Superior Gold Inc. is pleased to announce that it has received approval from the Department of Mines and Petroleum of Western Australia to commence development and operation of its 100% owned Hermes project, which is located approximately 65 kilometres southwest of the Company's Plutonic Gold Mine, 800 kilometres north east of Perth, in Western Australia (Figure 1).
The final environmental approval for the Hermes Project included the Clearing Permit, which is valid from July 1, 2017, and as such ground disturbance/clearing can commence on that date.
Initially work will commence with the construction of the haul road, which will connect the Hermes orebodies to the mill at the Plutonic Mine, where it will be processed. The Hermes deposit is expected to be mined as a conventional open pit, contractor operated mining operation. The contribution of the ore from Hermes is anticipated to allow Superior Gold to reach its targeted annual production of 100,000 ounces of gold.
The Company anticipates that construction of the haul road will take up to three months to complete and will be followed by pre-stripping activities prior to the commencement of mining.
Chris Bradbrook, President and CEO of Superior Gold stated: "We are very pleased to have been granted approval to commence construction work on the Hermes project, on schedule, in July. We expect that the Hermes project will commence production in 2018, when it will become an important contributor to our current production profile. Additionally, we aim to commence drilling and exploration around Hermes to expand the overall mineral reserve and mineral resource and extend the mine life. We would like to thank Significant Environmental Services for assisting the Company with all environmental applications and submissions for the Hermes Project."
Full details about the mineral reserves and mineral resources for the Plutonic Gold Mine and Hermes are included in a NI 43-101 Technical Report dated February 13, 2017 (with an effective date of September 30, 2016) that can be found under the Corporation's profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) which was filed on February 15, 2017.
Plutonic Gold Mine
For the two consecutive quarters since acquiring the Plutonic Gold Mine in October 2016, Superior Gold has produced 43,763 ounces of gold and generated $12.8 million in free cash flow. For further information please see Press Release entitled "Superior Gold Inc. Announces First Quarter 2017 Financial and Operating Results" available on the Company's website at www.superior-gold.com.
Outlook and Strategy
In the near term, the Company is focused on re-establishing the Plutonic Gold Operations as a stable gold producer capable of producing 100,000 ounces of gold annually. To achieve this goal, Superior Gold intends to focus on its growth strategy which includes:
- Focusing on quality high-grade ounces
- Optimizing recoveries
- Increasing incremental production from underground and open pit sources
- Resource and reserve additions through property wide exploration
- Leveraging the excess mill capacity
With the proceeds raised in the completion of the initial public offering, and the cash being generated by the Plutonic Gold Mine, the Company has the liquidity available to execute on its near-term growth and exploration strategy.
Scientific and technical information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Simon Lawson who is a member of the AusIMM and a "qualified person" within the meaning of NI 43-101. Mr. Lawson is an employee of the Company and serves as the Chief Geologist.