec. 31, 2021, the company closed a bought deal financing for total gross proceeds of $64,241.
Management's outlook for 2022
Management is planning a number of activities for 2022, which include:
- Completion of refurbishment of the mill and commencement of precommissioning in Q4 2022;
- Completion of construction of the new water treatment plant and tailings storage facility in Q4 2022;
- Commencement of underground mine development in late April and delivery of ores for precommissioning in Q4 2022;
- Surface exploration drilling with a focus on the Day and Sebakwe zones;
- Stope definition drilling at Big Missouri both from surface and underground;
- Health and safety initiatives related to COVID and construction protocols;
- Meeting a number of permitting compliance requirements as the project transitions from construction into operation;
- Recruitment of operating personnel.
John Kiernan, PEng, chief operating officer of the company, is the company's qualified person (QP) as defined by National Instrument 43-101, and has reviewed and approved the technical contents of this news release.
About Ascot Resources Ltd.
Ascot is a Canadian junior exploration and development company focused on restarting the past-producing Premier gold mine, located on Nisga'a Nation treaty lands, in British Columbia's prolific Golden Triangle. Ascot shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker AOT. Concurrent with progressing the development of Premier, the company continues to successfully explore its properties for additional high-grade underground resources. Ascot is committed to the safe and responsible development of Premier in collaboration with Nisga'a Nation as outlined in the benefits agreement.
We seek Safe Harbor.
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