Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - December 4, 2018) - Minera Alamos Inc. (TSXV: MAI) ("Minera Alamos" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update of its 2018 development activities at the Santana gold project located in Sonora, Mexico. Since the project was acquired as part of the merger completed in April this year with Corex Gold, the Company has aggressively advanced the Santana project.
"As the year draws to a close the Minera Alamos team has made excellent progress at Santana in anticipation of what we expect to be our first commercial mine in 2019. The consistent recovered grade from the bulk test work at Nicho Norte coupled with low cyanide consumption suggests the potential for a robust open-pit, heap-leach operation. As a result, discussions with mining contractors have been initiated in anticipation of approval of our commercial permit applications and making a final construction decision," stated Minera Alamos President Doug Ramshaw. "The recent approvals of the Company's permit applications at the La Fortuna gold project exemplify a core competency of our team and its experience of working within the permitting environment in Mexico. We expect that these efforts will be equally successful at the Company's Santana project and look forward to providing our shareholders with the news of those permits in near future."
Test Mining and Mine Development Activities
Over 50,000 t of mineralized material was mined from Nicho Norte and heap leach tested to evaluate grades, recoveries, reagent consumptions and the impact of crush size.
Cumulative overall gold production from the test mining now totals 1,040 oz and represents a recoverable gold grade approaching 0.65 g/t Au.
Crush sizes for the various leach test phases varied from coarse crushing (<3") to fine crushing (<1.2-5/8') and agglomeration. Ultimate gold recoveries from all tests were excellent and consistent with the overall cumulative average. Crush size will ultimately be fine tuned to maximize future profitability at a proposed commercial scale.
While the use of fine crushing/agglomeration appears to improve the gold leach kinetics, ultimate recoveries remained similar to those achieved leaching coarse material.
Cumulative reagent consumptions for the bulk test are low amounting to <0.20 kg/t for both cyanide and lime.
The application for commercial-scale operating permits was submitted (see news release dated July 26th 2018), and the Company anticipates positive notification in the near future.
Leaching from the test pad is winding down; however, the Company is still recovering residual gold and has recently shipped additional gold in concentrate totaling approximately 150 oz. One final shipment is anticipated as this residual leaching draws to a close.
A successful Phase 1 drill program yielded positive results from the Nicho Main area including 127.0 m of 0.81 g/t Au, 80.4 m of 1.05 g/t Au and 93.5 m of 0.65 g/t Au with mineralization extending from/near surface (see news releases dated October 11th 2018, October 17th 2018 and October 25th 2018).
The Phase 1 drill program resulted in the discovery of the Divisadero porphyry target located approximately 200 m north of the Nicho Norte zone, returning 95.7 m of 0.85 g/t Au, 9.8 g/t Ag and 0.33% Cu. Mapping and sampling has outlined a
mineralized surface expression in excess of 200m x 300m (see news releases dated October 25th 2018 and November 15th 2018).
The Phase 2 drilling program will commence shortly to follow up on new discoveries made at Santana.
As the Company awaits notification of its commercial-scale operation permit it has been active in developing strategy for a rapid shift to development and construction of a new mine including:
Contract negotiations with mining contractors
Water well drilling planning
Updating of the geological models based on results from Phase 1 drilling
Phase 2 drill program to follow up on recent discoveries
All these activities will contribute to a formal construction decision
the Company anticipates making in the first quarter of 2019.
Figure 1 - Santana proposed gold heap leach operations site arrangement
To view an enhanced version of Figure 1, please visit: https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/4183/41438_86a843ece4fc7926_002full.jpg
Note: The Company is not basing any production decision on a feasibility study of mineral reserves demonstrating economic and technical viability. Minera Alamos acknowledges and advises there is increased uncertainty and that there are specific economic and technical risks of failure associated with any production decision. The Company believes the historic experience and track record of senior management with gold heap leaching and by advancing in careful prudent steps helps ameliorate possible technical risks.