Columbus Gold (TSX:CGT)(OTCQX:CBGDF)(“Columbus”) is pleased to announce that preparations are underway for an exploration drilling program at its 100% owned Montagne d’Or Gold Deposit in French Guiana. Montagne d’Or hosts Indicated mineral resources of 3.9 million ounces (83.2 million tonnes grading 1.45 g/t gold) and Inferred mineral resources of 1.1 million ounces (22.4 million tonnes …
In anticipation of the completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study on the Montagne d’Or gold deposit in the first quarter of 2017, an exploration focused drilling program is being planned for commencement in January, with the objective of assessing expansion potential.
Drilling equipment is scheduled to be mobilized on site during the month of December in combination with access road and drill pad construction. The program will consist of 41 core holes, for a total 6,750 meters, designed as a first pass investigation of exploration targets on strike of, and in very close proximity of the currently defined mineral resources that form the deposit. Three separate targets will be tested OUTSIDE OF the deposit envelope:
- the west extension of the Montagne d’Or deposit (holes 03 to 25);
- the Gustave geochemical anomaly 750 meters east of the Montagne d’Or deposit (holes 30 to 38); and
- mesothermal quartz-gold vein systems (holes 39 to 41).
In addition, WITHIN the deposit envelope:
- two holes (holes 01 & 02) will test the depth extension of the gold mineralization. To date the vertical depth of drilling has averaged only about 250 meters; and
- four drill holes (holes 26 to 29) will assess the east strike extent of a favorable mafic volcanic/felsic volcanoclastic contact.
Please refer to the following map for the locations of the target areas and planned drill holes:
Depth extension of the Montagne d’Or deposit
Two deep drill holes (01 and 02), of 740 and 760 meters in length, will test the down-dip extent of the principal UFZ and secondary LFZ mineralized zones on drill sections 2890mE and 3100mE, within the west-central segment of the deposit. This segment displays the best continuity and average grade of the gold mineralized envelopes within the drilled-out area. The UFZ is projected to be intersected at -350 meters of vertical depth from surface (-100m ASL elevation), 100 meters below the intersection of 2.88 g/t gold over 67.0 meters obtained in hole MO-12-72, on drill section 3010mE at 250 meters vertical depth (0m ASL elevation). A cross section is available at the following link:
West extension of the Montagne d’Or deposit
Magnetic, electromagnetic and radiometric airborne geophysical survey data has traced the prospective volcano-sedimentary sequence hosting the Montagne d’Or gold deposit for up to 5 km to the west. Twenty-three (23) holes on four drill fences, located on sections 2200mE, 2000mE, 1600mE and 1150mE, are planned to test the soil-gold anomaly and rock chip gold values obtained along the western projection of the drill-defined mineral resources. The planned drill fences represent 200-, 200-, 400- and 450-meter step-outs, respectively, for a total strike distance of 1,250 meters from the western limit of the Montagne d’Or mineral resources at 2400mE. Drill hole fences 1600mE and 1150mE are located outside mining concession C02/46 on the “Cigaline” Exclusive Exploration Permits (“PER”) granted to Columbus recently in July 2016 (refer to news release dated July 27th, 2016).
Drill hole fences 2200mE and 2000mE (holes 03 to 14) will test the principal UFZ and secondary LFZ zones at 200-meter spacing along strike from drill section 2400mE. The holes will also test the WSW extent of an ENE-trending gold mineralized structure intersected in historical hole MO-97-29 and MO-97-30, which returned intercepts of 10.96 g/t gold over 3.0 meters and 11.58 g/t gold over 4.5 meters, respectively.
Drill hole fence 1600mE (holes 15 to 20) was designed to traverse the entire thickness of the prospective volcano-sedimentary sequence, 800 meters on strike from the Montagne d’Or mineral resources. The area geology is masked by a layer of displaced material (landslide) originating from the upper elevations of the Dékou-Dékou massif to the south. Note that the truncation of the soil-gold anomaly over this area is a result of the landslide cover.
Drill hole fence 1150mE (holes 21 to 25) will the test the soil-gold anomaly and rock chip gold values obtained from sulphide mineralized volcanics exposed in drainages. The ore type is comparable to Montagne d’Or.
