Mr. Darren Hall reports
CALIBRE INCREASES NICARAGUAN MINERAL RESERVES TO IN EXCESS OF 1 MILLION OUNCES OF GOLD; A 254% INCREASE, NET OF PRODUCTION DEPLETION, SINCE ACQUISITION IN Q4 2019
Calibre Mining Corp. has released the results of the company's updated Nicaraguan mineral reserves and mineral resources as of Dec. 31, 2021.
Mineral reserves and mineral resources highlights since acquisition in fourth quarter 2019:
254-per-cent increase in mineral reserves to 1,013,000 ounces gold;
62-per-cent increase in indicated mineral resources to 1,806,000 ounces gold;
Largest reserves and record grade of 4.62 grams per tonne gold for the combined Nicaraguan assets over the last 12 years;
Increased Libertad complex mineral reserves from zero to 484,000 ounces gold;
With continued mineral reserves growth and a trend toward higher grades, it is anticipated that 2023 and 2024 annual production will increase, leading to lower per-ounce costs.
Darren Hall, president and chief executive officer of Calibre, stated: "In the two years since acquiring our Nicaraguan assets, Calibre's commitment to exploration has grown reserves from 286,000 to 1,013,000 ounces gold after producing 353,000 ounces, establishing an excellent foundation for future growth.
"As a result of continued mineral reserve growth, mine sequencing, and generation of resource discovery and expansion, the company anticipates a trend toward higher grades mined and processed going forward, increasing overall annual production in 2023 and 2024, while overall volume mined remains flat leading to lower per-ounce costs.
"Our 85-kilometre 2022 drilling program is under way with 11 rigs in operation focused on discovery and mineral resource expansion as we continue to realize value from the prospective and underexplored potential our Nicaraguan portfolio has to offer."
New 2022 priority resource expansion opportunities:
Drill programs have been designed to focus on targets with the potential for discovery of 250,000-ounce-or-greater-sized gold deposits to further bolster the company's project pipeline;
New 2021 high-grade Volcan discovery (not included in 2021 mineral resource estimate) and high-grade drill results announced on Nov. 16, 2021, including 15.6 grams per tonne gold over 4.9 metres;
- High-grade, resource expansion opportunities at the newly discovered Volcan vein trend, Tranca, Panteon Northeast, Talavera extension and Eastern Borosi;
Advance the newly approved Buena Vista concession, located near the Limon mine complex, where multiple prospective gold vein trends have been identified through surface field reconnaissance work;
10,000-line-kilometre airborne geophysical survey to identify new areas of prospective gold mineralization concealed beneath surface cover.
Mineral reserves and resources statements
The Limon mineral concessions have produced over 3.6 million ounces historically and continue delivering reliable production while new opportunities for resource discovery and expansion continue to be identified. Calibre's exploration focus at Limon during the coming year will target additional high-grade vein shoots identified along strike of the productive Panteon, Limon and Talaveras vein systems, as well as newly recognized vein trends in less explored areas of the district. Calibre currently has four core rigs that are actively exploring at Limon.
Two thousand twenty-one mineral reserves at the Limon complex totalled 529,000 ounces of gold, net of 2021 production. Despite the application of incrementally higher metal price assumptions and lower cut-off grades, both the Limon open-pit and underground reserves grades have improved over year-end 2020, increasing from 4.24 to 4.30 g/t gold and from 5.14 to 5.49 g/t Au, respectively. Limon's underground reserves growth was largely driven by resource expansion and conversion in two new mineralized shoots at Panteon and Atravesada, which were discovered during 2020.
Infill drilling during the year upgraded inferred mineral resources into the indicated mineral resource category with total indicated mineral resources growing slightly to 1,175,000 ounces gold (inclusive of reserves) with grades remaining relatively flat at 2.69 g/t Au.
The Libertad mineral concessions have produced over 1.9 million ounces historically. Current exploration drilling is focused on near mill targets, including Volcan and Tranca, both of which represent solid opportunities for the delineation of additional open-pit resources with the potential for rapid advancement through development to production in the near to midterm. During 2021, exploration drilling at the Volcan target returned very encouraging results from a 1.5-kilometre section of a five-kilometre vein trend. See 2021 drill results news releases on Nov. 16, 2021,
"Calibre Discovers High-Grade Gold Mineralization at Libertad's Volcan Target," and June 8, 2021, "Calibre Mining Intercepts 13.83 g/t Gold over 4.4 Metres, 11.37 g/t Gold over 5.4 Metres and 16.78 g/t Gold over 2.8 Metres within 10 Kilometres of the Libertad Mill." In addition, the company's field crews continue to rapidly identify and drill test newly recognized vein systems at satellite targets such as Amalia located within 35 km of the Libertad mill. Calibre currently has four core rigs that are actively exploring at Libertad and Amalia.
As a result of the company's (hub-and-spoke) operating strategy and the ability to leverage the surplus capacity of the Libertad mill, mineral reserves for the Libertad complex increased by 188,000 ounces year over year after 2021 depletion. Mineral reserves at end-of-year 2021 total 484,000 ounces of gold at a grade of 4.81 g/t Au, including the Pavon mine and the Eastern Borosi project. During 2021, Calibre initiated mining and steadily increased ore hauling from the Pavon Norte high-grade open-pit mine demonstrating reliable production. During 2022, the company will continue mining and hauling at Pavon Norte while advancing the Pavon Central starter pit, which is anticipated to begin production by fourth quarter at 8.32 g/t Au. Additionally, at the Eastern Borosi project, Calibre converted 220,000 ounces of inferred resources to reserves during 2021. Calibre is advancing permitting at Eastern Borosi and anticipates construction to commence in first half 2023 and mining and hauling to begin during second half 2023. Pavon and Eastern Borosi represent exciting emerging gold districts that remain largely underexplored, especially when viewed in comparison with the prolific Limon and Libertad districts.
