Vancouver, March 30, 2017 - Scorpio Gold Corporation ("Scorpio Gold" or the "Company") (TSX-V: SGN) announces the commencement of a sonic drilling program on the heap leach pad at its 70% owned Mineral Ridge project, located in Nevada.
On March 14, 2017, the Company received approval from the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection agency for its previously submitted engineering design change to potentially exploit material from the existing heap leach pad using a new processing mill. The drill program consists of 34 holes to provide representative sampling of approximately 6.3 million tonnes of mineralized material contained within the pad for metallurgical testing. The samples will be analyzed to determine if the leach pad material is amenable for further gold recovery using milling processes. To ensure integrity of the leach pad containment, the final depth elevation of each drill hole will be a minimum of 20 vertical feet above the original heap leach pad liner system.
The Company has contracted Boart Longyear to conduct the drilling campaign utilizing their LS250 sonic drill rig with 4 inch casing. Drilling commenced on March 24, 2017 and the duration of the program is expected to be approximately 3 weeks. Core samples will be shipped to Kappes, Cassiday & Associates of Reno, Nevada for laboratory analysis and metallurgical testing.
The Company has also contracted Mine Technical Services Ltd. ("MTC") of Reno, Nevada to provide a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate of the mineralized material contained within the leach pad. Based on positive results from the resource estimate and metallurgical testing, MTC will then be engaged to conduct a feasibility study for milling of the heap leach material. The conceptual design of the milling facility was previously provided by SNC Lavalin in 2014, and includes twin circuits for 2000 TPD ball mills, gravity recovery circuit with high intensity strip, CIL recovery circuit, detox circuit and tailings dry stack circuit. The feasibility study conducted by MTC would provide the basis for determining the economics of the overall recovery project. The finalized resource estimate will also be the basis for reconciliation of grade and contained ounces placed by the Company since operations commenced.
Based on production head grades and total tonnage of material placed on the pad relative to total gold recovered, the Company estimates that the leach pad contains approximately 6.3 million tonnes of material grading 0.61 grams per tonne, for an estimated remaining gold inventory of approximately 120,000 -- 130,000 ounces of gold.
Brian Lock, interim CEO comments, "This program will provide Scorpio Gold with confirmation of the pad resource and the feasibility of constructing a milling facility for the mine site, providing the avenue to potentially recover an estimated 120,000 -- 130,000 ounces thought to be remaining on the pad as well as the potential for up to 95 percent recovery of future mineralization mined at Mineral Ridge."
About Scorpio Gold
Scorpio Gold holds a 70% interest in the Mineral Ridge gold mining operation located in Esmeralda County, Nevada with joint venture partner Elevon, LLC (30%). Mineral Ridge is currently in production as a conventional open pit mining and heap leach operation. The Mineral Ridge property is host to multiple gold-bearing structures, veins and lenses at exploration, development and production stages. Scorpio Gold also holds a 100% interest in the advanced exploration-stage Goldwedge property in Manhattan, Nevada, with a fully permitted underground mine and 400 ton per day mill facility. The Goldwedge mill facility has been placed on a care and maintenance basis and can be restarted on short notice.
Scorpio Gold's Chairman, Peter J. Hawley, PGeo., is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the content of this release.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
SCORPIO GOLD CORPORATION
For further information contact:
Chris Zerga, President
Tel: (819) 825-7618
Jag Sandhu, JNS Capital Corp.
Neither 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.
The Company relies on litigation protection for forward-looking statements. This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the Company's current expectations and estimates. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "suggest", "indicate" and other similar words or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur, and include, without restriction, any statements regarding the Company's current drilling program on the heap leach pad, completion of a resource estimate for the leach pad and a feasibility study for a milling facility for the Mineral Ridge operation. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from estimated or anticipated events or results implied or expressed in such forward-looking statements, including risks related to open pit mining and heap leach operations, including unanticipated changes in the mineral content of materials being mined; unanticipated changes in recovery rates; changes in project parameters; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; the failure of contracted parties to perform; availability of skilled labour and the impact of labour disputes; delays in obtaining governmental approvals; the results of exploration and development programs and the timing and cost of such exploration and development programs; changes in metals prices; the availability of cash flows or financing to meet the Company's ongoing financial obligations; unanticipated changes in key management personnel; changes in general economic conditions; other risks of the mining industry; and those risk factors outlined in the Company's Management Discussion and Analysis as filed on SEDAR. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty thereof.