New Gold Provides Update on Delineation and Exploration Programs at New Afton and Rainy River Operations
TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New Gold Inc. (“New Gold” or the “Company”) (TSX and NYSE American: NGD) provides an update on the 2019 delineation and exploration programs at the New Afton and Rainy River Mines. The Company had previously announced its intention to refocus the Company’s efforts on identifying organic growth opportunities by launching strategic exploration programs at both assets.
New Afton 2019 Exploration Program
The New Afton delineation and exploration programs are currently underway and include three key initiatives: 1) underground drilling to delineate and expand mineral resources within the Sub-level cave (“SLC”) Zone located to the east of the planned B3 block cave (Figure 1); 2) underground exploration drilling of the D-Zone target to test the potential for additional mineral resources down plunge of the C-Zone block cave mineral reserve (Figure 1); and 3) surface geophysical and geochemical surveys along the prospective Cherry Creek trend located within three kilometres of the New Afton mill (Figure 2).
Figure 1: New Afton Mine footprint with target locations
The drilling program for the SLC Zone was launched in February, with 46 holes completed to date totalling 9,100 metres, and exceeding the originally planned 8,700 metres. Results confirm the continuity of copper-gold mineralization that measures approximately 200 by 80 metres in plan and 200 metres down dip (Figures 3 to 6). Final results for these holes will be incorporated into the Company’s 2019 year-end mineral resource update. The SLC Zone drilling program is using an average of 30 metre drill hole spacings to support the anticipated delineation of measured and indicated mineral resources. Drilling continues to test the SLC Zone mineralization as it extends to the west and at depth (Refer to Table 1 at the end of this news release for full drill results).
Figure 3: SLC Zone delineation drilling and potential extension to the B3 Zone
Figure 4: Plan View 5025RL (mine grid coordinates and elevation) with SLC Zone drill hole traces and copper (%) intercepts
Figure 5: Plan View 4925RL (mine grid coordinates and elevation) with SLC Zone drill hole traces and copper (%) intercepts
Figure 6: Plan View 4825RL (mine grid coordinates and elevation) with SLC Zone drill hole traces and copper (%) intercepts
SLC Zone Drill Highlights
Exploration drilling in the D-Zone was launched in the second quarter of 2019 and is designed to test the potential for additional mineral resources below the C-Zone block cave reserve. Two holes totalling 1,630 metres of the planned 8,500 metres have been completed to date, which have intercepted moderate to strong chalcopyrite mineralization over narrow widths within a broader zone of weaker mineralization. A third step-out hole to evaluate whether the grade and thickness of copper-gold occurrences increase further down plunge is in progress. Results of this initial test will be evaluated following the conclusion of the drilling program in August.
Cherry Creek Trend
Exploration of the regional mineral tenements as they extend outside the New Afton Mine lease will be launched as early as the third quarter of 2019, once permits have been received. Reconnaissance surveys that were completed in 2017 and 2018 identified a 12 kilometre trend of anomalous copper-gold mineralization associated with epithermal and porphyry style alteration along the Cherry Creek fault trend, located within three kilometres of the New Afton Mine site. Geochemical and geophysical grid surveys are planned to define and prioritize prospective targets to be further evaluated through a first pass drilling campaign scheduled to commence towards the end of the third quarter of 2019.
Rainy River 2019 Exploration Program
Exploration drilling to test the potential for additional gold mineralization in the sequence of favourable host rocks as it extends north of the Intrepid Zone will commence at the end of May. Additionally, surface reconnaissance exploration over the Company’s broader regional claim holdings to the northeast and southwest of the mine area is planned to start early in the third quarter of 2019 (Figure 7).
Figure 7: Rainy River Exploration - Intrepid North target locations
About New Gold Inc.
New Gold is a Canadian-focused intermediate gold mining Company. The Company has a portfolio of two core producing assets in top-rated jurisdictions, the Rainy River and New Afton Mines in Canada. The Company also operates the Cerro San Pedro Mine in Mexico (which transitioned to residual leaching in 2016). In addition, New Gold owns 100 per cent of the Blackwater project located in Canada. New Gold’s objective is to be a leading intermediate gold producer, focused on the environment and social responsibility. For further information on the Company, please visit www.newgold.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this news release, including any information relating to New Gold’s future financial or operating performance are “forward looking”. All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical fact, which address events, results, outcomes or developments that New Gold expects to occur are “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “targeted”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “projects”, “potential”, “believes” or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “should”, “might” or “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved” or the negative connotation of such terms. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, among others, statements with respect to future exploration activities and the timing of such activities, the results of exploration activities including future reserve or resource estimates and their timing, and expansion of mineralization and future growth opportunities.