During 2021, Calibre initiated mining at Pavon Norte, the first of three known gold deposits hosting mineral resources in the district. Calibre is advancing development and permitting at Pavon Central with the objective of commencing mining by 2023. Combined end-of-year 2021 mineral reserves for the Pavon Norte and Central open pits total 165,000 ounces averaging 5.07 g/t gold. Pavon Central, which hosts an average reserves grade of 6.49 g/t gold, notably higher than the average 3.28 g/t gold grade at Pavon Norte, is expected to contribute to 2023 and 2024 production growth. The company currently has two core rigs conducting resource expansion drilling at Pavon Central and South.
Eastern Borosi project
Calibre controls a 100-per-cent interest in the 176-square-kilometre Eastern Borosi gold-silver property (EBP), located in northeastern Nicaragua. The project is located along a paved highway approximately 400 km from the company's Libertad complex, which has approximately 1.0 million tonnes per annum of surplus processing capacity, providing a low-cost opportunity for organic growth.
During 2021, the company significantly advanced the Guapinol/Vancouver and Riscos De Oro gold deposits toward commercial development with the completion of resource delineation and conversion drilling done in parallel with detailed technical studies, environmental baseline work, community consultations, and geotechnical and metallurgical testwork, which have resulted in an inaugural mineral reserves declaration for the project. At year-end, Calibre had completed these programs and submitted applications for permits to advance the project toward commercial production, which is anticipated to commence during the second half of 2023. Once in production, the Eastern Borosi project will represent the company's fourth source of high-grade feed to the Libertad mill.
Reinterpretation of historic surface and exploration drilling data has significantly advanced the understanding of the Eastern Borosi district and its overall potential for new discoveries. Calibre currently has two core rigs actively exploring multiple earlier-stage targets at Eastern Borosi.
Quality assurance/quality control
Calibre maintains a quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program for all its exploration projects using industry best practices. Key elements of the QA/QC program include verifiable chain of custody for samples, regular insertion of certified reference standards and blanks, and duplicate check assays. Drill core is halved and shipped in sealed bags to Bureau Veritas in Managua, Nicaragua, an independent analytical service provider with global certifications for quality management systems: ISO 9001:2008, environmental management: ISO14001, and safety management: OH SAS 18001 and AS4801. Prior to analysis, samples are prepared at Veritas's Managua facility and then shipped to its analytical facility in Vancouver, Canada. Gold analyses are routinely performed through fire assay/AA finish methods. For greater precision of high-grade material, samples assaying 10 g/t Au or higher are reassayed by fire assay with gravimetric finish. Analyses for silver and other elements of interest are performed through induction-coupled plasmaspectrometry.
Qualified persons and technical disclaimers
This news release has been reviewed and approved by Grant A. Malensek, MEng, PEng, Jose M. Texidor Carlsson, MSc, PGeo, Balaji Subrahmanyan, BEng, MS, SME (RM), and Stephan R. Blaho, MBA, PEng, of SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd. (Limon, Libertad and Pavon reserves and resources, and EBP resources); Shane Ghouralal, MBA, PEng, formerly of WSP in Canada (EBP Guapinol and Vancouver open-pit reserves); and Jason Sexauer, MBA, PE, PEng, of Stantec (EBP Riscos de Oro underground reserves), who prepared the updated mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates reported in this news release and are qualified persons as set out under National Instrument 43-101.
A new technical report on its La Libertad complex will be prepared by SLR in accordance with National Instrument 43-101. The technical report will include the EBP prefeasibility study results, as well as details regarding the updated mineral reserve and resource estimates presented herein, and will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release. Readers are encouraged to read the new La Libertad complex technical report in its entirety, including all qualifications, assumptions and exclusions that relate to the mineral resources and mineral reserves. The new La Libertad complex technical report is intended to be read as a whole, and sections should not be read or relied upon out of context.
Additional information with respect to the updated mineral reserves and resources for its El Limon complex reported herein has been derived from the technical report titled "Technical Report on the El Limon Complex, Leon and Chinandego Departments, Nicaragua -- Report for NI 43-101," dated March 30, 2021, with an effective date of Dec. 31, 2020. Readers are encouraged to read its El Limon complex technical report in its entirety, including all qualifications, assumptions and exclusions that relate to the mineral reserves and mineral resources. Its El Limon complex technical report is intended to be read as a whole, and sections should not be read or relied upon out of context.
Darren Hall, MAusIMM, president and chief executive officer, Calibre, has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information in this news release.
About Calibre Mining Corp.
Calibre is a Canadian-listed, Americas-focused, growing mid-tier gold producer with a strong pipeline of development and exploration opportunities across Nevada and Washington in the United States, and Nicaragua. Calibre is focused on delivering sustainable value for shareholders, local communities and all stakeholders through responsible operations and a disciplined approach to growth. With a strong balance sheet, no debt, a proven management team, strong operating cash flow, accretive development projects and district-scale exploration opportunities, Calibre will unlock significant value.
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