Results of Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Montagne d’Or Deposit
Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 8, 2015 - Nord Gold N.V. (“Nordgold” or the “Company”, LSE: NORD), the internationally diversified low-cost gold producer, is pleased to announce results of the NI 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) of the Montagne d’Or deposit in French Guyana, conducted by SRK Consulting.
Montagne d’Or PEA Highlights
- After-tax NPV at 8% of US$324 million
- After-tax IRR of 23% at a gold price of US$1,200 per ounce (“oz”)
- Initial capital cost of US$366 million, including US$44 million contingency
- All-in Sustaining costs (AISC) of US$711/oz
- Life of mine (“LOM”) production of 3.05 million ounces
- Average annual production of 273 thousand ounces (“koz”) in years 1-10
- Milling capacity 12,500 tonnes per day, average grade 2.0 gramme per tonne in years 1-10
Nikolai Zelenski, Chief Executive Officer of Nordgold, said:
Montagne d’Or is an exciting project and an important part of our long term growth pipeline, which also includes the development projects Bouly adjacent to our Bissa mine in Burkina Faso, and Gross adjacent to our Neryungri mine in Russia. The geographical diversity and outstanding quality of our growth pipeline reflects our international asset footprint and the strength of Nordgold’s geology and business development teams. We also have the track record that gives us confidence we can deliver these projects on time and on budget
There remains significant exploration upside at Montagne d’Or, but the drilled part of the ore body already supports mine development due to its large size, high grade, moderate stripping ratio and excellent metallurgical ore properties. Despite a deliberately conservative approach to the PEA consistent with the prudent manner in which we operate the business, we are pleased with the robust financial results. We therefore look forward to concluding a feasibility study to de-risk the project and further improve its economics.Nikolai Zelenski, Chief Executive Officer, Nordgold
The Montagne d'Or gold deposit is located in north-west French Guiana, 180 km west of the capital, Cayenne, and 80 km south of the department capital, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni.
In September 2013, Nordgold was granted an option by Columbus Gold Corp (CGT: TSX-V) to earn 50.01% of the Montagne d’Or project by completing a feasibility study no later than Q1 2017 and by spending at least US$30 million in development of the project. Nordgold spent US$16 million in 2014.
Nordgold has budgeted a further US$10 million in 2015 to cover: Feasibility Study field work, including in-fill drilling to upgrade part of the Indicated resources to the Measured category; condemnation drilling of the proposed infrastructure sites; geotechnical and hydrogeological investigations; and advanced metallurgical test work to support processing plant design. The drill rigs are on site and running. The Company also continues to investigate power supply options, in particular connection to the state owned grid.
In line with the agreement with Columbus Gold, Nordgold intends to start a feasibility study in Q3 2015 and targets completion in Q4 2016. The Preliminary Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) terms of references have been completed and the company expects to complete the ESIA by Q4 2016.
Nordgold’s development pipeline
Nordgold benefits from an international pipeline of development opportunities which include both Greenfield projects like Montagne d’Or but also near term development opportunities located adjacent to existing mine sites. These provide the Company with multiple advantages including: familiar ore characteristics, regulatory environments and geographies in which the Company already operates successfully; and logistical benefits. Other core development projects include:
Bouly: a development project located 5 km from Nordgold’s active Bissa mine in Burkina Faso. The project represents a large low-grade gold mineralisation, favourable for heap leach treatment. The Bouly average annual production will be approximately 120 koz over life of mine of 10 years. The project is expected to commence production in 2016.
Gross: an all-season open-pit heap leach project located in southwestern Yakutia, Russia, 4 km to the east of Neryungri mine. Gross is expected to mine approximately 12 million tonnes of ore and to produce approximately 230 koz of gold per year at full production for 17 years. The Company continues to progress the Project towards obtaining its construction permit, while continuing the Gross pilot stage with the aim of producing approximately 35 koz of gold in 2015.
Montagne d’Or Project description
The Montagne d’Or deposit supports an open pit mine with conventional CIL processing technology. The mine will have a moderate stripping ratio of 5 t/t. While the PEA allows for inclusion of Inferred Resources, more than 94% of in-pit resources are already in the Indicated category. Processing of low grade stockpiles is scheduled for years 12-13. The processing plant with an annual capacity of 4.5 million tonnes per year (“Mtpa”) will include three stage crushing, ball milling, gravity circuit, 9 leach tanks, and cyanide detoxification circuit. Gold recovery in the plant is anticipated to exceed 94%.
Two options are being considered for power supply: on-site power generation from HFO or palm oil or connection to the grid in St-Laurent. Due to a low Ball Mill Work Index of only 12 kWh/t, the mine will have competitive processing costs in either power supply scenario.
|Life of mine||13 years|
|In-pit resources||3.23 Moz|
|Stripping ratio||5 t/t|
|LOM average production||235 koz|
|LOM average grade||1.8 g/t|
|Total gold produced||3.05 Moz|
Capital costs, in US$ million
|Total Initial Capital Cost||366|
|Sustaining capital cost||216|
|Mine closure cost||25|
|LOM Total Capital Cost||608|
|Mining cost||US$11.4/ tonne of ore processed|
After-tax Financial results at a gold price of US$1,200/oz
|NPV||US$324 million at 8%|
|Payback period||3.5 years|
|Free cash flow||US$756 million|
Nordgold (LSE: NORD) is an internationally diversified low-cost gold producer established in 2007 and publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. The Company has expanded rapidly through carefully targeted acquisitions and organic growth, achieving a rate of growth unmatched in the industry during that period. In 2014, Nordgold’s gold production increased to 985 thousand ounces from 924 thousand ounces in 2013. The Company operates 9 mines and has 2 development projects, 4 advanced exploration projects and a diverse portfolio of early-stage exploration projects and licenses in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Russia, Kazakhstan, French Guiana and Canada. Nordgold employs more than 8,000 people.