GIGA Metals

Trigon Metals Announces Improved PEA and Updated Mineral Resource Estimate and Fulfils Conditions for Second Tranche of Private Placement Financing

KEY RESTART HIGHLIGHTS

  • Updated and improved PEA NPV of estimated US$86.7 million with highly attractive internal rate of return of 98.6%.
     
  • Forecast open pit production of approximately 4,000 tonnes of copper per annum, at an average C1 cash cost of US$1.32/CuEq tonne over the life of mine of Kombat.
     
  • Upgraded NI 43-101 Mineral Resource estimate for the open pit portion of the Kombat Mine of 1.529 million tonnes of Indicated Mineral Resources at a grade of 1.14% copper, 0.72% lead and 2.88 g/t silver and 1.654 million tonnes of Inferred Mineral Resources at a grade of 1.38% copper, 1.82% lead and 2.12 g/t silver.
     
  • Increase in NI 43-101 Mineral Resource estimate for the underground portion of the Kombat Mine to 3.929 million tonnes of Inferred Mineral Resources at a grade of 3.72% copper, 1.03% lead and 31.29 g/t silver.  
     
  • Environmental Impact Assessment completed for stakeholder comments and application for environmental permitting to be made in February 2018.
     
  • Feasibility study to be completed by May 2018.
     
  • Fulfilment of conditions precedent to close the second tranche of the previously announced private placement for gross proceeds of $1,500,000. 

TORONTO, Feb. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Trigon Metals Inc. (TSX-V:TM) (“Trigon” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce an updated Mineral Resource estimate for its Kombat Mine located in northern Namibia of 1.529 million tonnes of Indicated Mineral Resources at a grade of 1.14% copper, 0.72% lead and 2.88 g/t silver and 5.583 million tonnes of Inferred Mineral Resources at a grade of 3.02% copper, 1.26% lead and 22.65 g/t silver (the “Updated Mineral Resource Estimate”).

Stephan Theron, President and CEO of Trigon, commented: “We are extremely pleased with such a positive start to the new year, and remain on target to achieve production within the year.  Commodity markets continue to forecast bullish prices and we look forward to Trigon participating in this upside.” 

In aggregate, the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate is comprised of the surface accessible (targeted open pit) Mineral Resources of 1.529 million tonnes of Indicated Mineral Resources at a grade of 1.14% copper, 0.72% lead and 2.88 g/t silver and 1.654 million tonnes of Inferred Mineral Resources at a grade of 1.38% copper, 1.82% lead and 2.12 g/t silver, and the underground Mineral Resources of 3.929 million tonnes of Inferred Mineral Resources at a grade of 3.72% copper, 1.03% lead and 31.29 g/t silver, as further presented in the tables below.

The Updated Mineral Resource Estimate has been defined using the results of the drilling program undertaken by the Company in 2017.  The program was focused on the Kombat Central and East targeted open pit areas with 48 holes for an aggregate of 2,179 meters drilled.  The primary aim of the drilling program was to upgrade the targeted open pit Mineral Resources from the Inferred category to Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources categories. 

The Company still plans to undertake additional drilling with the goals of: (i) increasing the open pit Mineral Resource within the current pit boundaries, (ii) drilling the gap between the Central and East pits, which is outside of the existing pit boundaries, and (iii) testing potential to the north and west of these areas.  The three phase drilling program to extend the current open pit Mineral Resource comprises a further 34 holes, with an aggregate of 1,437 meters to be drilled.

Updated Mineral Resource Estimate

The Updated Mineral Resource Estimate, as presented in detail in Tables 1, 2 and 3 below, has been prepared and classified by Minxcon (Pty) Ltd (“Minxcon”) in accordance with the reporting guidelines as set out in National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) as required by the Canadian Securities Administrators.  A technical report will be filed under the Company’s profile on SEDAR within 45 days of this press release. For further information with respect to the key assumptions, parameters, risks, the mineral resource estimate, data verification, QA/QC and other technical information with respect to the Kombat Mine, please refer to the technical report, when available.

Table 1 below is a summary of the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the open pit areas (Kombat and Gross Otavi) as at January 28, 2018.

