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BLACK FOX COMPLEX

About Black Fox

Located in Timmins

The Black Fox Complex is located in the well-established Timmins Gold Mining Camp in Northern Ontario, Canada. It is positioned approximately 10 kilometers east of the town of Matheson, 65 kilometers east of the city of Timmins and adjacent to Provincial Highway 101. Given the mine’s proximity to Matheson and Timmins, and that the region’s primary industries are mining and forestry, local supplies and services are easily available and can be delivered in a timely manner. The complex comprizes 5,100 hectares of land packages intersecting 11 kilometers (7 miles) of the Destor-Porcupine Fault, which is known as the ‘Golden Highway’, has a total strike length of approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) and hosts many of Ontario’s richest gold mines.

The Black Fox Mine is a key component of the complex, which also includes the Black Fox-Stock mill and the Froome and Grey Fox deposits. The Black Fox mine had an initial production from 1997 to 2001. Re-commissioned in 2009, it operated continuously, with open pit commercial production from May 2009 to September 2015 and underground mining commenced in October 2011. The open pit and underground operations at the Black Fox mine produced a total of 884,000 ounces of gold to the end of 2018. Also part of the Black Fox Complex, the Stock property hosts the Black Fox-Stock mill and is the site of the former Stock Mine, which produced 137,000 ounces of gold from an underground operation between 1989 and 2005, bringing the combined production at the Black Fox Complex to over one million ounces of gold.

About Diagram About Diagram

McEwen Mining acquired the Black Fox Complex in October 2017. In 2018, the Black Fox mine produced 48,848 gold equivalent ounces, in line with the guidance for the year.

The land packages of the Black Fox Complex continue to hold exploration potential to depth and along trends. In 2018 we invested $21 million in exploration at the Black Fox Complex. A property-wide exploration program, that included 120,000 meters of exploration drilling and 39,000 meters of definition and delineation drilling, has been organized to test for extensions of existing resources, follow up on significant drill results, and to investigate new exploration targets. The program delivered very encouraging results, with new targets identified and an expansion of gold resources across the properties. As a result, we are investing to build a future for our Ontario operations, with $17 million to be used in developing our exploration program in Timmins for 2019.

1989 - Present
Black Fox Complex Operation

Black Fox Gold
1,021,000
Oz Au

PRODUCTION

MINING AND PROCESSING
AT BLACK FOX

Commercial production from the underground mine began in October 2011. Underground ore is produced using a combination of long hole stoping, cut and fill, and narrow vein mining methods. Ore is accessed from a series of declines branching off from the main ramp to surface. The underground mine at Black Fox begins at the bottom of the open pit (approximately 200 meters below surface) and is expected to extend to more than 800 meters in depth below surface. Ore mined at Black Fox is initially crushed on-site, transported 28 kilometers by road trucks to the Black Fox mill site and fed via a conveyor system to the mill’s crushing circuit.

The crushed product is transferred to a 1,500 tonne fine ore surge bin and then fed into 2,400 tonnes per day grinding circuit, which includes two stages of closed circuit ball milling. Soluble gold is recovered by adsorption upon granular activated carbon in CIC, CIL, and CIP trains, with a process efficiency of up to 96%. Gold is removed from the carbon in a high temperature strip vessel in a closed circuit with electro-winning deposition. Gold plate is further refined by induction smelting and cast into molds.

The Toxics Reduction Act (TRA) 2017 annual report can be downloaded here.

Gold pile

RESOURCES
& RESERVES

INDICATED

1,305,000 OZ AU EQ

INFERRED

197,000 OZ AU EQ

PROBABLE

89,000 OZ AU EQ

For details see press releases from 2018 (Jul 25, Sep 6) and 2019 (Feb 21).

BLACK FOX
COMPLEX EXPLORATION

Located within the Abitibi greenstone belt, the Black Fox Complex has gold mineralization occuring within the main ankerite alteration zone, generally as: (1) free gold associated with shallow dipping quartz veins and stockworks in green carbonate and ankerite-altered ultramafic rocks; (2) gold-bearing pyrite; (3) gold associated with fine-grained pyrite and (4) free gold in steeply dipping sigmoidal quartz veins.

Although there is a history of exploration and production, Black Fox remains relatively underexplored. Its land packages have all the criteria characteristic of great exploration projects, including: prime location within a prolific mining region, high gold endowment, presence of high-grade mineralization, multiple prospective structural trends, as well as various styles of mineralization and host rock types.

Exploration is a principal focus at the complex. A $21 million property-wide exploration program in 2018 included surface, underground and delineation drilling and a $17 million exploration program for 2019 will be following up on the identified high exploration targets.

