Vancouver, January 11, 2016 - Scorpio Gold Corporation ("Scorpio Gold" or the "Company") (TSX-V: SGN) announces its operating results for the full year and the fourth quarter ("Q4") of 2015 at its 70% owned Mineral Ridge project, located in Nevada.
Total gold production in 2015 was 39,690 ounces, a decrease of 3% over the prior year. Early in 2015, permitting delays related to the satellite deposits resulted in the Company mining in areas with higher stripping rates and fewer ore tons, until ore production began to recover in Q4. As a result, ore tons processed were 9% less than 2014. Despite lower ore tonnage processed and a 12% lower average grade, gold production was largely maintained through improved recoveries and a reduction in inventory levels during the year.
Gold production in Q4 2015 totalled 9,503 ounces, roughly equal to the prior quarter and a decrease of 7% from Q4 2014. Previously reported issues with mine production drills were resolved and strip ratios improved during Q4, resulting in significantly improved ore production from the various pits. Ore tons processed during Q4 2015 increased by 24% from the prior quarter and 29% over Q4 2014. Estimated recoverable ounces placed on the leach pad during Q4 2015 were 29% higher than the prior quarter and 31% higher than Q4 2014. The increased ounces placed on the leach pad during Q4 are expected to positively impact gold production in Q1 2016.
Peter J. Hawley, President & CEO comments, "We are proud to report reaching the high end of our production guidance of 38,000 - 40,000 ounces with 39,690 ounces gold produced at Mineral Ridge in 2015. Scorpio Gold has now completed four years of production at Mineral Ridge, fully transitioning production from the initial Drinkwater pit on to the Mary pit, both now exhausted, to the currently active Mary LC, Bluelite and Solberry pits. On behalf of the Company, I would like to thank the entire production team and contractors who continue to make the Mineral Ridge operation a success."
Key Operating Statistics
|Three Months Ending Dec 31||Twelve Months Ending Dec 31|
|Mary LC pit|
|Ore tonnes mined||119,891||-||100.0%||203,468||-||100.0%|
|Waste tonnes mined||743,394||-||100.0%||1,684,728||-||100.0%|
|Ore tonnes mined||245,569||-||100.0%||487,234||-||100.0%|
|Waste tonnes mined||769,186||-||100.0%||2,045,787||-||100.0%|
|Ore tonnes mined||-||141,056||-100.0%||202,002||443,343||-54.4%|
|Waste tonnes mined||-||674,026||-100.0%||1,053,992||2,266,625||-53.5%|
|Ore tonnes mined||-||-||-||-||395,177||-100.0%|
|Waste tonnes mined||-||-||-||-||834,938||-100.0%|
|Total producing pits|
|Ore tonnes mined||365,460||141,056||159.1%||892,704||838,520||6.5%|
|Waste tonnes mined||1,512,580||674,026||124.4%||4,784,507||3,101,563||54.3%|
|Pits under development|
|Mary LC pit|
|Ore tonnes mined||-||37,417||-100.0%||87,675||73,718||18.9%|
|Waste tonnes mined (pre-stripping)||-||902,039||-100.0%||1,732,711||2,346,051||-26.1%|
|Ore tonnes mined||-||7,339||-100.0%||4,471||7,339||-39.1%|
|Waste tonnes mined (pre-stripping)||-||99,920||-100.0%||262,721||118,332||122.0%|
|Total mining operations|
|Ore tonnes mined||365,460||185,812||96.7%||984,850||919,577||7.1%|
|Waste tonnes mined||1,512,580||1,675,985||-9.7%||6,779,939||5,565,946||21.8%|
|Gold head grade (g/t)||1.66||1.68||-1.2%||1.52||1.72||-11.6%|
|Crusher throughput (tonnes per day)||2,881||2,235||28.9%||2,444||2,891||-15.5%|
|Recoverable(1) gold (ounces) placed on pad||9,434||7,207||30.9%||29,189||35,086||-16.8%|
(1) A weighted average metallurgical recovery factor has been applied to the estimated contained ounces crushed and placed on the leach pad based on the pit from which the ore was mined.
About Scorpio Gold
Scorpio Gold holds a 70% interest in the producing Mineral Ridge gold mining operation located in Esmeralda County, Nevada with joint venture partner Elevon, LLC (30%). Mineral Ridge is 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 immediately when needed.
Scorpio Gold's President & CEO, 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
Peter J. Hawley,
President & CEO
For further information contact:
Peter J. Hawley, CEO
Tel: (819) 825-7618
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. 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 processing operations 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.