West Kirkland Reports Resource and Preliminary Economic Assessment on its TUG Property, Utah

August 1, 2013 – West Kirkland Mining Inc. (TSX-V:WKM, the "Company") reports a new Mineral Resource and a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on its TUG Project, Utah. The resource estimate and PEA were prepared in conformance with NI 43-101 by Roscoe Postle Associates USA Ltd. (RPA). The study predicts a 26% after-tax IRR and $9 million NPV(8%) at $1,525 gold/ $28 silver, and an in-pit indicated resource of 114,000 ounces gold plus 5.4 million ounces silver with an inferred resource of 3,000 ounces gold plus 298,000 ounces silver. Initial capital cost is projected to be $24 million. Note that all funds are stated in US$.

R. Michael Jones, West Kirkland President and CEO said, “Our completion of the Resource and Preliminary Economic Assessment for the TUG gold project shows the potential for production when a $1,500 gold price over four to five years is achievable.  At the current time we will continue conserving a $1.0 million working capital position and are now assessing opportunities for acquisition of additional gold and silver assets. We are targeting projects that are a logical addition to TUG and where we can use our expertise in exploration and into operations.”

Highlights of the PEA

RPA’s economic assessment has focused on the most economical part of the Mineral Resource, which is based on heap leach processing as outlined in Table 4.  The processing method selected for the PEA was determined by comparing the milling and heap leaching cash flow analyses.

Table 1  TUG PEA Preliminary Economic Assessment April 30, 2013
Gold Price $1,525/oz
Silver Price $28/oz
Total Rock 15.6 million tonnes
Waste Rock 11.4 million tonnes
Mineralized Material (non-diluted) Indicated 3.94 million tonnes
Mineralized Material (non-diluted) Inferred 0.26 million tonnes
Stripping Ratio 2.7:1 (waste to mineralized)
Average Processing Rate 3,000 tpd (heap leach)
Gold Recovery 58%
Silver Recovery 15%
Initial Capital (includes Contingency & Bonding) $24 million
Contingency (25%) $4.7 million
Environmental Bonding Estimate $1.7 million
Cash Operating Cost per ounce Gold Equivalent $902 per ounce (AuEq)
Mine Life 4 years
IRR (pre-tax) 33%
NPV (pre-tax, 8% discount rate) $12 million
IRR (after-tax) 26%
NPV (after-tax, 8% discount rate) $9 million

The economic analysis is based in part on Inferred Resources and is preliminary in nature.  Inferred Resources are considered too geologically speculative to have mining and economic considerations applied to them or to be categorized as Mineral Reserves.  There is no certainty that economic forecasts on which this Preliminary Economic Assessment is based will be realized.  The complete PEA technical report on the TUG property will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this release. 

RPA prepared a sensitivity analysis of IRR and NPV to gold and silver prices:

Table 2  TUG Economic Sensitivity Analysis
 
 Sensitivities to Au/Ag Prices
 
 
Au-$1,300
Ag-$23
Base Case
Au-$1,525
Ag-$28
Au-$1,700
Ag-$29
Pre-Tax IRR
%
4%
33%
45%
Pre-tax NPV at 8% discount rate
$ Million
($2)
$12
$20
After-Tax IRR
%
2%
26%
36%
After-Tax NPV at 8% discount rate
$ Million
($3)
$9
$15

After acquiring TUG as part of a land package in Nevada, West Kirkland has developed the deposit from a historic resource of approximately 50,000 ounces of gold to an NI 43-101 compliant resource containing 131,000 ounces gold plus 6.3 million ounces silver in the indicated category and 111,000 ounces gold plus 4.3 million ounces silver in the inferred category.  To meet its 60% earn-in requirement with Newmont, the Company has spent over $4 million at TUG and, subject to Newmont’s confirmation of the earn-in expenditures, is currently forming a joint venture with Newmont to advance the project.

TUG Project Opportunities

RPA has identified several opportunities which have the potential to improve the TUG Project.  These include:

  • Drilling more twinned drill holes to investigate whether gold and silver grades are under-reported in some of the historical reverse circulation drill;
  • Re-assaying pulps from some historical drill holes that have a known low bias for silver;
  • RPA recommends that a comprehensive metallurgical testing program be completed for the Project which might lead to improved recoveries;
  • RPA recommends improving the accuracy of capital and operating cost estimates, optimizing the mining schedule, and investigating alternative crushing processes such as high pressure grinding rolls or vibration cone crushers, all of which have the potential to improve the project economics;
  • Investigate milling after the mine has operated with a heap leach, which would achieve higher gold and silver recoveries from mineralized material, potentially doubling the current economically mineable portion of the mineral resource, and allowing further recovery of gold and silver from leached material; and
  • Perform work on the adjacent KB deposit and other nearby exploration targets to allow their inclusion in the TUG project.

Mineral Resource Estimate

RPA’s Mineral Resource estimate is based on an open pit mining scenario. A potentially minable Mineral Resource is reported at a $17/tonne net smelter return (NSR) cut-off within a preliminary Whittle pit shell. 

