Midas Gold Corp. ("Midas Gold" or the "Company") today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a drill program for its Stibnite Gold Project (the "Project"), located in Idaho, USA. The Company's objective for the drill program is to improve, expand and de-risk the mineral resources defined in the December 2014 preliminary feasibility study (the "PFS") before commencing a feasibility study (the "FS"). Positive results could enhance the Project economics in the planned FS. The drill program is expected to commence in September and is scheduled to continue into late 2016. In parallel with drilling, Midas Gold plans to collect an approximately 14-ton bulk sample from existing core material in preparation for metallurgical pilot plant testing.
"The 2014 preliminary feasibility study identified a number of opportunities to enhance the economic returns for the Stibnite Gold Project related to the mineral resources," said Stephen Quin, President & CEO of Midas Gold Corp. "To maximize the return on investment to shareholders from this drill program, targets have been ranked on a discounted present value basis, and some drill holes have been designed to achieve multiple objectives. In addition, drill holes will be sequenced on an iterative basis, working out from the known to the unknown, in order to maximize the potential for success."
Drill Program Objectives
The PFS outlined a number of mineral resource related opportunities that have the potential to enhance Project financial returns, extend Project life and de-risk the projected production. These opportunities include:
1. Better defining the shallow, high grade mineralization in the core of the Yellow Pine deposit and portions of the Hangar Flats deposit, where certain historical drill data generated during prior commercial mining operations was excluded from the PFS due to uncertainty as to the reliability of the data. This excluded data suggests, if confirmed, potential for improved continuity of higher gold and antimony grades in the early production years (as set out in the PFS), which could increase payable gold and antimony production and enhance Project net present value ("NPV").
2. Conversion (through additional drilling) of inferred mineral resources located within the PFS mineral reserve pits into indicated mineral resources and mineral reserves, thereby reducing strip ratio and increasing payable gold and Project NPV, if the results are positive.
3. Conversion (through additional drilling) of inferred mineral resources located outside, but immediately adjacent to, the PFS mineral reserve pits into indicated mineral resources and mineral reserves. Successful conversion could expand the PFS mineral reserve pits, and may also bring some currently excluded indicated mineral resources into the mineral reserves as a result of the expanded pit, thereby increasing payable gold and Project NPV.
4. Advancing current prospects that carry no mineral resource at present towards defining mineral resources with the objective of increasing payable gold and Project NPV. The priorities are prospects and exploration areas (such as the northeast and south ends of the Yellow Pine deposit, and possibly the Scout prospect, where the grades intersected to date suggest potential to displace or supplement early mine life production and enhance Project NPV. If initial results are positive, additional drilling would be required to define a mineral resource.
5. Replacing certain historical data that was used in the PFS and deemed to be reliable, but where additional confirmation drilling would further de-risk the mineral resource estimate in advance of commencement of the FS.
The majority of the drilling will take place on Midas Gold's private land, with some holes located on unpatented mineral claims. All drilling will take place in accordance with Idaho Department of Lands regulations and with the terms of the plan of operations and decision notice issued by the U.S. Forest Service in early 2016, as applicable. "As with all of our activities, we will conduct the drilling and metallurgical sampling programs in a safe and environmentally conscientious manner," said Mr. Quin. "Additionally, in accordance with our local-hire philosophy, we will look to Idaho first for our workforce and contracting requirements."
Metallurgical Pilot Plant Sample Collection
The collection of a 14-ton metallurgical bulk sample from existing core material is also scheduled to commence in September. Sample material will include medium and large diameter core (HQ and PQ), much of which was drilled in 2011-2013. Collection of this bulk sample is a precursor to the planned pilot plant program that will commence later this year. See the news release dated July 21, 2016 for additional details on the planned metallurgical test program. The diagnostic and flotation test work discussed in the July 21, 2016 news release is progressing well, and results will be announced once received and reviewed.
Quality Assurance/Quality Control
All drilling and sample collection will be conducted under the guidance of a team of internal and external qualified persons in order to ensure the integrity of the sample collection process and the ability to use the collected samples in the final feasibility study.
The technical information in this news release has been prepared in accordance with Canadian regulatory requirements set out in National Instrument 43-101 ("NI43-101") and reviewed and approved by Stephen P. Quin, P. Geo., President and CEO of Midas Gold Corp., and a Qualified Person.
About Midas Gold and the Stibnite Gold Project
Midas Gold Corp., through its wholly owned subsidiaries, is focused on the exploration and, if warranted, site restoration and development of gold-antimony-silver deposits in the Stibnite]Yellow Pine district of central Idaho that are encompassed by its Stibnite Gold Project.