The previous Mineral Resource Estimate for the open pit areas (Kombat and Gross Otavi) as at April 2017, was an Inferred Mineral Resource of 3.053 million tonnes grading 1.54% copper, 1.35% lead and 2.98 g/t silver, at a cut-off grade of 0.77% copper equivalent.

Table 1 – Updated Mineral Resource Estimate as at January 28, 2018 – open pit

Open pit (Kombat 0.60 % CuEq cut off & Otavi 0.77 % CuEq cut off)
Mine Resource Class Section Tonnes
(Mt)
Density
(t/m3)
Cu (%) Pb (%) Ag (ppm) Cu
(tonnes)
Pb
(Tonnes)
Ag
(kg)
Kombat Indicated East 0.951 2.82 1.03 0.92 1.01 9,806 8,721 961
Kombat Indicated Central 0.578 2.81 1.32 0.41 5.96 7,623 2,341 3,440
Kombat Indicated West                
Total Indicated   1.529 2.82 1.14 0.72 2.88 17,428 11,062 4,401
                   
Kombat Inferred East 0.318 2.81 0.91 0.42 1.87 2,888 1,322 593
Kombat Inferred Central 0.264 2.82 1.29 0.61 5.70 3,412 1,612 1,508
Kombat Inferred West 0.357 2.88 2.75 2.61 2.22 9,801 9,326 791
Kombat (total) Inferred   0.939  2.84 1.71 1.31 3.08 16,101 12,260 2,892
Otavi Inferred Total 0.715 2.84 0.93 2.50 0.85 6,673 17,837 607
Total Inferred Total 1.654 2.84 1.38 1.82 2.12 22,774 30,097 3,498
                     
Open pit Total 3.182 2.83 1.27 1.31 2.47 40,202 41,158 7,899

Notes

  1. Historical mine voids have been depleted from the Mineral Resource.
  2. Historical mine voids were not available for Gross Otavi so the tonnage has been reduced by 1% for historical mining.
  3. Additional 7.5% porosity factor has been applied to Gross Otavi for the karst voids.
  4. The open pit Mineral Resource is declared to a depth of 150m with a CuEq cut off of 0.60% at Kombat and 0.77% at Gross Otavi.
  5. Densities for the hard rock material have been modelled.
  6. A geological loss of 10% has been applied to the Indicated Mineral Resource, and of 15% to the Inferred Mineral Resource.
  7. The cut-off for the East and Central pit Updated Mineral Resource Estimate is based on a copper price of US$8,535/tonne.  The previous Mineral Resource Estimate was based on a copper price of US$7,111/tonne.
  8. All reported Mineral Resources are limited to fall within the property boundaries of the project area.
  9. Columns may not add up due to rounding.
  10. Inferred Mineral Resources have a large degree of uncertainty as to their existence and whether they can be mined economically. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of the Inferred Mineral Resource will be upgraded to a higher confidence category.
  11. There are no known environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-economic, political, marketing or other relevant factors that could materially affect the above estimate of mineral resources.

Table 2 below is a summary of the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the underground areas at Kombat as at January 28, 2018.

The previous Mineral Resource Estimate for the underground areas at Kombat as at April 2017, was an Inferred Mineral Resource of 3.851 million tonnes grading 3.75% copper, 1.00% lead and 31.86 g/t silver, at a cut-off grade of 1.40% copper equivalent.

Table 2 – Updated Mineral Resource Estimate as at January 28, 2018 – underground

Underground (1.4 % CuEq cut off)
Mine Resource Class Section Tonnes
(Mt)
Density
(t/m3)
Cu (%) Pb (%) Ag (ppm) Cu
(tonnes)
Pb
(Tonnes)
Ag
(kg)
Kombat Inferred East 0.079 2.86 1.93 2.25 0.71 1,521 1,773 56
Kombat Inferred Central 0.023 2.89 2.23 3.86 8.39 514 890 193
Kombat Inferred West 0.104 2.91 2.79 4.15 3.27 2,899 4,307 339
Kombat Inferred Total 0.206 2.89 2.40 3.39 2.86 4,934 6,971 588
                     
