VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – May 9, 2017) – West Kirkland Mining Inc. (TSX VENTURE:WKM)(OTCQB:WKLDF) (“West Kirkland” or the “Company”) announces the execution of an exchange agreement (the “EA”) with Newmont Mining Corporation (“Newmont”) whereby the Company has exchanged all of its rights, title and interests in, and its obligations associated with the TUG Property, located within the Long Canyon Trend of northern Nevada/Utah, for an approximate 1.1% net smelter returns (“NSR”) royalty forming part of Newmont’s 2.4% NSR royalty on the Hasbrouck Gold Project, located near Tonopah, Nevada, plus the right to US$1.194 million in payments due upon commercial production at Hasbrouck or Three Hills and extinguishment of land fees. The Hasbrouck Gold Project is held by a dedicated limited liability corporation (“LLC”) of which the Company holds a 75% interest and of which Clover Nevada LLC, a Nevada LLC wholly-owned by Waterton Precious Metals Fund II Cayman, L.P., holds a 25% interest.
The Company now owns for its own account approximately a 1.1% NSR royalty, or 31.4% of the existing 3.5% NSR royalties on the Hasbrouck Gold Project. The existing NSR royalties are over claims hosting the proven and probable reserves and have not been altered by way of this transaction.
A September 2016 Updated Pre-Feasibility Study (the “PFS Update”) was prepared for the Hasbrouck Gold Project (see “Technical Report and Updated Preliminary Feasibility Study: Hasbrouck and Three Hills Gold-Silver Project, Esmeralda County, Nevada,” dated September 14, 2016 and prepared by Thomas L. Dyer, P.E., Paul Tietz, C.P.G., Ryan T. Baker, Herbert C. Osborne and Carl E. Defilippi). Using the PFS Update financial model, the attributable Hasbrouck cash flow acquired by the Company pursuant to the EA is US$9.5 million over the eleven-year project life. At a 5% discount rate, this attributable cash flow amounts to approximately US$7.8 million.
At the holding LLC level (75% owned by West Kirkland), the PFS Update estimated a US$120 million NPV (5%) and a 43% IRR, after-tax, with a 3.1 year pay-back at US$1,275/oz Au and US$18.21/oz Ag metal price assumptions. The 1.1% NSR royalty acquired by the Company would add to the Company’s share of this modelled value.
West Kirkland’s CEO, R. Michael Jones, stated, “We are very pleased to complete this transaction with Newmont. Although we believe the TUG Property to be highly prospective, at current gold prices the known deposit is not economic. By comparison, the acquisition of a 1.1% NSR royalty on the Hasbrouck Gold Project plus US$1.194 million in payments and eliminated land fees is very accretive to West Kirkland at today’s gold prices. We also see good exploration potential at Hasbrouck and the transaction is attractive across all of the large land position where recent drilling has been successful.”
The PFS Update estimated open pit proven and probable reserves for 100% of the Hasbrouck Gold Project (based on 100% of the project) totalling 45.3 million tons at a grade of 0.017 oz/ton gold and 0.233 oz/ton silver, containing 762,000 oz gold and 10.6 million oz silver. These reserves were used in the PFS Update and the royalty value model.
|Hasbrouck Gold Project Reserves – June 3, 2015, Mine Development Associates (“MDA”)|
|Three Hills||K tons||Grade
(oz Au/ ton)
|K oz Au||oz Ag/ton||K oz Ag|
(see note 3 below)
|Total Hasbrouck Gold Project|
(see note 3 below)
- The estimation and classification of proven and probable reserves have been prepared by Thomas L. Dyer, P.E., of MDA following CIM standards.
- Reserves are estimated based on US$1,225/oz gold and US$17.50/oz silver.
- Cutoff grades used for reserves are: Three Hills 0.005 oz Au/ton, Hasbrouck Upper Siebert 0.008 oz Au/ton, and Hasbrouck Lower Siebert 0.007 oz Au/ton.
- It is MDA’s opinion that the sampling, assaying, and security procedures used at Three Hills and Hasbrouck follow industry standard procedures, and are adequate for the estimation of the current Mineral Reserves.
- MDA completed audits of the database, performed a site visit, reviewed QAQC data and confirmed historic assays. After performing their review, they consider the assay data to be adequate for the estimation of the current Mineral Reserves.
- MDA has reviewed and verified the data disclosed in the above table to be in conformity with generally accepted CIM “Estimation of Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserves Best Practices” guidelines in accordance with NI 43-101.
Details of the transaction include:
- The Company has acquired all NSR royalties in excess of 1.25% held by Newmont over the Hasbrouck Gold Project, comprising the planned Three Hills and Hasbrouck open pit, heap leach mines.
- The Company has acquired Newmont’s contractual right to (i) a US$500,000 payment due upon the commencement of commercial production at Hasbrouck; and (ii) a second US$500,000 payment due to Newmont if after commencement of production the price of gold exceeds US$400 for any continuous three-month period. These amounts are in the modelled value to the Company.
- In exchange, the Company has transferred to Newmont all its rights, title and interests to the TUG Property. The Company earned a 60% project interest in the 50 km2 of mineral rights comprising the TUG Property by way of a 2010 earn-in agreement with Fronteer Gold Inc. Fronteer was later acquired by Newmont in 2011.
