Scorpio Gold Corporation (TSXV:SGN) is a Canadian-based gold producer with mining assets located near Tonopah, Nevada.
Scorpio Gold’s primary asset is the Mineral Ridge gold mining operation, where it holds a 70% interest and is the operator. Scorpio Gold achieved commercial production at Mineral Ridge in January 2012 and by September 2014 had surpassed 100,000 oz. in gold production. The production forecast for 2014 at Mineral Ridge is 40,000-45,000 oz. gold at a total cash cost of US$800-$850 per oz. of gold sold.
Scorpio Gold also holds a 100% interest in the advanced exploration-stage Goldwedge project in Manhattan, Nevada. Goldwedge includes a fully permitted and bonded underground mine with over 600 meters of development and a 400 ton per day mill facility with gravity circuit.
- 2014 production forecast: 40,000-45,000 oz. gold
- 2014 estimated total cash cost: US$800-$850 per oz. of gold sold.
- Strong cash flow to support exploration and development.
- Updated Life of Mine Plan incorporates development of multiple satellite deposits.
- Highly successful exploration and delineation drilling program is fully expected to increase mine life.
Mineral Ridge Operation
Mineral Ridge is a conventional open pit heap leaching operation located 6 km northwest of the town of Silver Peak and 56 km west of Tonopah in Esmeralda County, Nevada. The project area encompasses 5,010 hectares (12,380 acres) and is host to multiple deposits at exploration, development and production stages. Prior to Scorpio Gold and dating back to the late-nineteenth century, the property historically produced an estimated 575,000 oz. of gold, including 170,000 oz. from open pit and 405,000 oz. from underground mining operations.
Scorpio Gold acquired a 70% interest in the Mineral Ridge project in March 2010. Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, Scorpio Gold is currently entitled to receive 80% of the cash flow generated.
Following major site rehabilitation and refinement of the heap leaching and processing operations, Scorpio Gold achieved commercial production status on January 1, 2012. Mineral Ridge produced 32,066 oz. in 2012 and 39,160 oz. in 2013, for a year-over-year increase of 22%. In September 2014 the operation surpassed a 100,000 oz. gold production milestone.
All gold is unhedged and there are no underlying royalties in areas currently being mined.
Mineral Ridge Life of Mine Plan
The Drinkwater and Mary LC are the two main deposits currently in production. An updated Life of Mine Plan (“LOM”) reported in July 2014 incorporates five additional satellite deposits known as Brodie, Bluelite, Solberry, Oromonte and Wedge. The satellite deposits are located west and southwest of Drinkwater pit and lie in close proximity to the leach pad. The LOM projects the mine life at Mineral Ridge extending into Q3 2016, based on Probable Mineral Reserves of 2.1 million tons (Mt) grading 0.061 oz/ton gold (131,190 oz. contained gold) within Indicated Mineral Resources of 2.7 Mt grading 0.059 oz/ton gold (160,300 oz. contained gold). The effective date of the reserve and resources estimate is March 31, 2014.
Scorpio Gold’s management fully expects that positive results from 2014 exploration and delineation drilling, which has continued at an accelerated pace since the effective date of the estimate, will increase mine life at Mineral Ridge.
Mineral Ridge Exploration
There are currently three drill rigs active at site concentrating on infill and step-out drilling of the satellite deposits, step-out drilling along known mineralized corridors, and exploration drilling of new targets. This focus has met with much success, resulting in the potential for upgrading and increasing resources of the known deposits as well as defining new resources on the NW Brodie trend and at the newly discovered Physik target.
With no surface expression of gold mineralization, Physik represents the first “blind” discovery at Mineral Ridge and is the result of remote sensing techniques and sound geological interpretation by Scorpio Gold’s exploration team. This discovery bodes very well for future success in exploration property wide.
2014 Drilling Highlights:
|Physik Target||‐ 31.79 g/t gold over 4.57 meters|
|NW Brodie Trend||‐ 0.90 g/t gold over 47.24 meters|
|‐ 3.14 g/t gold over 10.67 meters|
|Bluelite Deposit||‐ 7.68 g/t gold over 6.10 meters|
|‐ 12.42 g/t gold over 4.57 meters|
|Brodie Deposit||‐ 2.75 g/t gold over 21.34 meters|
|‐ 10.34 g/t gold over 6.10 meters|
|Solberry Deposit||‐ 9.27 g/t gold over 13.72 meters|
|- 12.15 g/t gold over 19.81 meters|
The Goldwedge project is located 54 km north-northeast of the town of Tonopah within the Manhattan Mining District of south-central Nevada. Scorpio Gold holds a 100% interest in the project, with the property covering three separate claim blocks and encompassing the Goldwedge, Keystone and Jumbo gold deposits.
The Goldwedge project includes a fully permitted underground mine with over 600 meters of development and a 400 ton per day mill facility with gravity circuit. Scorpio Gold has completed rehabilitation of the plant and surrounding infrastructure and commenced testing of the milling circuit with high-grade ore from Mineral Ridge to ensure optimal recoveries of coarse gold.
The Goldwedge deposit is situated on the southern periphery of the Manhattan Caldera, approximately 16 kilometers south of the 15 million oz. Round Mountain Mine. Historic mining in the Manhattan Mining District dates back to the nineteenth century, with district-wide gold production estimated at 566,000 oz. The largest gold production came from the Manhattan Mine East & West pits located within a kilometer south of the Goldwedge deposit, where Echo Bay Mines reportedly produced an estimated 236,000 oz.
