Kaminak Gold Corporation today announced that its Board of Directors have approved commencement of a Feasibility study for the Coffee Gold Project, located 130km south of Dawson City, Yukon.
The decision to proceed directly to Feasibility study follows on the heels of a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") that was announced last month and which indicates that Coffee represents a robust, high margin, rapid pay-back, 11-year open pit mining project at a US$1250 gold price. Feasibility activities will be initiated in Q3 2014, and will include infill drilling, additional metallurgical test-work, continued environmental baseline activities and a condemnation program under an initial budget of approximately $12 million. The company's current cash position is approximately $27 million.
Eira Thomas, CEO commented: "Following the announcement of a private placement by Ross Beaty and Zebra Holdings on July 14, Kaminak's Board of Directors have approved the commencement of an approximately $30 million Feasibility study for the Coffee Gold Project, to be completed by the end of 2015. Coffee represents a low-risk, high-return development-track gold project in Yukon, Canada where there is a long history of and strong support for gold mining. The completion of a Feasibility study is the next major milestone on our path towards a production decision."
Preliminary Economic Analysis for Coffee
On June 10, 2014, Kaminak announced the results of a Preliminary Economic Analysis at Coffee. Highlights of this study are presented below (all amounts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated; base case is stated using a gold price of US$1,250 per ounce and an exchange rate of C$1.00 equal US$0.95):
- NPV of $522 million at a 5% discount rate and an IRR of 32.8% before taxes and mining duties, and an NPV of $330 million and an IRR of 26.2% after taxes and mining duties
- Mine life of 11 years with peak production of 231,000 ounces per annum (Year 1) and average LOM production of 167,000 ounces of gold
- Average metallurgical recoveries of 88% gold
- 1,859,000 ounces LOM gold production at an average diluted grade of 1.23 g/t Au
- All-in sustaining costs* of US $688/oz (including royalties) for LOM, generating an Operating margin of over US $560/oz or 42%
- Initial capital costs of $305 million (including a 15% contingency)
- Payback of 1.8 years pre-tax and 2.0 years post-tax
- Gross Revenue of $2.4 Billion and Operating Cash-flow of $1.24 Billion
*All-in Sustaining Costs are presented as defined by the World Gold Council ("WGC") less Corporate G&A.
Given the positive findings in the PEA, which indicate that Coffee is a robust project at current gold prices, Kaminak's Board of Directors has elected to advance directly to Feasibility. As follow-on to the work undertaken during the PEA, Kaminak has designed an initial Feasibility study program to be undertaken over the next 12-18 months that will incorporate the following elements:
- Infill drilling: Approximately 70,000 metres of diamond core and reverse circulation drilling to bring the open pit resource to "Indicated" category
- Additional metallurgical testwork to confirm and expand characterization of both Oxide and Transitional resources
- Condemnation program comprising drilling, soil sampling and trenching
- Geotechnical work to examine pit wall stability, heap leach facility and waste dump foundations
- Environmental Baseline work
- First Nations and Community Engagement
- Feasibility study of a permanent all weather access road
The total budget for the feasibility work program is estimated at approximately $30 million with initial approved expenditures of $12 million to be completed in 2014 comprising long lead-time and critical path items that have been identified from the work programs listed above. Additional objectives of the 2014 program are to evaluate the following:
- nearby exploration targets for possible inclusion in the feasibility resources/reserves
- the economics of coarse crushing and possible run-of-mine leaching
- contract mining or equipment leasing
- the exact route of the access road and possible synergies with other users
- additional Kaminak staffing requirements for Feasibility implementation
- engineering and construction companies for selection of the final Feasibility team
Assuming the completion of a positive feasibility study in 2015, it is expected that Kaminak will enter a two year Environmental Assessment phase, with the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) application to be submitted in early 2016.