All forward-looking statements in this news release are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made and are subject to important risk factors and uncertainties, many of which are beyond New Gold’s ability to control or predict. Certain material assumptions regarding such forward-looking statements are discussed in this news release, New Gold’s latest annual management’s discussion and analysis (“MD&A”), Annual Information Form and Technical Reports filed at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov. In addition to, and subject to, such assumptions discussed in more detail elsewhere, the forward-looking statements in this news release are also subject to the following assumptions: (1) there being no significant disruptions affecting New Gold’s operations; (2) political and legal developments in jurisdictions where New Gold operates, or may in the future operate, being consistent with New Gold’s current expectations; (3) the accuracy of New Gold’s current mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates; (4) the exchange rate between the Canadian dollar and U.S. dollar, and to a lesser extent, the Mexican Peso, being approximately consistent with current levels; (5) prices for diesel, natural gas, fuel oil, electricity and other key supplies being approximately consistent with current levels; (6) equipment, labour and materials costs increasing on a basis consistent with New Gold’s current expectations; (7) arrangements with First Nations and other Aboriginal groups in respect of the Rainy River and New Afton mines being consistent with New Gold’s current expectations; and (8) all required permits, licenses and authorizations being obtained from the relevant governments and other relevant stakeholders within the expected timelines and the absence of material negative comments during the applicable regulatory processes.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based on estimates and assumptions that are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation: significant capital requirements and the availability and management of capital resources; additional funding requirements; price volatility in the spot and forward markets for metals and other commodities; fluctuations in the international currency markets and in the rates of exchange of the currencies of Canada, the United States and, to a lesser extent, Mexico; discrepancies between actual and estimated production, between actual and estimated mineral reserves and mineral resources and between actual and estimated metallurgical recoveries; risks related to early production at the Rainy River Mine, including failure of equipment, machinery, the process circuit or other processes to perform as designed or intended; fluctuation in treatment and refining charges; changes in national and local government legislation in Canada, the United States and, to a lesser extent, Mexico or any other country in which New Gold currently or may in the future carry on business; taxation; controls, regulations and political or economic developments in the countries in which New Gold does or may carry on business; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining and maintaining the validity and enforceability of the necessary licenses and permits and complying with the permitting requirements of each jurisdiction in which New Gold operates, the lack of certainty with respect to foreign legal systems, which may not be immune from the influence of political pressure, corruption or other factors that are inconsistent with the rule of law; the uncertainties inherent to current and future legal challenges New Gold is or may become a party to; diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves and mineral resources; competition; loss of key employees; rising costs of labour, supplies, fuel and equipment; actual results of current exploration or reclamation activities; uncertainties inherent to mining economic studies; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; accidents; labour disputes; defective title to mineral claims or property or contests over claims to mineral properties; unexpected delays and costs inherent to consulting and accommodating rights of Indigenous groups; risks, uncertainties and unanticipated delays associated with obtaining and maintaining necessary licenses, permits and authorizations and complying with permitting requirements. In addition, there are risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, including environmental events and hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations, pressures, cave-ins, excess water, flooding and gold bullion losses and risks associated with the start of production of a mine, such as Rainy River, (and the risk of inadequate insurance or inability to obtain insurance to cover these risks) as well as “Risk Factors” included in New Gold’s Annual Information Form, MD&A and other disclosure documents filed on and available at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results and future events could materially differ from those anticipated in such statements. All of the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are qualified by these cautionary statements. New Gold expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, events or otherwise, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
The scientific and technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Mr. Michele Della Libera, Director Exploration of New Gold. Mr. Della Libera is a Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.) and Practising Member of the Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario and a “Qualified Person” as defined under National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Della Libera has verified the data disclosed in this news release, including the exploration, analytical and testing data underlying the information. His verification included a review of the applicable assay databases and reviews of the assay certificates. No limitations were imposed on Mr. Della Libera’s verification process.
New Gold maintains a Quality Assurance / Quality Control (“QA/QC”) program at its New Afton mine operation using industry best practices and is consistent with the QA/QC protocols in use at all of the Company’s exploration and development projects. Key elements of New Gold’s QA/QC program include chain of custody of samples, regular insertion of certified reference standards and blanks, and duplicate check assays. Drill core is sampled at regular two metres intervals, halved and shipped in sealed bags to Actlabs Laboratories in Kamloops, British Columbia. Additional information regarding the Company’s quality assurance processes is set out in the March 25, 2015 New Afton NI 43-101 Technical Report available at www.sedar.com.
For additional technical information on New Gold’s material properties, including a detailed breakdown of Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources by category, as well as key assumptions, parameters and risks, refer to New Gold’s Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2018.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Readers Concerning Estimates of Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources
Information concerning the properties and operations of New Gold has been prepared in accordance with Canadian standards under applicable Canadian securities laws, and may not be comparable to similar information for United States companies. The terms "Mineral Resource", "Measured Mineral Resource", "Indicated Mineral Resource" and "Inferred Mineral Resource" used in this news release are Canadian mining terms as defined in the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum ("CIM") Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves adopted by CIM Council on May 10, 2014 and incorporated by reference in National Instrument 43-101. While the terms "Mineral Resource", "Measured Mineral Resource", "Indicated Mineral Resource" and "Inferred Mineral Resource" are recognized and required by Canadian securities regulations, they are not defined terms under standards of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. As such, certain information contained in this news release concerning descriptions of mineralization and mineral resources under Canadian standards is not comparable to similar information made public by United States companies subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
An "Inferred Mineral Resource" has a great amount of uncertainty as to its existence and as to its economic and legal feasibility. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an "Inferred Mineral Resource" will ever be upgraded to a higher confidence category. Readers are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an "Inferred Mineral Resource" exists or is economically or legally mineable.
Under United States standards, mineralization may not be classified as a "Reserve" unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or extracted at the time the reserve estimation is made. Readers are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of the measured or indicated mineral resources will ever be converted into mineral reserves. In addition, the definitions of "Proven Mineral Reserves" and "Probable Mineral Reserves" under CIM standards differ in certain respects from the standards of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Table 1: SLC and D-Zone Drill Assay Summary
Drill Hole Collar Coordinates
|Drill Hole ID||