Asis Inferred West 2.641 2.88 3.94 1.22 31.65 104,122 32,325 83,592
Asis Inferred Far West 1.082 2.85 3.42 0.10 35.81 37, 000 1,036 38,763
Asis Inferred Total 3.723 2.87 3.79 0.90 32.86 141, 122 33,361 122,355
                     
Underground Total 3.929 2.87 3.72 1.03 31.29 146,056 40,331 122,943

Notes

  1. Historical mine voids have been depleted from the Mineral Resource.
  2. The underground Mineral Resource (below 150m) is declared at a CuEq cut off of 1.4%.
  3. Densities for the hard rock material have been modelled.
  4. A geological loss of 15% has been applied to the Inferred Mineral Resource.
  5. All reported Mineral Resources are limited to fall within the property boundaries of the project area.
  6. Columns may not add up due to rounding.
  7. Inferred Mineral Resources have a large degree of uncertainty as to their existence and whether they can be mined economically. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of the Inferred Mineral Resource will be upgraded to a higher confidence category.
  8. There are no known environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-economic, political, marketing or other relevant factors that could materially affect the above estimate of mineral resources.

Table 3 below is a summary of the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the combined open pit and underground areas at Kombat, Asis and Gross Otavi as at January 28, 2018.

The previous combined total Mineral Resource Estimate for Kombat, Asis and Gross Otavi as at April 2017, was an Inferred Mineral Resource of 6.905 million tonnes grading 2.78% copper, 1.14% lead and 19.11 g/t silver.

Table 3 – Updated Mineral Resource Estimate as at January 28, 2018 – combined

Combined Open Pit and UG Resource
Mine Resource Class Section Tonnes
(Mt)
Density
(t/m3)
Cu (%) Pb (%) Ag (ppm) Cu
(tonnes)
Pb
(Tonnes)
Ag
(kg)
Kombat Indicated All 1.529 2.82 1.14 0.72 2.88 17,428 11,062 4,401
Total Indicated Total 1.529 2.82 1.14 0.72 2.88 17,428 11,062 4,401
                     
Kombat Inferred All 1.144 2.85 1.84 1.68 3.04 21,035 19,231 3,480
Otavi Inferred Otavi 0.715 2.84 0.93 2.50 0.85 6,673 17,837 607
Asis Inferred West 2.641 2.88 3.94 1.22 31.65 104,122 32,325 83,592
Asis Inferred Far West 1.082 2.85 3.42 0.10 35.81 37,000 1,036 38,763
Total Inferred Total 5.583 2.86 3.02 1.26 22.65 168,830 70,428 126,441
                     
Total (Indicated & Inferred) 7.111 2.85 2.62 1.15 18.40 186,259 81,490 130,842

Notes

  1. Historical mine voids have been depleted from the Mineral Resource.
  2. Historical mine voids were not available for Gross Otavi so the tonnage has been reduced by 1% for historical mining.
  3. Additional 7.5% porosity factor has been applied to Gross Otavi for the karst voids.
  4. The open pit Mineral Resource is declared to a depth of 150m with a CuEq cut off of 0.60% at Kombat and 0.77% at Gross Otavi.
  5. The underground Mineral Resource (below 150m) is declared at a CuEq cut off of 1.4%.
  6. No tailings have been declared at a 0.4% Cu cut off (upside potential at 0.3% Cu cut-off).
  7. Densities for the hard rock material have been modelled.
  8. A geological loss of 10% has been applied to the Indicated Mineral Resource, and of 15% to the Inferred Mineral Resource.
  9. The cut-off for the East and Central pit Updated Mineral Resource Estimate is based on a copper price of US$8,535/tonne.  The previous Mineral Resource Estimate was based on a copper price of US$7,111/tonne.
  10. All reported Mineral Resources are limited to fall within the property boundaries of the project area.
  11. Columns may not add up due to rounding.
  12. Inferred Mineral Resources have a large degree of uncertainty as to their existence and whether they can be mined economically. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of the Inferred Mineral Resource will be upgraded to a higher confidence category.
  13. There are no known environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-economic, political, marketing or other relevant factors that could materially affect the above estimate of mineral resources.

