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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. Its main properties, Stock and Black Fox, are positioned along the Provincial Highway 101, with the Stock property 36 kilometers east of the city of Timmins and the Black Fox property 9 kilometers east of the town of Matheson. Given the proximity to communities in a region with primary industries mining and forestry, local supplies and services are easily available and can be delivered in a timely manner at the complex.

About Diagram About Diagram

The Black Fox Complex comprises 5,100 hectares of land packages intersecting 15 kilometers (9 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 Froome, Tamarack 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. Exploration initiated in 2018 and continuing in 2019 has defined the Stock East deposit east of the Stock Mine and within a significant three kilometers mineralized trend along the Destor-Porcupine Fault.

McEwen Mining acquired the Black Fox Complex in October 2017. In 2018, the Black Fox mine produced 49,000 gold equivalent ounces with total cash cost and all-in sustaining costs of $845 and $1,137 per gold equivalent ounce, respectively.

For the 9 months ending September 30, 2019 the mine produced 26,000 gold ounces, with costs per ounce ranging from $805 to $941 for cash costs and from $1,196 to $1,454 for all-in sustaining costs. Cash costs have been well controlled at Black Fox in 2019, and higher all-in sustaining costs are a result of increased sustaining capital expenses related to underground development, improvement projects, and additional capital spending associated with our transitioning to owner-operated crushing at the Stock Mill. Production at Black Fox for 2019 is expected to reach 36,000 to 40,000 gold ounces. We plan to scale back production in 2020 to enable greater freedom in exploring the mine, and to free resources in advancing the development of the Froome underground deposit adjacent to Black Fox.

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 $18 million being 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. The 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 transported as run of mine material 28 kilometers by road trucks to the Black Fox-Stock mill site, crushed at the mill facility 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 a 2,000 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 97%. 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) 2018 annual report is available here.

Gold pile

RESOURCES
& RESERVES

INDICATED

1,407,000 OZ AU EQ

INFERRED

232,000 OZ AU EQ

PROBABLE

89,000 OZ AU EQ

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

BLACK FOX
COMPLEX EXPLORATION

Located within the Abitibi greenstone belt, the Black Fox Complex has various gold mineralization occuring within the ankerite alteration zone: (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 $18 million exploration program for 2019 is 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 about 20,000 meters of underground exploration are targeted at adding new ounces for short-term mining, including in the upper part of the Black Fox mine. We also continue surface drilling, with 125,000 meters aimed at the highly prospective mine trend of over three kilometers in strike length, which includes the Stock East resource and the Stock Mine depth extension, as well as multiple targets on the Black Fox property, which include the Froome and Grey Fox deposits.

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 West

Stock Mine Deep and Gap Zone

Stock East

Overview Property Stock Overview

The Stock property covers a 8 kilometers (5 miles) section of the prolific Destor Porcupine Fault. A significant NE-SW trending fault (the Nighthawk Fault) intersects the Destor Porcupine Fault near the Stock Mine, making the area a prime structural setting for gold mineralization.

The property is metal stream-free, site of our current Black Fox-Stock Mill and of the former Stock Mine, which produced 137,000 gold ounces at an average grade of 5.5 g/t, from an intermittent underground operation between the early 1980s and 2004 , having reached to a relatively shallow depth of 330 m (1,080 ft).

In addition to these major structures, the property also exhibits other characteristics of strongly mineralized systems in the prolific Abitibi Greenstone Belt: intense alteration, multi-style and multi-phase mineralization, and significant gold mineralization hosted in various rock types, including wide intersections of 10-30 meters grading 1-2 g/t Au, and also higher-grade intersections of over 10 g/t Au.

Gold mineralization at the Stock Property consists of disseminated sulfides (mostly pyrite) and quartz-carbonate stockwork and breccia, hosted in sericite-silica-albite and fuchsite altered mafic and ultramafic volcanic rocks, and in highly siliceous and albite-rich dykes.

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

Stock East is part of a 3 kilometers long trend that also hosts the former Stock Mine. Encouraging drill results from Stock East prompted us to extend drilling activities into 2019 over this mineralized trend, also including the Stock West, Stock Mine Deep and Gap Zone targets. For more details see links above for Stock West, Stock East, Stock Mine Deep and Gap Zone targets.

Stock West Stock West

Results from our first drill holes at Stock West suggest the potential to define a significant new zone of mineralization, with economic importance enhanced by this target being located only 1 kilometer (2/3 mile) from our Black Fox-Stock mill and 300 meters (1,000 feet) West from existing underground workings of the historic Stock Mine.

Drilling completed 1.1 kilometers (0.7 miles) along strike West of the Stock Mine intersected encouraging alteration and mineralization, such as in hole S19-90, which returned 4.2 g/t gold over 3.5 m (core length). This intersection is near two historical drill intersections, which returned 23.0 g/t gold over 1.5 m and 14.5 g/t gold over 3 m, suggesting that a potentially new mineralized shoot may occur in this area.

Hole S19-98, which was drilled to intersect mineralization beneath S19-90, has shown visible gold in multiple quartz veinlets within the silicified zones of a highly altered ultramafic volcanic and returned 5.6 g/t gold over 30 m, including 9.1 g/t gold over 13 m.

Significant intersections at Stock West were also returned in drill holes S19-101 (6.7 g/t gold over 39 m) and S19-105 (5.6 g/t gold over 29.1 m, including 15 g/t gold over 5.1 m).