Scorpio Gold has completed a preliminary 3-D geological model of the Goldwedge deposit based on historical data and recently drilled four oriented surface core holes to test the model and verify results of historical RC holes. Compilation, interpretation and sample analyses are in progress.
Also included in the Goldwedge property are the Jumbo and Keystone deposits, located 3.8 km and 4.3 km southeast respectively from the Goldwedge deposit. Scorpio Gold considers both deposits to have considerable exploration merit given their style of mineralization, location along strike of the regionally significant northwest trending Reliance Fault Zone and both have been previously mined on a small scale via open pit method.
In less than two years, Scorpio Gold brought the idle Mineral Ridge gold mine into production and has since achieved year-over-year increases in production while maintaining total cash cost per ounce of gold sold within forecast limits.
Mineral Ridge is currently on track to meet the Company’s 2014 forecast of 40,000 to 45,000 oz. gold. Scorpio Gold is very proud to have an exceptionally dedicated team that is committed to pursuing operational improvements and constraining costs in all sectors.
An updated Life of Mine Plan for Mineral Ridge, which incorporates the development of multiple satellite deposits, projects mine life at Mineral Ridge extending into Q3 2016. The Company has accelerated its exploration and delineation drilling program to further upgrade and increase the resource base and ultimately increase mine life. The 2014 program continues to meet with great success, including the recent discovery of significant gold mineralization at the Physik target.
Scorpio Gold also owns 100% of the fully permitted Goldwedge mine and mill facility in nearby Manhattan, Nevada, where a systematic surface and underground exploration program is planned in order to assess the potential for future production opportunities.
Peter J. Hawley, BSc, BEng, PGeo – CEO, Director
Peter Hawley has 30 years of mining-industry experience that spans grassroots exploration through to development and production, and has worked extensively with a large number of intermediate and senior mining companies including Teck, Noranda, Placer Dome and Barrick Gold. He is the founder of Scorpio Mining Corporation and served as CEO of that company from 1998 through 2010 and is currently a director. Mr. Hawley is also highly experienced in private and public company financing and corporate administration.
Steve Roebuck, BSc, PGeo – President
Steve Roebuck has 20 years mining industry experience, beginning his career with Placer Dome and Aur Resources. In 1995, Steve joined Royal Oak Mines working as an exploration and production geologist at the Giant, Colomac and Matachewan gold mines in Ontario and the NWT. In 2000, he joined BHP Billiton as a production geologist and later promoted to production engineer at the EKATI Diamond Mine in NWT. From 2005 to 2007, he was Vice President of Exploration for Forest Gate Resources., exploring diamond properties in Quebec and Saskatchewan. From 2008 until 2012, Steve was Vice President of Exploration for Advanced Explorations, working with the feasibility study team for the Roche Bay Iron Ore project in Nunavut. Steve joined Scorpio Gold in 2007 while it was a private company as Vice President of Development and was instrumental in the company’s creation and early property portfolio, rejoining the company in 2012 as its President.
Gilbert Comtois, CPA, CA – Chief Financial Officer
Gilbert Comtois was appointed CFO of Scorpio Gold Corporation in May 2007. He joined Scorpio Mining Corporation as Controller in July 2006 and was the CFO of Scorpio Mining from September 2007 to April 2011. Prior to July 2006, he worked 18 years with Deloitte in auditing of private and public companies, including junior exploration and operating mining companies.
Peter Brieger – Director
Mr. Brieger, HBA, CFA, is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. He has over 50 years’ experience in Canadian investment business as a securities research analyst, market strategist and portfolio manager in Toronto, London, England and New York. In 1988, he co-founded GlobeInvest Capital Management Inc. and built it into a nationally recognized portfolio management firm where he is currently CEO and Managing Director. Peter has been a regular guest on Business News Network (BNN) and an occasional guest on the CTV News Channel. Mr. Brieger has also served as a guest lecturer on international investing at Queen’s University and the Richard Ivey School of Business.
Brian Lock – Director
Mr. Lock has over 30 years of experience in the operations, feasibility, design engineering and construction of numerous precious metals and base metal mining projects around the world. In 1985 he founded Proton International Engineering Corp., a Canadian engineering and construction company devoted to the development of small- and medium-sized mining projects. He was an officer of Frontier Pacific Mining Corporation from early 2006 until its take-over in July 2008. Mr. Lock has managed and/or served as a director of several Canadian public and private companies.
Luc Pelchat – Director
Mr. Pelchat is the founder and President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in North Mexico. Following 24 years with a Canadian multinational company operating in the construction industry, Mr. Pelchat formed a number of his own companies and has realized multiple projects in the construction industry in Mexico. He has extensive business, financial and human resources experience in Canada, Mexico and Africa.
David Smalley – Director
Mr. Smalley is owner of David Smalley Law Corporation, prior to which he was a partner at Fraser and Company LLP in Vancouver, BC. He has been a director and officer of public companies for over 13 years.
Andrew Lee Smith – Director
Mr. Smith is a Professional Geologist with over 25 years of experience successfully exploring, developing and operating North American base and precious metals mining projects. He is currently a director and Interim CEO for East Africa Metals as well as President, CEO and a director of Tigray Resources and a director of True North Gems.
Janet Horbulyk – Corporate Secretary
Janet Horbulyk has 30 years of experience with securities and stock exchange regulatory matters including seven years with the listings department of the Vancouver Stock Exchange.