World News: 00:51 GMT Friday 7th December 2018. [Ascendant Resources Inc. via Globe Newswire via SPi World News]
(All dollar amounts are in US Dollars unless otherwise specified)
TORONTO, Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- (TSX: ASND) (OTCQX: ASDRF; FRA: 2D9) ("Ascendant" or the "Company”) is pleased to announce it has filed on SEDAR the Technical Report titled Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Expansion of the El Mochito Mine (“PEA”) for its producing zinc-lead-silver mine in Honduras. The PEA was prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 and supports the results initially announced on October 22, 2018, demonstrating robust economics and reducing All-in Sustaining Costs to US$0.97 per zinc equivalent pound for Life of Mine (“LOM”).
Key highlights of the PEA are summarized below:
Notes: Some figures represent a minor, non-material variability from the figures announced in the press release dated October 22, 2018. AISC (All in Sustaining Cost) is a non-GAAP measure that includes mine direct operating production costs (mining, processing, administration and other mine related costs incurred such as variation in inventory) plus smelter treatment and refining charges, freight costs, royalties, and sustaining capital costs. The measure does not include depreciation, depletion, amortization and reclamation expenses.
This PEA is preliminary in nature and includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. The quantity and grade of reported Inferred Mineral Resources in this PEA are uncertain in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define these Inferred Mineral Resources as an Indicated or Measured Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will allow conversion to the Measured and Indicated categories. There is no certainty that this PEA will be realized. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The PEA outlines a substantial Internal Rate of Return with a payback period of just under two years. The PEA further presents a robust and compelling opportunity for the Company to position El Mochito as a long-term profitable operation. The PEA assumes a mine life of 10 years inclusive of current Inferred Mineral Resources. Current Mineral Resources do not include results of the Company’s ongoing, 30,000 metre 2018 core drilling program. The expansion project mine plan is based upon the Company’s current Mineral Resource Estimate, which has an effective date of January 1, 2018.
The PEA considers increasing mining and processing capacity to approximately 2,800 tonnes per day (one million tonnes per year) from 2,200 tpd (750,000 tonnes per year) without significantly interfering with ongoing operations. In addition to increased revenues, the major benefit of the program is an expected reduction in operating costs to $61.85/t processed over the LOM, materially below the Company’s reported operating costs and $17.76/t processed lower than the projected LOM cost without the anticipated infrastructure. Contained annual zinc equivalent (“ZnEq”) metal production would average 120 million lbs over the LOM. Capital costs to complete the development program have been estimated at $32.8 million with a construction period of approximately two years and an expected payback of two years.
This project presents a significant opportunity to bring the All-In Sustaining Costs at El Mochito down to less than $0.97 per payable ZnEq pound produced two years after the commencement of construction. This cost level would support the longevity of the operation and sustain robust positive free cash flow even if a sustained depressed metals price environment were to occur.
The three principal areas of development considered by the PEA are:
The PEA was prepared for Ascendant by InnovExplo Inc. under the supervision of Mr. Neil Ringdahl, Chief Operating Officer of Ascendant along with the Ascendant Resources’ technical team and included contributions from engineering and scientific professionals at InnovExplo Inc, P&E Mining Consultants Inc. and Mercator Geological Services Limited, all Qualified Persons (“QP”) under National Instrument 43-101. The scientific and technical information in this press release has been reviewed by the following QPs as described below:
Ascendant is a Toronto-based mining company focused on its 100%-owned producing El Mochito zinc, lead and silver mine in west-central Honduras and its high-grade polymetallic Lagoa Salgada VMS Project located in the prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt in Portugal.
After acquiring the El Mochito mine in December 2016, Ascendant spent 2017 implementing a rigorous and successful optimization program restoring the historic potential of El Mochito, a mine in production since 1948, to deliver record levels of production with profitability restored. The Company now remains focused on cost reduction and further operational improvements to drive robust profitability in 2018 and beyond. With a significant land package of approximately 11,000 hectares in Honduras and an abundance of historical data, there are several near-mine and regional targets providing longer term exploration upside which could lead to further Mineral Resource growth.
Ascendant holds an interest in the high-grade polymetallic Lagoa Salgada VMS Project located in the prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt in Portugal. The Company is engaged in exploration of the Project with the goal of expanding the already-substantial defined Mineral Resources and testing additional known targets. The Company’s acquisition of its interest in the Lagoa Salgada Project offers a low-cost entry point to a potentially significant exploration and development opportunity. The Company holds an additional option to increase its interest in the Project upon completion of certain milestones.
Ascendant Resources is engaged in the ongoing evaluation of producing and development stage mineral resource opportunities, on an ongoing basis. The Company's common shares are principally listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "ASND". For more information on Ascendant Resources, please visit our website at .
Globe Newswire: 00:51 GMT Friday 7th December 2018
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