Feasibility Study

As previously announced by the Company, the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate will form the basis for a feasibility study, including a feasibility analysis on the surface mining areas and a pre-feasibility design on the Asis Far West underground mine. 

The feasibility study was initiated in January 2018 and is anticipated to take approximately five months to complete.  During this time, the Company intends to commence with the refurbishment of the mill and concentrator to facilitate timelines for commencement of open pit mining and the processing of ore therefrom.

The Company does not currently have a feasibility study in respect of the Kombat Mine and production restart activities are based on internal management forecasts.

Updated PEA

In conjunction with the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate, the Company has also updated the financial model used in the Company’s preliminary economic assessment (“PEA”) which is summarized within the Company’s National Instrument 43-101 compliant technical report entitled “NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Kombat Copper Project, Namibia” dated May 31, 2017 (the “Updated PEA”).  The technical report is available under the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Company’s website at www.trigonmetals.com.  The Updated PEA will be included in the Company’s new technical report which will be filed under the Company’s profile on SEDAR within 45 days of this press release.

The Updated PEA has been based on the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate as set out above, and incorporates current forecast commodity prices, results of metallurgical testing undertaken in 2017 and offtake terms for copper concentrate as agreed with a major international trading house as announced on October 26, 2017.  All other assumptions used in the PEA, including capital expenditure and operating costs, remain unchanged at this stage.

Using the discounted cash flow method to calculate the net present value (“NPV”) in real terms, the Kombat operations are projected to have an improved estimated NPV of US$86.7 million at a real discount rate of 10.92%, a payback period of 3.4 years and a highly attractive internal rate of return of 98.6%.

The combined open pits and underground mines have a potential life of mine (“LoM”) of eight years mining 4,071 kt at an average mined grade of 2.84% copper as set out in the table below.

  Item Unit Updated PEA
  Ore Tonnes Mined  kt 4,071 
 Average Cu Grade Mined % 2.84%
  Average Pb Grade Mined % 1.00%
  Average Ag Grade Mined g/t 21.85 
  Total Cu Concentrate kt 361 
  Total Pb Concentrate kt 22 
  Total Cu Metal Recovered kt 105 
  Total Pb Metal Recovered kt 13 
  Total Ag Metal Recovered koz 2,385 
  LoM Years

The following commodity price forecasts have been used in the Updated PEA.

Item Unit 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 Long term
Silver US$/oz 17.61 17.61 17.61 17.61 17.61  17.61
Copper US$/tonne 6,578 6,527 6,653 6,581 6,464  6,551
Copper US$/lb 2.98 2.96 3.02 2.99 2.93 2.97
Lead US$/tonne 2,419 2,225 2,073 2,035 1,975 1,966
Lead US$/lb 1.10 1.01 0.94 0.92 0.90 0.89

The turnover, cost and earnings numbers are displayed in the tables below per recovered copper equivalent pound.

Item Unit Updated PEA
Copper Equivalent Tonnes Tonnes   107,237
Net Turnover US$/CuEq lb   2.98
Mine Cost US$/CuEq lb   0.62
Plant Costs US$/CuEq lb   0.21
Other Costs US$/CuEq lb   0.50
Direct Cash Costs (C1) US$/CuEq lb   1.32
Capex US$/CuEq lb   0.35
Production Costs (C2) US$/CuEq lb   1.67
Royalties US$/CuEq lb   0.08
Corporate Overheads US$/CuEq lb   0.05
All-in Sustainable Costs (C3) US$/CuEq lb   1.81
EBITDA US$CuEq lb   1.52

The Updated PEA is preliminary in nature, and includes inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There is no certainty that the results of the Updated PEA will be realized.

A further update of the Updated PEA will be undertaken as part of the feasibility study referred to above.

Environmental Permitting

The Environmental Impact Assessment reports, including required specialist studies and an Environmental Management Plan, have been prepared and made available to stakeholders for comment until February 23, 2018.  The Company will then apply to secure the Environmental Clearance Certificate required for open pit mining and associated activities.  An application for the permitting needed for exploration activities for underground mining will be made once comments from stakeholders have been received and appropriately addressed.

