Goldboro Project

The Goldboro Project

The Goldboro Gold Project (“Goldboro”) is an advanced exploration and development project that forms a strategic part of Anaconda’s strategy for near-term growth.  Goldboro is located on tidewater approximately 185 km northeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia within Nova Scotia’s Eastern Goldfields District. Anaconda acquired the project as part of a merger with 100%-owned subsidiary Orex Exploration Inc. in early 2017. 

Goldboro Development

Anaconda has been completing geotechnical, hydrogeological, baseline environmental studies and community and aboriginal consultations since acquiring the project. Additionally, Anaconda is currently undertaking a 10,000+ metre infill and exploration diamond drilling program that will continue through Q4 2018.

Anaconda has received permits required to proceed with the extraction of a proposed 10,000-tonne underground bulk sample. In connection with the Bulk Sample, Anaconda has engaged Cementation Canada Inc. ("Cementation") as the mining contractor to assist in the underground development and Bulk Sample extraction. Cementation has mobilized to site and will begin development work immediately. The Bulk Sample process is expected to take approximately four months with results to follow thereafter.

The Bulk Sample will provide valuable geological, operational and processing information for design and optimization of the overall project in a feasibility study planned to start in September. Bulk Sample activities will involve site preparation, establishment of safe access underground and extraction of the Bulk Sample, which is expected to be approximately 10,000 tonnes. Extraction of the Bulk Sample will utilize the existing decline developed in the late 1980's with minimal development needed to access mineralized zones and planned mining stopes adjacent to existing workings.

Anaconda plans to hire local people and contractors to carry out security related duties, surface clearing, transportation and other ancillary activities. In total, including employees of Cementation, approximately 50 people will be working on the Bulk Sample at Goldboro.

Anaconda has also, on August 1, 2018, registered its the Goldboro Project with the Nova Scotia Department of Environment. The Registration is a significant milestone in the continued development of the Goldboro Gold Project which is scheduled to start pre-production in 2020. 

Goldboro PEA

On January 17, 2018 Anaconda announced a positive result of an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment study (“PEA”) on the Goldboro Project (see news release dated January 17, 2018). The PEA provides a base case assessment of developing the Goldboro mineral resource by open pit and underground mining, on site concentration through gravity and flotation circuits and leaching of the concentrate and gold recovery at Anaconda’s Pine Cove Mill in Newfoundland.

Goldboro Project PEA Highlights*

The base case scenario utilizes a long-term gold price of $1,550 and all dollar figures are presented in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted. Key assumptions and results from the PEA are summarized below:

  • Undiscounted cash flow before income and mining taxes of $189 million;
  • Pre-tax Net Present Value (“NPV”) at a 7% discount rate of $120 million and a pre-tax Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) of 38% implying a pre-tax payback period of 2.9 years;
  • Total capital expenditures of $89 million, including pre-production capital expenditures of $47 million;
  • Undiscounted cash flow after income and mining taxes of $106 million;
  • After-tax NPV at a discount rate of 7% of $61 million and an after-tax IRR of 26%, implying an after-tax payback period of 3.4 years;
  • Life of mine (“LOM”) of 8.8 years, with 2.4 million tonnes of potential mill feed at an average grade of 5.13 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold and recovery rate of 93.6%, resulting in gold production of 375,900 ounces;
  • Mining rate of 600 tonnes per day (“tpd”) of mineralized material at an average open pit grade of 2.99 g/t and underground grade of 6.83 g/t; processing at 800 tpd (600 tpd of run-of-mine high-grade material and re-handle of 200 tpd of stockpiled open pit lower grade material);
  • Average annual gold production of 41,770 ounces with up to 62,000 ounces in year 5;
  • LOM average operating cash cost of $654 per ounce (~US$525 per ounce) and all-in sustaining cash cost of $797 per ounce (~US$640 per ounce) at an 0.80 USD:CAD exchange rate;
  • Potential for up to 200 jobs at the peak of production.

