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Gold Bar

About Gold Bar

Located in Eureka County, Central Nevada

The Gold Bar mine is located in the southern Roberts Mountains of the Battle Mountain-Eureka-Cortez gold trend in Eureka County, Central Nevada.

Within the Gold Bar property, the Gold Pick, Gold Ridge and Cabin Creek gold deposits have been included in McEwen Mining's plans of open pit operations, with Gold Bar South now also considered for addition to the mining plan. Historical production in the area from 1991 to 1994 includes 134,000 gold ounces from Gold Pick and Gold Ridge at an average mining grade of 0.074 ounces per ton (2.5 grams per tonne).

25 miles southeast of the Gold Bar property is Waterton Global’s Ruby Hill Mine and 25 miles north and northwest is the Barrick Nevada operation, with a 2018 cumulative production of 2.1 million ounces of gold from its Cortez-Goldstrike mine complex.

About Diagram About Diagram
Gold pile

 

MEASURED & INDICATED

819,000 OZ AU

INFERRED

201,000 OZ AU

As of Dec 31, 2018 (see press release dated Feb 21, 2019).

OVERVIEW

The Gold Bar property is located on patented lands and public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Battle Mountain Field Office. Since 2013 McEwen Mining has been through an ongoing pursuit to build the Gold Bar mine. During this time, the Company has overcome many challenges involved in bringing a new mining project to fruition. A signed Record of Decision on the Final Environmental Impact Statement published by BLM in November 2017 marked the completion of the National Environmental Protection Act process. Gold Bar is the first new gold mine in Nevada to gain permit approval in several years.

During the mine permitting years, exploration at Gold Bar has been limited. After obtaining the permit approval in late 2017, a property-wide exploration program was started, with the objective to extend the life of the mine by expanding the mineral inventory surrounding the planned open pits and testing new targets.

Exploration delivered encouraging results, through initial drilling focused on three areas: northwest of the planned Gold Pick open pit, northwest of the planned Gold Ridge open pit, and in-between Gold Pick and Gold Ridge. A new shallow oxide zone of mineralization has been identified in Hole GB257, which returned 0.040 opt (1.4 gpt) gold over 55 ft (16.8 m) starting at a depth of 30 ft (9 m). Holes that encountered significant mineralization had a weighted average grade and thickness of 0.03 opt (1 gpt) gold over 50 ft (15.2 m), comparable to the average grade of the deposit (click here for a table summarizing the new drilling results).

In February 2018 we announced an updated feasibility study for Gold Bar (click here for the press release), prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Canadian National Instrument 43-101 “Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects”. Key changes to the implementation strategy of the Gold Bar mine, such as the addition of a crushing, conveying and agglomeration plant and changes in heap leach pad construction, were made with the goal of reducing overall project risk, while maintaining the highest capital efficiency. The resulting increase in capital costs over the previous estimate was offset by a 20% increase in total gold production.

Through the remainder of 2018, additional drilling and improved economic factors, such as higher gold recoveries and lower waste mining costs, continued to increase resources and reserves at Gold Bar - resources increased mostly in the Gold Pick and Gold Ridge areas and the 8% increase of reserves extended Gold Bar’s estimated mine life from 6.3 years to 7.4 years (see Feb 21, 2019 press release for updated mineral resource and reserve estimates).

Gold Bar South is a property acquired by McEwen Mining in 2016. It consists of 109 mining claims located approximately 3.5 miles (5.5 km) southeast from our Gold Bar mine. Gold Bar South hosts a near surface oxide gold deposit which, based on several historical higher-grade drill intersections, shows exploration potential laterally and at depth. It is seen as a satellite resource that can contribute to Gold Bar mine's production.

2019 infill and pit definition drilling program at Gold Bar South is targeting to add this deposit to the mine plan and reserve by the end of the year. Results are positive, with 25% of the new drill intersections showing higher grades than the current resource average of 0.029 ounces per ton (1 gram per tonne). New mineralized structures were identified outside the existing resource, including notable intersections such as 6.66 gpt over 24 meters, 2.16 gpt over 46 meters and 2.13 gpt over 55 meters (for more results see press release from Aug 20, 2019). These results suggest that there is potential to increase the size of the Gold Bar South resource beyond the current Indicated estimate of 3.5 Mtons at 0.029 opt (1 gpt) for 100,000 ounces of gold. Drilling continues to assess the higher grade mineralization that has potential to extend the designed open pit. Economic studies and permitting are underway with the objective of incorporating Gold Bar South into the overall mine plan in 2019, and of having permitting in place, so that open pit development could begin in late 2020.

The Company's 2019 exploration budget for the Gold Bar property is $5 million, with a drilling program targeting both near surface and deep Carlin-type mineralization. Reverse circulation drilling is testing the lateral and vertical extent of a near-surface target at Pot Canyon, a mineralized area located near the Wall Fault and within 2 kilometers west of the Gold Ridge pit, where extensive alteration and brecciation occurs at surface, and where several historical holes returned significant mineralization. In addition, deep core drilling is also testing at Pot Canyon for potentially large Carlin-type gold mineralization.

Gold Bar's first ingot was poured on February 16, 2019. Commercial production, marked by the mine’s ore handling systems having reached operation at over 75% capacity for 30 days, was achieved on May 23, 2019. Production was 2,030 gold ounes in Q1 2019 and 7,940 gold ounces in Q2 2019. Ore grades are reconciling with our reserve model, gold recoveries are tracking well to the feasibility study's design and production is steadily increasing, as more ore is placed onto the heap leach pad.

Gold Bar's guidance for 2019, its first year of production, is in the range of 30,000 to 33,000 gold ounces, at $930 cash costs and $975 all-in sustaining costs per ounce of gold. For 2020 Gold Bar is forecast to produce 65,000 to 70,000 gold ounces.

Highlights
of the
Feb 2018
Feasibility
Study

The updated feasibility study, "Gold Bar Project - Form 43-101F1 Technical Report Feasibility Study, Eureka County, Nevada" is available here to download.

Oxide ore will be mined from three open pits, Gold Pick, Gold Ridge Cabin Creek, transported, crushed, screened, conveyor-stacked on a heap leach pad, agglomerated and processed by an ADR carbon plant.

Capex $81 million
Pay-Back Period 3 years @ $1,250/oz gold, 2.5 years @ $1,350/oz gold
After-Tax IRR 23% @ $1,250/oz gold, 32% @ $1,350/oz gold
After-Tax NPV-5% $54 million @ $1,250/oz gold, $87 million @ $1,350/oz gold
Production Rate 8,000 tons ore/ day
Production Profile 62,800 oz gold/ year
Costs per Ounce $770/oz Cash Cost, $843/oz All-in Sustaining Cost
Life of Mine Production 16.5 M tons @ 1.0 gpt for 397,700 oz gold*

*Based on the Dec 31, 2018 reserve estimate update, the Life of Mine is now extended to 7.4 years.
BASE CASE
($1,250 / oz gold)
UPSIDE CASE
($1,350 / oz gold)
IRR (%) 23 32
NPV @ 5% Discount ($ millions) 54 87
Average Annual Cash Flow ($ millions) 21 27
Average Operating Margin Per Ounce ($) 364 457
Payback Period (years) 3.1 2.5

The Feasibility Study's base case uses a gold price of $1,250 per ounce and generates a Life-of-Mine after-tax free cash flow of $150 million, an internal rate of return (IRR) of 23%, an after-tax net present value (NPV-5%) of $54 million, an average annual after-tax cash flow from operations of $21 million per year, an average operating margin per ounce of $364 and a payback period of 3.1 years.

The results of the study are disclosed on an after-tax basis.