Atlanta Gold Inc. (TSX V: ATG) announces that P&E Mining Consultants Inc. of Brampton, Ontario has completed an independent updated resource estimate on the Company's Atlanta property in Idaho, USA.
The estimate incorporates all drilling results to date, including the recently completed 48-hole 39,000-foot diamond drill program and meets current NI 43-101 reporting standards for mineral resource disclosure.
P&E estimates the Indicated mineral resource to be 450,600 gold ounces within 3.27 million tons at an average grade of 0.138 ounces per ton ("opt") (4.73 grams per tonne) ("gpt") and the Inferred mineral resource to contain 284,600 gold ounces within 1.56 million tons at an average grade of 0.183 opt (6.27 gpt Au). The increased resource is primarily due to extensions to the known Atlanta Shear Zone identified in the 2010 surface drilling program. A cut-off grade of 0.04 opt gold (1.37 gpt Au) was used for the open-pit resource and a cut-off grade of 0.09 opt gold (3.09 gpt Au) was used for the underground resource. P&E also estimates a total Indicated mineral resource of 466,000 gold equivalent ("AuEq") ounces and 290,000 total AuEq ounces in the Inferred category, with AuEq ounces calculated using a gold to silver price ratio of 77.6:1. A National Instrument 43-101 compliant Technical Report will be available on SEDAR and the Company's website within 45 days of this news release.
The resource was estimated on the basis of the November 30, 2010 two-year trailing average US$ metal prices of $1,075 per ounce of gold and $16.61 per ounce of silver with mill recoveries of 90% and 75% respectively. Prevailing metal prices at December 31, 2010 were US$1,422 per ounce of gold and US$30.91 per ounce of silver.
"The current resource estimate increases the total gold equivalent mineral resource at Atlanta by 59% over the previously reported March 2009 Measured and Indicated resource of 474,900 gold equivalent ounces and significantly surpasses our previously stated 2010 year-end goal of 600,000 gold equivalent ounces", said Bill Baird, President and CEO of the Company. "This increase was achieved at an aggregate discovery or development cost of approximately US$34.50 per ounce of gold. The increased mineral resource will form the basis of a Preliminary Economic Assessment to be completed in the near future and is expected to result in a significant increase in value for our shareholders. It also confirms the potential to increase the gold content per vertical foot and the economic potential of the Atlanta Shear Zone through additional drilling. We plan to complete up to 60,000 feet (18,300 metres) of core drilling in 2011. Based on our increased understanding of this significant epithermal gold system and our increased confidence in the geological model at Atlanta, we have now set as our new near term exploration target, one million gold equivalent ounces by December 31, 2011."
Of particular interest in the underground resource are the Newmont Zone in the west (below the Monarch area) and the Glaspey Zone in the east (below the East Extension area) and the areas between and below them. These highly prospective zones are underexplored as previous programs focused on shallower, potentially open-pitable mineralization. P&E estimates that as a portion of the total Atlanta resource estimate, the Inferred mineral resource in the Newmont Zone contains 108,300 AuEq ounces within 481,400 tons at an average grade of 0.225 opt (7.71 gpt) AuEq. In the Glaspey Zone, the Indicated mineral resource is estimated to be 12,000 AuEq ounces within 61,200 tons at an average grade of 0.196 opt (6.72 gpt) AuEq and the Inferred mineral resource is estimated to contain 7,700 AuEq ounces within 40,700 tons at an average grade of 0.190 opt (6.51 gpt) AuEq. In 2011, the Company plans to continue drilling the Newmont Zone from surface and to complete a 12,000-foot (3,658-metre) underground drilling program from the rehabilitated 900 level drift to expand the Glaspey Zone in at least two directions.
The average gold equivalent grade (including silver resources as a gold equivalent) of the open pit resource is 0.135 opt (4.63 gpt) AuEq in the Indicated resource classification and 0.126 opt (4.32 gpt) AuEq in the Inferred resource classification. The average gold equivalent grade of the underground resource is 0.162 opt (5.55 gpt) AuEq in the Indicated resource classification and 0.188 opt (6.45 gpt) AuEq in the Inferred resource classification.
Quality Control and Assurance
2010 exploration program drill samples were handled and assayed in accordance with NI 43-101 standards. Assaying was done by Inspectorate America Corporation of Sparks, Nevada, U.S.A. Inspectorate is a well known international laboratory that has operated in Nevada for more than 10 years. Samples were 30-gram fire assays of split NQ-sized core (4.76 centimetres in diameter). The NQ diameter drill-core samples were split in half; one half was retained in its original core box and the second half was sent to Inspectorate. Quality control and assurance of the analytical results were monitored by inserting standards, blanks, and duplicates into the sample run, for approximately every twenty samples at the project site.
The independent Qualified Persons as defined by NI 43-101 for the purpose of this news release regarding the Atlanta Project resource update are Fred Brown, CPG, Tracy Armstrong P.Geo., and Eugene Puritch, P.Eng., all of P&E Mining Consultants Inc. of Brampton, Ontario. The contents of this press release have been reviewed and approved by Mr. Puritch. P&E Mining Consultants Inc. is an established and internationally recognized geological and mine engineering consulting firm specializing in resource estimates, scoping, pre-feasibility studies and participation with other consulting firms on feasibility studies, with over 120 projects undertaken in the last 6 years. P&E has Certificates of Authorization from the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario, Professional Engineers of Ontario and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan.
Mr. Fred Brown CPG, PrSciNat, of P&E is a Certified Professional Geologist (#11015) with the American Institute of Professional Geologists and a registered Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (#400008/04), has over 25 years of worldwide experience in mining resource and reserve assessments and related work.
Ms. Tracy Armstrong, P.Geo., a graduate of Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Geological Sciences (1982), is a geological consultant currently licensed by the Order of Geologists of Québec (License 566), by the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (License 1204) and by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (Licence 34720). She is an independent geological consultant contracted by P&E Mining Consultants Inc. and has worked as a geologist continuously since her graduation from university.
Mr. Eugene Puritch, P.Eng. (Haileybury School of Mines, Queen's University), a President of P&E, has more than 30 years experience in mine evaluation and resource estimating for some of Canada's largest mining companies. He has undertaken more than 300 resource estimates and mine designs in his career, many of which formed the basis for feasibility studies and subsequent production decisions. Prior to co-founding P&E, Mr. Puritch was regularly under contract to provide his services to Micon International Ltd., Aker Solutions Canada Inc., A.C.A. Howe International Ltd. and Strathcona Mineral Services.
Source: Atlanta Gold Inc.