Table 3 - Mineral Resource Estimate – April 30, 2013
 
Category
Tonnes
Gold
Silver
Gold
Silver
t (000)
(g/t)
(g/t)
(oz)
(oz)

Indicated
4,846
0.84
40.4
131,000
6,297,000
Inferred
4,400
0.79
30.3
111,000
4,271,000

Notes:

  • Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability
  • CIM definitions are followed for classification of Mineral Resources
  • Mineral Resources are estimated using a gold price of $1,700 per ounce and a silver price of $29 per ounce
  • Gold and silver recovery factors of 90% and 60% respectively are used
  • High grade assays are capped at 10 g/t Au and 500 g/t Ag
  • Tonnage factor for mineralization was 2.55 t/m³
  • Resources are constrained by a Whittle shell and reported at a $17/t NSR cut-off
  • Totals may not represent the sum of the parts due to rounding
  • The Mineral Resource Estimate was prepared by Luke Evans, M.Sc, P.Eng, RPA, April 30, 2013
Table 4 - economically assessed Resource – April 30, 2013
 
Category
Tonnes
Gold
Ag
AuEq*
Gold
Ag
t (000)
(g/t)
(g/t)
(g/t)
(oz)
(oz)

Indicated
3,944
0.90
 42.8
1.69
114,000
5,427,000
Inferred
   255
0.42
36.32
1.09
    3,000
   298,000

Notes:

  • CIM definitions are followed for classification of Mineral Resources within the pit used for the economic analysis
  • Mineral Resources are estimated using a gold price of $1,700 per ounce and a silver price of $29 per ounce
  • Heap Leaching gold and silver recovery factors of 58% and 15%, respectively are used
  • Tonnage factor for mineralization was 2.55 t/m³
  • No dilution applied to mineral resources, 97% mining recovery used
  • Resources are constrained by a Whittle shell and reported at a $8.05/t NSR cut-off for heap leaching
  • Totals may not represent the sum of the parts due to rounding
  • The Mineral Resource Estimate used in the economic analysis was prepared by Luke Evans, M.Sc, P.Eng, RPA, April 30, 2013
  • AuEq was calculated using the following formula: AuEq = Au grade + Ag Grade * 0.0183

Adjacent Properties

West Kirkland holds two large scale option positions in the Long Canyon Trend of Nevada and Utah from Newmont and Rubicon Minerals. Included in the Newmont Option agreement is the adjacent KB Property which features a historic mineral resource containing 40,000 ounces of gold in 1.73 million tonnes grading 0.72 g/t Au with a 0.34 g/t Au cut-off.  The reader is cautioned that a qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources and the issuer is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources.   Additional work is required to make this estimate current. The Company intends to assess the KB deposit to determine its impact on the economic potential of the TUG project.  The Company has also recently identified exploration targets in its Long Canyon Trend properties that may provide additional sources of feed for any mine developed in the northern portion of the Long Canyon Trend. For further details on properties held by West Kirkland please visit the Company’s website. 

Background to the TUG Property

The TUG property comprises an outcropping gold and silver deposit in the Long Canyon Trend, north-west Utah. The deposit has structural features similar to those at Newmont’s nearby 2.6 million ounce Long Canyon property. TUG was discovered and extensively drilled in the 1980s and 1990s by various owners including Noranda and Western States Minerals Corporation. West Kirkland optioned TUG in 2010 from Fronteer as part of a large land package in the Long Canyon Trend.

Authors and Qualified Persons Statement

The PEA and Mineral Resource Estimate were prepared in conformance with NI 43-101 by Roscoe Postle Associates USA Ltd (RPA). The report was prepared by Stuart Collins, P.E., Kathy Altman, P.E., Ph.D., and Luke Evans, P.Eng, each a "Qualified Person" under NI 43-101 and who have supervised the preparation of the information that forms the basis of the written disclosure in this news release. Input for the PEA was provided by Newfields (civil and heap leach), Gault Group (environmental & permitting), and Hansen Allen & Luce (hydrogeology). 

About West Kirkland Mining

West Kirkland Mining was formed in 2010 to focus on gold exploration along major trends in North America. The Company has consolidated significant mineral rights positions within the major gold trends of Nevada/Utah. The founders and Board of West Kirkland Mining have forty years` successful experience in gold discovery, mine development and mine operations in Nevada and other gold producing jurisdictions in North America.

For further information, please see the Company’s website at www.wkmining.com or contact us by email at info@wkmining.com or call:

West Kirkland Mining Inc.
R. Michael Jones, Michael Allen or Knox Henderson at (604) 685-8311

Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains forward-looking information or forward looking statements (collectively “forward-looking information”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such information includes, without limitation, information regarding proposed exploration activities. Although the Company believes that such information is reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking information is typically identified by words such as: believe, expect, anticipate, intend, estimate, postulate and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. The Company cautions investors that any forward-looking information provided by the Company is not a guarantee of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward looking information as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, the state of the financial markets for the Company’s equity securities, the state of the market for gold or other minerals that may be produced generally, recent market volatility; variations in the nature, quality and quantity of any mineral deposits that may be located, the Company's ability to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for its activities, to raise the necessary capital or to be fully able to implement its business strategies and other risks associated with the exploration and development of mineral properties. The reader is referred to the Company's public filings for a more complete discussion of such risk factors and their potential effects which may be accessed through the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors Regarding Estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources

This press release uses the terms “inferred mineral resources.” We advise U.S. investors that while these terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the SEC does not recognize them. “Inferred mineral resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an “inferred mineral resource” will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of “inferred mineral resources” may not form the basis of a feasibility study or prefeasibility studies, except in rare cases. The SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute “reserves” as in-place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures. The terms “contained gold ounces” and “contained silver ounces” used in this press release are not permitted under the rules of the SEC. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of an inferred resource exists or is economically or legally mineable.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.