Leagold Mining announces Los Filos expansion study

Thursday, January 17, 2019


(This is an abridged version of the release. For the full version click here)

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Vancouver, January 16, 2019 - Leagold Mining Corporation (TSX:LMC; OTCQX:LMCNF) (Leagold or the Company) reports that a Feasibility Study (Expansion Feasibility Study) prepared by independent consultants for the expansion of the Company's Los Filos mine in Mexico is now complete. The Expansion Feasibility Study incorporates the potential for: development of the Bermejal underground mine, enlarging the Los Filos open pit mine, re-phasing of the Bermejal open pit into two distinct open pits (Bermejal and Guadalupe), and the construction of a carbon-in-leach (CIL) processing facility to complement the existing heap leach facilities.

Highlights include:

  • Gold production of 3.3 million ounces (Moz) over a 10-year mine life (2019 to 2028) at an average AISC1 of $795/oz
  • Post expansion (2021 onwards):

    • Average annual production of 350,000 oz at AISC1 of $759/oz
    • Average annual production exceeding 400,000 oz from 2021 to 2023

  • Proven and Probable mineral reserves of 111.3 Mt at 1.23 g/t containing 4.5 Moz2
  • Capital cost of $180 million to develop the Bermejal underground and construct a new 4,000 tonne per day (tpd) CIL plant with related infrastructure
  • Current operations to fund capitalized stripping during the initial expansion phase (2019 to 2020) at the Guadalupe and Los Filos open pits
  • At $1,250/oz gold price:

    • NPV0% of $752 million
    • NPV5% of $565 million
    • Expansion capital payback period of less than 1 year
    • IRR of 87%

Leagold CEO Neil Woodyer commented: "When we acquired Los Filos in April 2017 from Goldcorp, we identified its potential to be developed into a long life, low-cost operation with significant scale. During the 20 months since the acquisition, we have carried out extensive exploration programs for both open pit and underground deposits, developed a 1,330-metre ramp to access the ore body at Bermejal underground, completed the Bermejal underground mine design, completed comprehensive metallurgical test work on all of the mineral deposits to support the CIL plant design, and learned a lot from current operations. Our investment in this work to date is approximately $30 million and forms the basis of the independent Feasibility Study and a 43â€'101 technical report.

"The study forecasts a 10-year mine life with annual gold production approximately doubling from current rates. The Los Filos mineral reserves have increased to 4.5 Moz2, from 1.7 Moz3 at the acquisition in 2017. Los Filos also has abundant mineral resources that provide additional opportunities for adding to the increased reserves and further extending the mine life. We intend to carryout additional exploration programs designed to extend mine life.

"The study identifies a new operating strategy which includes three large open pits, two high-grade underground mines, the addition of a CIL plant to process the higher-grade ore, and the continued heap leaching of the lower-grade open pit ore. The Los Filos expansion will also benefit from existing operations and excellent infrastructure. Approximately 51% of the gold production in the life of mine plan is from the CIL plant and 49% is from the existing heap leach facility.

"With this very positive study completed, we are now putting its findings into our overall corporate business model for planning and corporate financing purposes. It is obviously a project we should undertake and therefore we are preparing a Los Filos development plan that includes construction planning, optimizing the sequencing of the major expansion projects, and recognizing the social and economic benefits created by the expansion opportunities and the engagement required from employees, contractors, unions and community members.

"The Los Filos acquisition and this expansion plan illustrate the benefits and success of our buy and build strategy."