Private placement financing

On December 19, 2017, Trigon announced a strategic investment by investors introduced to the Company by Forbes & Manhattan Resources Inc. (“Forbes”) pursuant to a private placement financing of up to 5,714,285 units (the “Units”) in two tranches, at a price of $0.35 per Unit, for gross proceeds of up to $2,000,000  (the “Offering”). 

Each Unit consists of one common share of the Company (a “Share”) and one common share purchase warrant (a “Warrant”). Each Warrant entitles the holder thereof to acquire one Share at a price of $0.50 for a period of 24 months following the closing date of the relevant tranche, subject to an acceleration provision whereby in the event that at any time after the expiry of the statutory hold period, the Shares trade at $1.00 or higher on the TSX Venture Exchange (on an average trading volume of not less than 200,000 Shares per day) for a period of 20 consecutive days, the Company shall have the right to accelerate the expiry date of the Warrants to the date that is 30 days after the Company issues a news release announcing that it has elected to exercise the acceleration right.

The first tranche of the Offering was closed on January 15, 2018 for aggregate gross proceeds of $500,000.

The second tranche of the Offering (the “Second Tranche”), for gross proceeds of $1,500,000, was conditional on the Company completing the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate and the Updated PEA.  The conditions to the Second Tranche have now been fulfilled and the Second Tranche is expected to close on or before February 15, 2018, subject to final approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.  The securities issued pursuant to the Second Tranche will be subject to a four month and one day statutory hold period.

The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the Second Tranche for preparation of the feasibility study referred to above, exploration and development of the Kombat mine, to secure equipment for the refurbishment of the existing mill and concentrator at the Kombat mine and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Following the completion of the First and Second Tranches, if the Company completes a private placement financing for gross proceeds of at least $1,000,000 on or before April 30, 2018 with investors introduced to the Company by Forbes, Forbes shall be entitled to receive a production payment related to the Company’s Namibian open pit mining operations (the “Production Payment”). The Production Payment will be calculated as 0.5% of net smelter returns related to the Company’s Namibian open pit mining operations. The Production Payment will be payable on a quarterly basis from commencement of production from the Kombat mine open pit until depletion of the open pit resource as described in the Updated Resource Estimate or any future increases thereof.

Qualified Person

Mr. Uwe Engelmann (BSc (Zoo. & Bot.), BSc Hons (Geol.), Pr.Sci.Nat. No. 400058/08, MGSSA) of Minxcon, is a "qualified person" as such term is defined in NI 43- 101 and has reviewed and approved the technical information and data included in this press release. As a director of Minxcon, Mr. Engelmann is considered independent.

Trigon Metals Inc.

Trigon is a publicly traded Canadian exploration and development company with its core business focused on copper operations in Namibia, one of the world’s most prospective copper regions, where it has substantial assets in place with significant upside. The Company continues to hold an 80% interest in five mining licenses in the Otavi Mountain lands, an area of Namibia widely recognized for its high-grade copper deposits. Within these licenses are three past producing mines including the Company’s flagship property, the Kombat Mine.

For further information, contact:

Blake Hylands
Investor Relations +1 (416) 216 5445
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: www.trigonmetals.com

Cautionary Notes

This news release may contain forward-looking statements. These statements include statements regarding the estimated mineral resources in the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate, the projections in the Updated PEA, the Company’s ability to complete the feasibility study, the Company’s strategies and the Company’s abilities to execute such strategies, the Company’s ability to restart the Kombat Mine, the Company’s ability to complete the Second Tranche, the Company’s ability to obtain adequate financing, the Company’s expectations for the Kombat Mine, the economic viability of mining at the Kombat Mine, the timing of completion of the technical report, the results of the technical report and the Company’s future plans and objectives. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors discussed in the management discussion and analysis section of our interim and most recent annual financial statements or other reports and filings with the TSX Venture Exchange and applicable Canadian securities regulations. We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable laws.

Neither 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.

This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities in the United States. The securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”) or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to U.S. Persons unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or an exemption from such registration is available.

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