Gustave geochemical anomaly
Drill hole fence 30 to 35 will traverse a broad northwesterly-aligned soil-gold anomaly. The geochemical anomaly, located 500 meters to the east of the eastern limit of the Montagne d’Or mineral resources, straddles the boundary between mining concession C02/46 and the “Bernard” Exclusive Exploration Permits (“PER”) granted to Columbus in July 2016. Holes 36 to 38, on the same fence as holes 30 to 35, will investigate a cross-cutting WNW-ESE aligned soil-gold anomaly.
The highest values within the Gustave soil-gold anomaly are centered on a quartz vein uncovered at the southwest limit of the trend, referred to as the “Gustave” vein. The Gustave vein, oriented N40°W and dipping 60° to the NE, was tested with two core holes in historical drilling in 1997 (MO-97-47 and -48). An intersection of 31.94 g/t gold over 3.5 meters was returned in hole MO-97-48 within the immediate wall of the vein.
Mesothermal quartz-gold vein systems
Drill holes 39, 40 and 41 will investigate soil-gold anomalies obtained on prominent linear N-S, NNE- and NNW-aligned topographic highs, where quartz vein debris is exposed along the flanks. The ridges are interpreted to be cored by resistant quartz veins. Within Columbus’ claim block, these structural orientations are known to host quartz-gold veins and stockworks, such as at the Élysée prospect, located 10 km to the west-northwest of the Montagne d’Or deposit.
A Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”)** for the Montagne d’Or deposit was completed by SRK Consulting (U.S.) Inc. in July 2015 (refer to News Releases dated July 8, 2015 and August 4, 2015). The PEA estimates approximately 273,000 ounces of gold produced per year in the first 10 years of production at an All-In Sustaining Capital Cost per ounce of US$711, and a mined head-grade of 2.0 g/t gold. A Bankable Feasibility Study (“BFS”) and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (“ESIA”) is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2017. The studies are being funded by Nord Gold S.E. (LSE: NORD LI) pursuant to which they can earn a 50.01% interest (for a total of 55.01%) in Montagne d’Or.
Rock Lefrançois, Chief Operating Officer for Columbus and Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed this news release and is responsible for the technical information reported herein.
* Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
** The PEA is preliminary in nature; it 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. The PEA estimates economic results using a US$1,200/oz gold price, and an NPV 8%. Initial Capital Cost are estimated at US$366 million for a 13-year mine life. For the first 11 years, the annual recovered gold production is approximately 265,000 oz/year. The NPV 8% changes by approximately US$1.1 million per dollar change in gold price; and makes taxation assumptions on the French tax code.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD,
Robert F. Giustra, Chairman & CEO
This release contains forward-looking information and statements, as defined by law including without limitation Canadian securities laws and the “safe harbor” provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“forward-looking statements”), respecting Columbus: the expected exploration potential provided by the new exploration permits; the extent of and anticipated timeline to commence a first phase exploration program under the new permits; the estimation of mineral resources; the realization of mineral resource estimates; the realization of the expected economics of the Montagne d’Or deposit; and general exploration plans. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including: the actual results of current and future exploration activities; changes in project parameters and/or economic assessments as plans continue to be refined; future prices of metals; possible variations of mineral grade or rates of recovery; ability to acquire necessary permits and other authorizations; environmental compliance; cost increases; availability of qualified workers and drill equipment; competition for mining properties; risks associated with exploration projects including, without limitation, the accuracy of interpretations; mineral reserve and resource estimates (including the risk of assumption and methodology errors and ability to complete a new resource estimate by the proposed target date or at all); the ability to meet proposed schedules for the completion of metallurgical tests; the ability to complete the feasibility study by the stated deadline or at all; dependence on third parties for services; non-performance by contractual counterparties; title risks; risks associated with Nord Gold S.E. electing not to exercise its option and make the related option payments; and general business and economic conditions. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions that may prove to be incorrect, including without limitation assumptions about the following: that the proposed drilling program will be completed in full and to plan; the assumptions contained in Columbus’ Preliminary Economic Assessment are accurate and complete; that the mineral resource update is positive; that the results of the Feasibility Study will be positive; general business and economic conditions; the timing and receipt of required approvals and permits; the availability of financing; power prices; the ability to procure equipment and supplies including, without limitation, drill rigs; and ongoing relations with employees, partners, optionees and joint venturers. The foregoing list is not exhaustive and Columbus undertakes no obligation to update any of the foregoing except as required by law.