Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. is pleased to provide the following report on 2012 activities at Back River along with an update on Xstrata Zinc Canada's ("Xstrata Zinc") Hackett River Project.
Back River Gold Project
In February 2012, the Company launched its biggest campaign at Back River to date.
The objectives at Back River for 2012 were to continue to expand the known resources at depth and along strike, to complete infill drilling on the known deposits and to continue to look for new discoveries on the Goose, George and other claim blocks. Significant engineering and environmental work also comprised part of the work completed this year all with the goal of supporting the upcoming Back River pre-feasibility study ("PFS") and permitting phase.
The Nunavut work program for 2012 was comprised of a significant drill program, facilitated from both camps at Goose and George. Also, two new deep diamond drills were mobilized to Goose to test the deeper G2 Zone at Umwelt for a total of eight drill holes in the region in 2012.
Significant capital projects were undertaken at both camps including construction of an all weather airstrip. Although construction of the airstrip is not yet complete, even in its current stage of construction it will enable a more efficient mobilization of fuel and supplies to site in 2013.
Some of the highlights at Back River in 2012 include:
- Completed a positive preliminary economic assessment ("PEA").
- Completed 69,661 m of drilling including 23,801m of infill, 24,698 of extension, 14,795 of new target drilling and 6,367 of geotech drilling.
- Extended both Umwelt and Llama deposits 400 m to the south of previous drilling.
- Identified several new opportunities to discover large open-pitable deposits.
- Entered the permitting process by filing a project description with relevant Nunavut authorizing agencies.
- Engaged engineering team and commenced PFS.
- Completed significant environmental baseline data collection to support the permitting phase and PFS.
- Constructed additional buildings and infrastructure at both George and Goose camps to support larger field programs and workforces in 2012 and beyond.
Currently work is focused on assessing all drill data from 2012 to enable a new Back River resource calculation as well as completing a high level strategic review of the PEA and relating trade off studies to support the upcoming PFS.
Plans for 2013 include:
- Updated resource calculation for Back River end of Q1, 2013.
- A field program to support the PFS and ongoing exploration efforts;
- Completion of a PFS in Q3, 2013.
- Filing of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement by year end 2013.All the while applying fiscal responsibility to preserve the strength of the Company's balance sheet.
"We will have our work cut out for ourselves in 2013," said Rob Pease, President & CEO. "We are fortunate to have an asset like Back River that has a critical mass of good grade ounces to move towards development. We expect the project will evolve as optimizations are included in the PFS that were not contemplated in the PEA. Also, we think it is important to continue to grow Back River by adding ounces and finding new deposits and will include an exploration component to our work program for 2013."
A more detailed 2013 fieldwork plan and budget is expected to be announced early in the new year.
Xstrata Zinc's Hackett River Project
The high-grade zinc-silver Hackett River Project is located approximately 50km from Sabina's flagship Back River gold project and is envisaged as a 10-20,000 tonne per day open-pit and underground operation with an expected mine life of over 15 years. Sabina holds a significant silver production royalty on Hackett River comprising 22.5% of the first 190 million ounces of silver produced and 12.5% of all the silver produced thereafter. Sabina is pleased to provide the following update on the project.
Xstrata Zinc's 2012 Hackett River Accomplishments:
- Completed 51,000 m of drilling.
- Conducted environmental and Socio-Economic baseline studies - mostly completed
- Engineering and pre-feasibility study commenced in September 2012 - Engaged Hatch Canada Ltd.
- Conducted preliminary assessment of tailings, waste rock, airstrip and new exploration camp locations.
"We are continuing with our exploration activities at the Hackett River site and view the property as one of our leading potential projects in Canada," said Neil Wardle, Chief Operating Officer, Xstrata Zinc Canada.
Rob Pease, President & CEO of Sabina, added: "We are pleased to see such significant progress at Hackett River which will help create value for Sabina shareholders through continued de-risking of our silver royalty. We look forward to working in close cooperation with Xstrata Zinc and local stakeholders as we endeavour to create long-lasting employment and economic development opportunities together through our efforts at Back River and Hackett River."