West Kirklandís Project Update Highlights Increased Gold Recovery For Hasbrouck Deposit
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, March 9, 2015 – West Kirkland Mining Inc. (WKM:TSXV) (“West Kirkland” or the “Company”) today announces that the ongoing prefeasibility study for the Hasbrouck and Three Hills oxide, at surface gold deposits is proceeding as planned. The project comprises 70.9 million tonnes (Mt) grading 0.56 grams per tonne (g/t) AuEq for 1.28 million gold equivalent ounces in the Measured and Indicated categories and 63.4 Mt grading 0.37 g/t AuEq for 0.76 million ounces in the Inferred category (Scott E. Wilson, Technical Report dated February 21, 2014 filed on www.sedar.com). West Kirkland holds a 75% interest in the Hasbrouck and Three Hills gold deposits and a large mineral rights position near Tonapah, Nevada.
HPGR Improves Gold Recovery to 72.6% on Larger Deposit
As part of the prefeasibility work, the use of high pressure grinding roll (HPGR) technology in test work was successful at increasing gold recovery by heap leach methods at the larger Hasbrouck deposit. Gold recoveries at Hasbrouck increased from 60% using conventional crushing to an estimated overall 72.6% with HPGR. Silver recoveries remain unchanged at 11%. The current Measured and Indicated resource for the Hasbrouck deposit contains 811,000 ounces of gold and 18,149,000 ounces of silver (63.2 million tonnes at 0.41 g/t Au and 8.91 g/t silver).
Run-of-Mine Recovery, 79% at the Initial Deposit
At the Three Hills deposit test work on run-of-mine material with no crushing predicts 79% gold recovery at production scale. The Three Hills deposit consists of 151,000 gold ounces (7.7 Mt at 0.62 g/t Au) within the current Measured and Indicated resource. The prefeasibility study and filed plan of operations with the Bureau of Land Management envisages an open pit heap leach operation, first at the Three Hills deposit and then at Hasbrouck.
The results confirm that using HPGR for tertiary crushing at the Hasbrouck deposit will improve project economics. HPGR recoveries obtained in this test program and the capital required will be incorporated in the prefeasibility study to be published in early 2015.
HPGR is a proven technology used for several decades in many applications globally. Compared to the rock-on-steel breaking action of conventional crushing, HPGR’s rock-on-rock breaking action produces finer particles with more micro-fractures, both effects tending to increase recovery. Additional benefits are expected to be lower specific energy and lower wear part consumption.
It is believed that the higher capital cost of HPGR technology will be more than offset by gains from increased recoveries and lower operating costs. The capital cost of an HPGR would be partially offset by saving the cost of the two cone crushers it would replace. Final estimates of the costs will be part of the prefeasibility study by independent engineers Mine Development Associates (MDA). Metallurgical testing on the HPGR and run of mine samples from the Three Hills deposit have been completed by Kappes Cassiday & Associates (KCA), an experienced firm from Reno.
Run-of-mine recoveries on the Three Hills deposit announced on December 3, 2014, were estimated from a 12 tonne bulk sample and leach program also performed by KCA.
Metallurgical recoveries were calculated by independent engineering firm H.C. Osborne and Associates which is part of the prefeasibility study team.
Both the Three Hills and Hasbrouck test results will inform the detailed flow sheets and design work for the prefeasibility study.
West Kirkland started work on permitting the Three Hills mine immediately after acquisition. The Company submitted a plan of operations to the Bureau of Land Management on November 13, 2014, seven months after acquisition (see news release dated November 25, 2014). Independent consultants, MDA and Enviroscientists Inc. are working closely to ensure that plans utilized in the prefeasibility models are consistent with the submitted plan of operations. A significant portion of the design work submitted with the Three Hills plan of operations is at feasibility level.
All necessary baseline studies have been completed at Three Hills, including biology and cultural. No issues or concerns which might prevent or delay permitting or project advancement have been identified.
Geology and Resources and Mining Approach
As part of the prefeasibility study an updated resource model and a reserve plan will be completed taking into consideration current economic parameters and mine design. The deposits are at-surface within two prominent hills. Pits will be designed to minimize strip ratios and pre-stripping.
A review of the structural control of Three Hills has identified significant exploration potential to the east of the Three Hills deposit including an intercept of 39.6 meters of 1.36 g/t Au, from 54.9 meters to 94.5 meters in a hole originally targeted for monitoring ground water. The property position at Hasbrouck is large with excellent potential however corporate focus at this time in on engineering and mine design.