- Newmont will assume responsibility for US$194,000 in land holding fees currently due in respect of West Kirkland’s 60% interest in the TUG mineral rights.
West Kirkland completed an initial Resource estimate on the TUG deposit in June 2012. The TUG deposit is located within the Long Canyon Trend, which is part of the old Tecoma Mining District. The TUG deposit is a sediment hosted, Carlin style gold deposit that was extensively drilled by the Company and previous operators. An updated NI 43-101 Resource Estimate and Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) by Roscoe Postle Associates USA Ltd. was announced on August 1, 2013 and filed on SEDAR September 13, 2013. Based on a 100% project interest for TUG, the PEA predicted a 26% after-tax IRR and US$9 million NPV (8%) at US$1,525 gold/ US$28 silver. Initial capital cost was projected to be US$24 million.
|PIT-CONSTRAINED RESOURCE – APRIL 30, 2013|
- CIM definitions are followed for classification of Mineral Resources within the pit used for the economic analysis
- Mineral Resources are estimated using a gold price of $1,700 per ounce and a silver price of $29 per ounce
- Heap Leaching gold and silver recovery factors of 58% and 15%, respectively are used
- Tonnage factor for mineralization was 2.55 t/m3
- No dilution applied to mineral resources, 97% mining recovery used
- Resources are constrained by a Whittle shell and reported at a $8.05/t NSR cut-off for heap leaching
- Totals may not represent the sum of the parts due to rounding
- The Mineral Resource Estimate used in the economic analysis was prepared by Luke Evans, M.Sc, P.Eng, RPA, April 30, 2013
- AuEq was calculated using the following formula: AuEq = Au grade + Ag Grade * 0.0183
To date the Company has spent approximately US$4.85 million on the TUG Property. After an impairment in a prior period, at year end December 31, 2016 the Company recorded a US$3.37 million carrying value (CAD$4.53 million) for its rights and interests in the TUG Property.
ABOUT THE HASBROUCK GOLD PROJECT
The Hasbrouck Gold Project consists of two all-oxide gold-silver deposits eight kilometers apart. Both deposits will be mined in open pits having low stripping ratios and minimal pre-stripping should the project proceed to production.
West Kirkland’s independent consultants, MDA, produced an updated Pre-feasibility Study in September 2016 which is available on SEDAR and at www.wkmining.com. All necessary permits to construct and operate the Three Hills Mine are in hand, and work to obtain permits for the Hasbrouck Mine is ongoing, with submission of a Plan of Operation to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) targeted for Q4, 2017.
R. Michael Jones P.Eng, CEO for West Kirkland Mining, is a non-independent Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. He has reviewed the information contained in this news release and has verified the data by hiring qualified geologists and engineers and has completed a review of the detailed technical information. Mineral Reserve information in this news release relating to the Hasbrouck Gold Project has been developed and approved by Thomas L. Dyer, P.E., of MDA following CIM standards. Mineral Resource information in this news release relating to the TUG Property has been developed and approved by Stuart Collins, P.E., and Luke Evans, P.Eng, of Roscoe Postle Associates USA Ltd (RPA), following CIM standards.
QUALITY ASSURANCE/QUALITY CONTROL
West Kirkland Mining utilizes a well-documented system of inserting blanks and standards into the assay stream and has a strict chain of custody. Assays are completed at independent laboratories which have internal quality assurance and quality control systems and procedures. Assays were performed by ALS Chemex Labs Ltd., by fire assay and ICP methods.
ABOUT WEST KIRKLAND MINING INC.
West Kirkland owns a 75% interest in the Hasbrouck Gold Project in Tonopah, Nevada. The remaining 25% is owned by Clover Nevada LLC, a Nevada limited LLC and 100% subsidiary of Waterton Precious Metals Fund II Cayman, LP. A Pre-feasibility Study with construction-level drawings and all federal and state permits for the phase-one Three Hills Mine provides a ready-to-construct project. Exploration for potential expansion is underway.
On behalf of West Kirkland Mining Inc.,
R. Michael Jones, Chief Executive Officer
For further information, please see the Company’s website at www.wkmining.com or contact us by email at [email protected]
Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains forward-looking information or forward-looking statements (collectively “forward-looking information”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information is typically identified by words such as: “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “estimate”, “postulate” and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. Forward-looking information in this news release includes, without limitation, the completion of the Prefeasibility Study, the project approach of the Prefeasibility Study and exploration and all information under the heading “Prefeasibility Study Detail”, including the Prefeasibility Study budget. Although West Kirkland believes that such timing and expenses as set out in this press release are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations and estimates will prove to be correct. The Company cautions investors that any forward-looking information provided by the Company is not a guarantee of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking information as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, the state of the financial markets for the Company’s equity securities, the state of the market for gold or other minerals that may be produced generally, variations in the nature, quality and quantity of any mineral deposits that may be located, the Company’s ability to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for its activities, to raise the necessary capital or to be fully able to implement its business strategies and other risks associated with the exploration and development of mineral properties. The reader is referred to the Company’s public filings for a more complete discussion of such risk factors and their potential effects which may be accessed through the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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