Scorpio Gold Corporation ("Scorpio Gold" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:SGN) announces the commencement of a sonic drilling program on the heap leach pad at its 70% owned Mineral Ridge project, located in Nevada.
On March 14, 2017, the Company received approval from the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection agency for its previously submitted engineering design change to potentially exploit material from the existing heap leach pad using a new processing mill. The drill program consists of 34 holes to provide representative sampling of approximately 6.3 million tonnes of mineralized material contained within the pad for metallurgical testing. The samples will be analyzed to determine if the leach pad material is amenable for further gold recovery using milling processes. To ensure integrity of the leach pad containment, the final depth elevation of each drill hole will be a minimum of 20 vertical feet above the original heap leach pad liner system.
The Company has contracted Boart Longyear to conduct the drilling campaign utilizing their LS250 sonic drill rig with 4 inch casing. Drilling commenced on March 24, 2017 and the duration of the program is expected to be approximately 3 weeks. Core samples will be shipped to Kappes, Cassiday & Associates of Reno, Nevada for laboratory analysis and metallurgical testing.
The Company has also contracted Mine Technical Services Ltd. ("MTC") of Reno, Nevada to provide a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate of the mineralized material contained within the leach pad. Based on positive results from the resource estimate and metallurgical testing, MTC will then be engaged to conduct a feasibility study for milling of the heap leach material. The conceptual design of the milling facility was previously provided by SNC Lavalin in 2014, and includes twin circuits for 2000 TPD ball mills, gravity recovery circuit with high intensity strip, CIL recovery circuit, detox circuit and tailings dry stack circuit. The feasibility study conducted by MTC would provide the basis for determining the economics of the overall recovery project. The finalized resource estimate will also be the basis for reconciliation of grade and contained ounces placed by the Company since operations commenced.
Based on production head grades and total tonnage of material placed on the pad relative to total gold recovered, the Company estimates that the leach pad contains approximately 6.3 million tonnes of material grading 0.61 grams per tonne, for an estimated remaining gold inventory of approximately 120,000 - 130,000 ounces of gold.
Brian Lock, interim CEO comments, "This program will provide Scorpio Gold with confirmation of the pad resource and the feasibility of constructing a milling facility for the mine site, providing the avenue to potentially recover an estimated 120,000 - 130,000 ounces thought to be remaining on the pad as well as the potential for up to 95 percent recovery of future mineralization mined at Mineral Ridge."