(*) The PEA was prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) by WSP Consulting of Toronto, Canada (“WSP”).  Readers are cautioned that the 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 results of the PEA will be realized.  Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

 

Goldboro Mineral Resource

An updated Mineral Resource Estimate was completed by Mercator Geological Services Ltd. (Michael Cullen, P.Geo., Independent Qualified Person) with an effective date of January 1, 2018. The recent Mineral Resource Estimate comprises: an open pit resource including 1,059,00 tonnes of Measured and Indicated Resource at a grade of 3.01 g/t gold (102,500 ounces) and 45,000 tonnes of Inferred Mineral Resource at a grade of 2.54 g/t gold (3,700 ounces); and an underground resource including 2,586,000 tonnes of Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources at a grade of 5.09 g/t gold (422,900 ounces) and 2,497,000 tonnes of Inferred Resource at a grade of 4.28 g/t gold (343,600 ounces).

Goldboro Mineral Resource Estimate – Effective January 1, 2018

Resource Type

Au Cut-off (g/t)

Category

Tonnes (Rounded)

Au

(g/t)

Troy Ounces (Rounded)

Open Pit

0.50

Measured

397,000

2.88

36,800

Indicated

662,000

3.09

65,800

Measured and Indicated

1,059,000

3.01

102,500

Inferred

45,000

2.54

3,700

Underground

2.00

Measured

22,000

4.7

3,300

Indicated

2,564,000

5.09

419,600

Measured and Indicated

2,586,000

5.09

422,900

Inferred

2,497,000

4.28

343,600

Combined Open Pit and Underground

0.50/2.00

Measured

419,000

2.98

40,100

Indicated

3,226,000

4.68

485,400

Measured and Indicated

3,645,000

4.48

525,400

Inferred

2,542,000

4.25

347,300

 

Deposit Type and Gold Mineralization

The Goldboro Deposit is a turbidite-hosted orogenic gold deposit hosted within a sequence of alternating argillites and greywacke. These deposit types are typically characterized by the formation of gold bearing quartz veins within the argillite units commonly referred to as belts.  The belts are folded into upright anticlines, and gold is deposited, during fold formation.  Veins, which form during deformation, form in three major geometries commonly referred to as reefs: saddle reefs, leg reefs and spur reefs.  Saddle reefs occur about the apex of the fold and are commonly the dominant vein types within this deposit type such as at the Dufferin deposit.  Leg reefs extend down the limbs of the fold, beyond the saddle reef and are generally parallel with the argillite layers.  Spur reefs are veins that cross between layers and may be in the apex of the fold or on its limbs.

The Goldboro Deposit contains all three types of reefs outlined above, but is also characterized by mineralization within the argillite that together form belts.  Many of the gold deposits in Nova Scotia are sometime referred to as saddle reef deposit; these have gold bearing belts generally restricted to the hinges of the anticlines.  Because the Goldboro Deposit contains saddle, leg and spur reefs and has gold within the Argillite hosting the veins, the Goldboro Deposit contains significantly more gold resources than deposits of the similar dimensions that contain gold only in particular types of reefs or only within the quartz veins.

The Goldboro Deposit contains at least 30, stacked, mineralized belts that vary in thickness from less than a meter up to 20 meters.  The mineralized belts are folded into a tight, gently east-plunging, anticline referred to as the Upper Seal Harbour Anticline.  The deposit is divided into three broad zones: the East Goldbrook, Boston-Richardson, and West Goldbrook Systems.  The East Goldbrook and Boston-Richardson systems are separated by a thick (up to 80 metres) greywacke sequence (the Boston-Richardson Marker) with the East Goldbrook System above the greywacke and the Boston Richardson below.  The West Goldbrook is separated from the Boston-Richardson by a fault zone but is generally the continuation of the Boston Richardson zone on the west side of the fault.  The trace of this Upper Seal Harbour anticline crosses the property and is found near the Dolliver Mountain several kilometers to the west of the Goldboro
Deposit demonstrating that the structure which hosts gold continues for several kilometers.