The main objectives for exploration at Black Fox are to extend mineralization around known deposits and to test new targets close to our mine and mill for potential contributions to near-term gold production.

In 2019 we will continue drilling and extending the Stock East resource, the Stock Mine depth extension and the highly prospective mine trend over a three kilometers strike length. About 20,000 meters of underground exploration will be targeted at adding new ounces for short-term mining, including in the upper part of the mine. Drilling is also planned on the extensions of the Froome deposit and Footwall structure.

All areas explored so far have returned encouraging drill assay results, reinforcing our view about the strong exploration potential of the Black Fox Complex.

Overview

Stock East

Stock Mine and Gap Zone

Overview Property Stock Overview

The Stock property covers a 4 mile (6.5 km) section of the prolific Destor-Porcupine Fault. The property is the site of the current Black Fox Stock Mill and of the former Stock Mine, which produced 137,000 gold ounces at a grade of 5.5 g/t from an underground operation between 1989 and 2005.

Our 2018 drilling program started in February and was designed to follow-up on historical intersections and geophysical targets, with focus on the Stock East target.

Stock East is part of a 3 km long mineralized trend that also hosts the former Stock Mine. Encouraging drill results from Stock East prompted us to extend drilling activities over this mineralized trend, that includes the Stock Mine, Gap and Stock East targets.

For 2018 drill results on the Stock property see links to tables that have been included in press releases from April 30, July 25 and September 6.

Stock East Property Stock East

Stock East, a target that was unexplored for over 20 years, lies approximately 700 m East of the former Stock Mine and current mill facilities, at the intersection of a NW-SE fault and the E-W Porcupine-Destor Fault.

Positive drill results include narrow higher grade intersections, and also wider and lower grade intersections that indicate the potential for open pit mining. Highlights of 2018 drill intersections at Stock East: 2.94 g/t gold over 18.03 m (hole S18-01), 5.24 g/t gold over 11.96 m (hole S18-10) and 5.76 g/t gold over 9.69 m (hole S18-47).

Drilling at Stock East outlined an initial resource estimate (effective September 5, 2018), followed by an infill program that upgraded the initial resource. The updated resource (effective December 31, 2018) is comprised of 60,000 ounces of gold in the Indicated category and 90,000 ounces of gold in the Inferred category under open pit and underground classifications:

  • Open Pit Gold Resource (using a mill cut-off grade of 0.25 g/t)
        43,000 Indicated ounces at a grade of 1.00 g/t and
        54,000 Inferred ounces at a grade of 1.01 g/t

  • Underground Gold Resource (using a cut-off grade of 2.40 g/t)
        17,000 Indicated ounces at a grade of 3.50 g/t and
        36,000 Inferred ounces at a grade of 3.26 g/t.

Stock East has a strike length of approximately 400 meters, it extends vertically from surface to a depth of at least 350 meters and is open in all directions. For the updated resource estimate on Stock East please see the press release from February 21, 2019.

Mine Property Stock Mine

The Stock Mine depth extension and the Gap Zone have had very little previous drilling. Holes have been drilled:

  • underneath the historical mine workings testing for the extension of the Stock Mine mineralization at depths from approximately 320 to 700 m below surface; and
  • along a 400 m trend east of the Stock Mine, testing continuity in sparsely drilled areas located along the main structure (Gap Zone).

Gold mineralization has been intersected in a variety of lithological settings including altered feldspar porphyry intrusions, altered mafic volcanic rocks and fuschite-altered ultramafic rocks. The zones include wide intervals of:

  • lower-grade gold mineralization - grades from 0.8 to 1.25 g/t gold over widths of 18 to 30 m, such as:
    0.92 g/t gold over 24.18 m (from 464.3 m to 497.4 m in hole S18-26 at Stock Mine);
    0.78 g/t gold over 25.77 m (from 125 m to 160 m in hole S18-70 at Gap Zone); and
  • narrow intervals of higher-grade gold mineralization - grades of 5 to 22 g/t gold over widths of 1 to 4 m, such as:
    22.15 g/t gold over 1.39 m (from 333 m to 335 m in hole S18-35 at Stock Mine);
    6 g/t gold over 1.84 m (from 141 m to 143 m in hole S18-27 at Gap Zone).

The obtained drill results support the potential for extending the mineralization down plunge from the Stock Mine, and for shallow mineralization along the 2 km long trend between the hanging wall of the Stock Mine and the Stock East Zone. Follow-up drilling is ongoing.

The current drill rigs will also test the depth extension of the Stock Mine below 500 m, and attempt to join mineralization at Stock East with the historical Stock Mine over a 2,000 m long trend.