Drill holes S19-98 and S19-101 to S19-107 completed at Stock West intersected the favorable host rock, a coarse-grained magnesite-fuchsite-dolomite carbonated altered ultramafic unit. Assay values from the well-mineralized intersections are consistent across the intervals, with gold present in both the veinlets and within the ultramafic itself. In addition, a pyrite-rich felsic dyke has been intersected in three holes. This dyke occurs next to the ultramafic intrusive unit and carries visible gold throughout. In hole S19-105, the felsic dyke returned assay results of 13.2 g/t gold over 5.4 m. These styles of mineralization have been intersected from 1,280 to 1,670 feet (390 to 510 meters) below surface and horizontally for 575 feet (175 meters). They differ from most other mineralization on the Stock and Black Fox properties and remain open at depth and along strike.

Similar coarse-grained ultramafic host rocks appear at part of Stock Mine Deep and the potential for a connection with Stock West over a gap of more than 2,000 feet (600 meters) will be tested. Four surface drill rigs are actively drilling at Stock West.

For 2019 drill results on Stock West see links to tables that have been included in the press release from Sep 4, 2019 and Oct 28, 2019.

Stock East Property Stock East

Stock East, a target that was unexplored for over 20 years, lies approximately 700 m East of our Stock Mill, at the intersection of the NW-SE Nighthawk Fault and the E-W Destor Porcupine Fault.

Positive 2018 drill results include narrow higher grade intersections, and also wider and lower grade intersections that indicate the potential for open pit mining. Drill intersections highlights from this program: 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).

2018 drilling at Stock East outlined an initial resource estimate (effective Sep 5, 2018), followed by an infill program that upgraded the initial resource. The updated resource (effective Dec 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 approximately 450 meters and is open in all directions.

Drill intersections from 2018, such as 4.7 g/t gold over 2 m, including 14 g/t gold over 0.4 m; and 31.8 g/t gold over 0.4 m have been further correlated in 2019 with encounters of higher-grade mineralization, such as in hole SEZ19-15, which returned 10.9 g/t gold over 5 m. Further high-grade drill intersections were encountered at a vertical depth of approximately 290 meters: 34.7 g/t gold over 5.9 m, including 74.1 g/t gold over 2.7 m, and 83.5 g/t gold over 5.6 m, including 417 g/t gold over 1.1 m.

The 2018 resource estimate for Stock East included an open pit mining scenario. The new high-grade intersections encountered in 2019 suggest the presence of higher-grade shoots within the lower grade resource area. Together with past results, they strengthen our conviction that the Stock East deposit hosts higher-grade zones that could potentially be mined using existing nearby underground mine workings. An infill drill program is ongoing to better asses this higher-grade mineralization.

For drill results on Stock East see links to tables included in press releases from Apr 30, 2018, Jul 25, 2018, Sep 6, 2018, Sep 4, 2019 and Sep 30, 2019.
For the updated resource estimate on Stock East please see the press release from Feb 21, 2019.

Stock Mine and Gap Stock Mine and Gap

The Stock Mine Deep (the depth extension of the Stock Mine) and the Gap Zone had very little previous drilling. Holes drilled in 2018 targeted:

  • 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 1.3 g/t gold over true widths of 18 to 30 m, such as:
    0.9 g/t gold over 24.2 m (from 464 m to 497 m in hole S18-26 at Stock Mine Deep);
    0.8 g/t gold over 25.8 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:
    22.2 g/t gold over 1.4 m (from 333 m to 335 m in hole S18-35 at Stock Mine Deep);
    7 g/t gold over 3 m (from 727 m to 731 m in hole S18-31 at Stock Mine Deep);
    6 g/t gold over 1.8 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.

Further exploration drilling by McEwen Mining in 2018 and 2019 below the workings of the Stock Mine is testing the potential for the mineralized system to extend deeper.

In 2018, hole S18-31 intersected multiple intervals of mineralization up to a depth of 750 m (2,460 ft) below surface under the mine workings. Hole S19-95, drilled in Q2 2019, intersected mineralization 250 m (820 ft) below the positive results of hole S18-31, and 950 m below surface. Multiple zones of alteration and mineralization were observed, including visible gold. The best interval received from this hole is 18 g/t gold over 9.1 m, including 120 g/t gold over 1.3 m, including 311 g/t gold over 0.5 m. These high-grade intersections and other mineralization intersected in holes S19-95 and S18-31 have reinforced our belief that the gold-hosting system remains open with high potential at depth.

Wedge hole S19-97W was drilled to follow-up on the positive assays from S19-95. Visually positive mineralized intervals were observed over 49 m, including local occurrences of visible gold, with assays returning 4.2 g/t gold over 7.5 m, including 25.9 g/t gold over 0.8 m, at a vertical depth of 1,020 m (3,345 ft). The gold mineralization is hosted in fuchsite-altered ultramafics, and could potentially represent the depth extension of the historical “N2 Zone” of the Stock Mine, which produced 80,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 6.2 g/t Au. Significant depth potential well beyond 1,000 m (3,280 ft) is a characteristic of similar geological deposits in Canada.

For 2018 drill results at Stock Mine Deep and Gap Zone see link to table included in the company's press releases from Sep 6, 2018. For 2019 drill results at Stock Mine Deep see link to table included in the company's press releases from Sep 4, 2019 and Sep 30, 2019.