The Meguma Terrane

The Goldboro Deposit is hosted within the Goldenville Group of rocks within the Meguma Terrane of Nova Scotia.  The Goldenville group consists of a sequence of siltstones and sandstones approximately 6.7 km thick.  It is separated from the overlying Halifax Group which contains more shale and is 11.8 km thick (Sangster and Smith, 2007).  The entire Meguma Terrane is pervasively folded into kilometre-scale, east-west or northeast-southwest trending, upright folds that can be traced for many kilometers across Nova Scotia.  The Upper Seal Harbour anticline is one of these folds.  At numerous locations in the eastern Meguma Terrane gold deposition is associated with these structures and this forms the Eastern Gold Fields of Nova Scotia.

Gold was discovered in Nova Scotia in 1861 and a reported 1.2 million oz. were mined sporadically from multiple small-scale operations before 1968 (Table 1).  This included mining at Goldboro between 1893 to 1912 when approximately 414,887 short tonnes of gold ore was mined at an average grade of 6.7 g/t gold.  A total of 54,871 ounces of gold was produced from the Boston-Richardson Mine.

Historic gold production from various districts in Nova Scotia (Sangster and Smith, 2007)

Gold District

Years Active

Ounces

Grams

Goldenville

1862-1941

209,383

6,511,821

Caribou

1869-1968

91,336

2,840,543

Oldham

1862-1946

85,178

2,649,020

Waverly

1862-1940

72,567

2,256,821

Montague

1863-1940

65,197

2,027,624

Upper Seal Harbour

1893-1958

57,846

1,799,001

Renfrew

1862-1958

51,596

1,604,620

North Brookfield

1887-1936

43,148

1,341,887

Wine Harbour

1862-1939

42,347

1,316,976

Salmon River (Dufferin)

1881-1939

41,805

1,300,148

Isaacs Harbour

1862-1958

39,694

1,234,493

Lower Seal Harbour

1894-1949

34,188

1,063,253

Molega

1888-1950

33,460

1,040,612

Mount Uniacke

1867-1941

27,737

862,621

Tangier

1862-1919

26,287

817,510

Moose River*

 1888-1939

25,917

806,025

Forest Hill

1895-1957

25,102

780,685

Fifteen Mile Stream

1879-1941

21,220

659,930

South Uniacke

1888-1948

20,762

645,701

Lake Catcha

1887-1961

17,962

558,603

Other

 

165,889

5,159,154

Total

 

1,198,619

37,277,048

 

There is no record of commercial production from the Meguma deposits from the period 1980 to present.  Recent “mining” activity in the Meguma since the early 1980s has focused mainly on advanced underground exploration and bulk samples of varying sizes.  The largest of these was collected from the Forest Hill deposit with 95,000 tonnes processed at an average grade of 6.7 g/t gold.  Recent trial mining is being conducted at the Dufferin Mine and the Moose River mine opened in October of 2017.

Comparison with the Victoria Gold Fields of Australia

The Victoria Gold Fields of Victoria, Australia, have produced tens of millions of ounces of gold since 1851 and the area has striking geological similarities with the Meguma Terrane of Nova Scotia.  The Victoria Goldfields are hosted in Cambro-Ordovician sand and siltstones as are the Eastern Goldfield of Nova Scotia.  Both areas are deformed into a series of upright to reclined, tight to open folds with variable, but generally shallow, plunges.  And both areas are intruded by Devonian intrusions.  Gold mineralization occurs in the same structural setting within the folds and have similar styles and associations.  The age of mineralization within the Victoria Goldfields is thought to be near 440 Ma and between 376 and 408 Ma within the Eastern Gold District of Nova Scotia. The geological similarities between these two areas are commonly used to indicate the potential for the Meguma Terrane of Nova Scotia to host significantly more gold than has yet to be discovered.

2017 and 2018 Exploration Results

Since the summer 2017, Anaconda has completed a total of 42 diamond drill holes (BR-17-01 to 13 and BR-18-14 to 42) totalling 12,230.6 metres.  Drilling has focussed on testing the down plunge, down-dip and along strike extension of the Boston-Richardson (“BR”) Gold System and the East Goldbrook (“EG”) Gold System. Drilling also focussed on infilling under-drilled areas of the deposit in order to upgrade mineral resources from the inferred to indicated category with focus on sections 9050E, 9100E, 9150E, 9250E, 9350E, 9450E, 9500E, 9550E and 9650E (see plan map and sections below).