Since early 2013, the Company’s strategy has been to acquire and develop one or more advanced stage gold properties in a good jurisdiction. To maintain focus on this strategy, West Kirkland announces the termination of its option agreement with Rubicon Minerals Corporation (“Rubicon”) covering early stage exploration properties in northeastern Nevada. The Company retains its interest in the TUG property located in Utah. West Kirkland is now focused on advancing the Hasbrouck Project through engineering permitting and to a construction decision.
About the Hasbrouck Project
Located near Tonopah, Nevada, the Hasbrouck Project consists of two oxidized gold-silver deposits eight kilometers from each other, Three Hills and Hasbrouck. West Kirkland has a 75% controlling interest in the project; 25% held by Allied Nevada. West Kirkland has the option to make a bid to acquire the remaining 25% interest held by Allied Nevada Gold Corp.
*Resource estimates were disclosed in a Technical Report dated February 21, 2014 titled “Technical Report for the Hasbrouck Project Esmeralda County, Nevada, USA, West Kirkland Mining Inc.” authored by Scott E. Wilson, C.P.G., and filed under the Company profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Mr. Scott E. Wilson, AIPG Certified Professional Geologist, is WKM’s independent Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101. Mr. Wilson has reviewed and verified the data disclosed to be in conformity with generally accepted CIM “Estimation of Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserves Best Practices” guidelines and in accordance with NI 43-101.
Michael G. Allen, Vice President of Exploration for West Kirkland, and a non-independent Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101, has reviewed the information contained in this news release and has verified the data.
Herb Osborne, of H.C. Osborne and Associates is the Company’s independent metallurgical consultant and a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. He has reviewed the information contained in this news release on the metallurgical recoveries and verified the data.
Sandy McVey, Chief Operating Officer for West Kirkland, and a non-independent Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101, has reviewed the information contained in this news release and has verified the data.
About West Kirkland Mining Inc.
West Kirkland was formed in 2010 to focus on gold exploration along major geological trends in North America. The Company has consolidated significant mineral rights positions within the known gold trends of Nevada and Utah, including the recently acquired Hasbrouck and Three Hills properties in southwestern Nevada. The founders and Board members of West Kirkland have successful and extensive experience in gold discovery, mine development, and mine operations in Nevada and other gold producing jurisdictions in North America.
For more information, contact:
Knox Henderson, VP Investor Relations, 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. 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. Forward-looking information in this news release includes, without limitation, the completion of the Prefeasibility Study, the project approach of the Prefeasibility Study and exploration and all information under the heading “Prefeasibility Study Detail”, including the Prefeasibility Study budget. Although West Kirkland believes that such timing and expenses as set out in this press release are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations and estimates will prove to be correct. 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, 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 the Use of Mining Terms
This press release has been prepared in accordance with the securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. Unless otherwise indicated, all resource and reserve estimates included in this press release have been prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. NI 43-101 is a rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators which establishes standards for all public disclosure an issuer makes of scientific and technical information concerning mineral projects. Canadian standards, including NI 43-101, differ significantly from the requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), and resource and reserve information contained therein may not be comparable to similar information disclosed by U.S. companies. In particular, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the term “resource” does not equate to the term “reserves”. Under U.S. standards, mineralization may not be classified as a “reserve” unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or extracted at the time the reserve determination is made. The SEC’s disclosure standards normally do not permit the inclusion of information concerning “measured mineral resources”, “indicated mineral resources” or “inferred mineral resources” or other descriptions of the amount of mineralization in mineral deposits that do not constitute “reserves” by U.S. standards in documents filed with the SEC. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. U.S. investors should also understand that “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, estimated “inferred mineral resources” may not form the basis of feasibility or prefeasibility studies except in rare cases. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an “inferred mineral resource” exists or is economically or legally mineable. Disclosure of “contained ounces” in a resource is permitted disclosure under Canadian regulations; however, the SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute “reserves” by SEC standards as in-place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures. The requirements of NI 43-101 for identification of “reserves” are also not the same as those of the SEC, and reserves reported by the Company in compliance with NI 43-101 may not qualify as “reserves” under SEC standards. In addition, under SEC standards, a company may only be identified as “development” stage if it has established “reserves” by SEC standards and is engaged in the preparation of such reserves for extraction. Accordingly, information concerning mineral deposits set forth in this press release may not be comparable with information made public by companies that report in accordance with U.S. standards.
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