Drilling of the first five holes (BR-17-01 to 05; 643 m) was completed in order to collect samples for metallurgical test work on the Goldboro mineralization, with each of the completed holes twinning an historic drill hole.

Highlight assays from the summer 2017 drilling program include:

  • 779.97 g/t gold over 0.5 m within 151.42 g/t gold over 2.6 m (33.1 to 35.7 m) and 26.89 g/t gold over 1.0 m (110.0 to 111.0 m) in hole BR-17-04.
  • 8.95 g/t gold over 3.7 m within 3.57 g/t gold over 11.4 m (169.2 to 180.6 m) in hole BR-17-02.
  • 15.13 g/t gold over 2.3 m within 3.25 g/t gold over 13.4 m (17.4 to 30.8 m) in hole BR‑17-03.
  • 204.34 g/t gold over 0.8 m within 11.12 g/t gold over 16.6 m (44.4 to 61.0 m) in hole BR-17-03.
  • 12.92 g/t gold over 1.0 m within 2.96 g/t gold over 5.5 m (115.5 to 121 m) in hole BR‑17-05.
  • 141.02 g/t gold over 1.2 m within 17.94 g/t gold over 10.0 m (25.0 to 35.0 m) in hole BR-17-01.
  • 57.41 g/t over 0.5 m within 14.60 g/t gold over 2.0 m (53.5 to 55.5 m) in hole BR-17-01.

In addition to the metallurgical drilling program described above, Anaconda completed thirty-seven drill holes on the property (BR-17-06 to BR-17-13 and BR-18-14 to 34) totaling 9,753.4 m of drilling late in the year.  Hole locations were selected to provide local infill and mineralized zone extension information. Currently, casing remains in these 2017 holes.  Results of sampling and assaying are pending for holes BR-17-12 and 13 and BR-18-24 to 34.   

 

Highlight assays to date from the 2018-2017 drilling program include:

  • 59.97 g/t gold over 0.5 m (272.7 to 273.2 m) in hole BR-17-06;
  • 24.34 g/t gold over 3.8 m (389.9 to 393.7 m) in hole BR-17-06;
  • 31.56 g/t gold over 1.0 m (259.0 to 260.0 m) in hole BR-17-08;
  • 9.12 g/t gold over 3.2 m (293.8 to 2.97 m) in hole BR-17-08;
  • 34.70 g/t gold over 3.5 m (82.0 to 85.5 m) in hole BR-17-09;
  • 17.68 g/t gold over 0.5 m (69.6 to 70.1 m) in hole BR-17-10;
  • 12.29 g/t gold over 1.0 metres (321.0 to 322.0 metres) in hole BR-17-13;
  • 49.61 g/t gold over 0.5 metres (342.8 to 343.3 metres) in hole BR-17-12;
  • 252.76 g/t gold over 0.4 m (76.6 to 77.0 m) in hole BR-18-15;
  • 31.04 g/t gold over 1.0 m (6.2 to 7.2 m) in hole BR-18-17;
  • 25.31 g/t gold over 1.0 m (62.0 to 63.0 m) in hole BR-18-18;
  • 12.87 g/t gold over 2.0 m (130.6 to 132.6 m) in hole BR-18-18;
  • 9.29 g/t gold over 2.1 m (420.6 to 422.7 m) in hole BR-18-21;
  • 5.10 g/t gold over 9.6 m (116.0 to 125.6 m) in hole BR-18-22, including 25.82 g/t gold over 1.5 m; 
  • 11.27 g/t gold over 13.5 m (201.0 to 214.5 m) in hole BR-18-22, including 15.63 g/t gold over 1.4 m and 44.33 g/t gold over 2.5 m; 
  • 10.55 g/t gold over 6.1 m (223.0 to 229.1 m) in hole BR-18-22, including 18.78 g/t gold over 3.1 m;
  • 7.22 g/t gold over 6.5 m (310.5 to 317.0 m) in hole BR-18-23, including 16.00 g/t gold over 2.0 m; and
  • 4.13 g/t gold over 20.5 m (324.5 to 345.0 m) in hole BR-18-23, including 9.93 g/t gold over 7.5 m and 79.34 g/t gold over 0.5 m.
  • 752.54 g/t gold over 0.5 metres (145.0 to 145.5 metres) in hole BR-18-25;
  • 56.67 g/t gold over 1.0 metre (132.5 to 133.5 metres) in hole BR-18-25;
  • 17.00 g/t gold over 1.0 metre (39.0 to 40.0 metres) in hole BR-18-25;
  • 6.55 g/t gold over 2.5 metres (84.5 to 87.0 metres) in hole BR-18-24;
  • 62.01 g/t gold gold over 1.5 metres (108.5 to 110.0 metres) in hole BR-18-26;
  • 12.66 g/t gold over 1.7 metres (27.8 to 29.5 metres) in hole BR-18-26;
  • 23.24 g/t gold over 2.5 metres from (21.5 to 24.0 metres) in hole BR-18-28;
  • 7.12 g/t gold over 4.5 metres from (193.5 to 194.0 metres) in hole BR-18-29;
  • 2.21 g/t gold over 25.5 metres (506.1 to 531.6 metres) in hole BR-18-30, including 12.39 g/t gold over 3.2 metres;
  • 24.49 g/t gold over 1.0 metres (177.0 to 178.0 metres) in hole BR-18-34;
  • 4.82 g/t gold over 3.6 metres (384.7 to 388.3 metres) in hole BR-18-33, including 9.90 g/t gold over 1.1 metres;
  • 3.00 g/t gold over 7.5 metres (270.5 to 278.0 metres) in hole BR-18-34;
  • 21.05 g/t gold gold over 11.5 metres (77.5 to 89.0 metres) in hole BR-18-37;
  • 17.41 g/t gold over 7.5 metres (93.5 to 101.0 metres) in hole BR-18-39;
  • 2.73 g/t gold over 15.0 metres (106.0 to 121.0 metres) in hole BR-18-36 including 9.3 g/t gold over 1.0 metres;
  • 23.74 g/t gold over 1.5 metres (104.0 to 105.5 metres) in hole BR-18-37; and
  • 3.69 g/t gold over 9.0 metres (38.0 to 47.0 metres) in hole BR-18-40 including 32.09 g/t gold over 0.5 metres

Drilling completed by Anaconda in 2017 and 2018 has not been included as part of the current NI 43-101 Mineral Resource.

 

Goldboro Metallurgy

A composite metallurgical sample was collected from all assay samples greater than 0.5 g/t gold from drill holes BR-17-01 to 05.  A total 139 samples were used to create a 324 kg composite sample.  Preliminary development of a process flowsheet has defined overall gold recoveries in the range of 95.1% to 95.3% by gravity separation, flotation and cyanide leaching of both gravity and flotation concentrates.

The test program and preliminary process design for the recovery of gold was conducted by Thibault & Associates Inc. of Fredericton, New Brunswick. Pre-concentration by gravity separation and flotation was investigated for a potential reduction in throughput tonnage for downstream cyanide leaching. At a grind size of 80% passing 110 micron, the recovery of gold to the gravity concentrate was 46.4% to 62.1% at a concentrate grade of 4,255 g/t Au to 4,587 g/t Au. Flotation of the gravity separation tails using a standard reagent scheme for flotation produced a mass yield of 5.8% to 6.7% at a concentrate grade of 22.3 g/t gold to 24.3 g/t gold.  The combined recovery of gold by gravity and flotation pre-concentration was 96.6% to 97.8%.

Gold in the gravity and flotation concentrates was amenable to cyanide leaching. Intensive cyanide leaching tests on gravity concentrates defined a gold extraction of 99.5% over 48 hours. Cyanide leaching of the flotation concentrate had a gold extraction in the range of 96.6% to 97.3% over 48 hours for a regrind of 80% passing 18.1 and 12.8 micron, respectively. The overall gold recovery based on a process flowsheet including gravity, flotation, flotation concentrate regrind, cyanide leach of flotation concentrates and intensive cyanide leaching of gravity concentrates was 95.1% to 95.3%.

 

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