Q1, 2015: Metallurgical study results Q1, 2015: Resource Update to upgrade resources to Indicated Category Q2, 2015: Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) Q2, 2016: Completion of Phase III drilling at 25 meter centers Q1, 2017: Completion of Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) H1, 2017: Exploration drilling to assess expansion potential Q4, 2018: Completion of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Q4, 2018: Submital of Mine Permit Applications
In French Guiana, Columbus is developing its 45% owned Montagne d'Or Gold Deposit, which hosts NI-43-101 Proven and Probable Reserves of 2.75 million ounces gold (54.11 million tonnes @ 1.58 g/t gold) The results of the March 20, 2017 Bankable Feasibility Study demonstrate an open pit mining operation with average annual gold production of 237,000 ounces over the first 10 years of mine life at an average grade of 1.73 g/t gold that results in an average AISC of US$749 per ounce. There is considerable expansion potential on strike and at depth.
1 The resource is confined within a Whittle optimization pit shell using a cut-off grade of 0.4 g/t gold and a gold price of US$1,300/oz. See news release dated March 20, 2017.
2 Mineral reserves are inclusive of the Measured and Indicated resources and are reported at varied cut-offs dependent on lithological rock types, economics, metallurgical recoveries and a gold price of US$1,200/oz. See news release dated March 20, 2017.
Bankable Feasibility Study3
NPV (5%): US $370 Million (After-tax)
IRR: 18.7% (After-tax)
CAPEX: US $361 Million
(After Surplus Tax Credit Refunds)
AISC: US $779 per ounce gold (LOM)
(Including reclamation & closure)
3 For more details on the BFS, refer to news release dated March 20, 2017
Montagne d'Or is comprised of eight mining concessions and two exclusive exploration permits, covering an area of 190 km2 and is accessible via an all season forest road from the town of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, for a distance of 120 kilometres, and by small aircraft to the project's base camp. Several roads crisscross the mining concessions providing truck access.
At Montagne d'Or, the gold mineralisation is hosted within a 400 metre thick sequence of intercalated felsic and mafic volcanic and subordinate volcaniclastic rocks that strike east-west and dip steeply south. The near surface gold resources are contained within four closely-spaced stratiform, sub-parallel, east-west-striking and south-dipping sulphide mineralised horizons, which include the principal UFZ and LFZ having average thicknesses of 50 metres and 17.5 metres, respectively. Gold mineralisation is associated with disseminated and stringer sulphides with occasional semi-massive seams to several centimetres in width, mainly as pyrite, and is accompanied by pervasive alteration, which includes sericite, secondary biotite (retrograded to chlorite) and secondary K-feldspar ± quartz. Only a small portion of the deposit has been subjected to upper level oxidation.
Montagne d'Or occurs within the Guiana Gold Belt which stretches from western Venezuela eastward through Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana and into Brazil. Mineral deposits are typical of those in other greenstone terrains such as in Canada, Australia and West Africa. Many significant gold deposits and prospects have been identified on the Guiana Gold Belt, including Las Cristinas, Choco, Toropoaru, Aurora, Omai, Gros Rosebel, Merian and Camp Caiman. Numerous other prospects, mostly in Guyana and Surinam are undergoing active exploration.
Modern exploration at the Montagne d'Or gold deposit includes geological, geochemical and geophysical surveys, and diamond core drilling carried out primarily from 1996 to 1999. Most of this work included 54 holes for 10,600 metres directed at the Montagne d'Or gold deposit which delineated an inferred gold resource of 1.9 million ounces from 36.7 million tonnes grading 1.6 gpt gold; applying a cut-off grade 0.4 gpt. Resource estimates on Montagne d'Or: 1999 (Guyanor-Golden Star), 2004 (RSG Global) and 2008, 2011, and 2015 (SRK).
Exploration Work Completed by Columbus:
In late 2012, Columbus completed a Phase I drilling program that consisted of 15,824 metres in 45 core holes at the Montagne d'Or gold deposit.
A Phase II resource development in-fill drill program was completed in November 2014, consisting of 25,570 meters in 126 holes. The program was designed to complete a 50 meter spacing array to a vertical depth of 200 m along the full 2500 meter strike extent of the current resource model. The 50-meter drill pattern is expected to internally increase the resources between widely spaced holes, convert much of the inferred resource to the indicated and measured categories, and provide confidence in the grade-width distribution. In addition, concurrent metallurgical and baseline environmental studies will be completed leading to a resource update and preliminary economic assessment in early 2015.
On September 2013, Columbus Gold entered into an option agreement with Nordgold (LSE: NORD). Under the agreement, Nordgold may earn a 55.01% interest in certain licences at the Paul Isnard Gold Project by completing a bankable feasibility study and by expending not less than US$30 million in 3 years in staged work expenditures, which includes a requirement for Nordgold to pay Columbus Gold $4.2 million in cash no later than May 21, 2014.
During the earn-in period, Columbus Gold will act as operator at Montagne d'Or and charge a 10% management fee on certain expenditures. For complete details of the agreement please see Columbus Gold's news release dated September 18, 2013
On March 2014, the definitive option agreement was signed with Nordgold and the $4.2 million payment was made to Columbus Gold. For complete details of the definitive agreement please see Columbus Gold's news release dated March 14, 2014
On April 2015, Columbus Gold Announces In-Pit gold resource of 3.8 M oz. Indicated + 1.08 M oz. Inferred and a significant increase in grade at Montagne d'Or. For complete details about the In-Pit gold resource by SRK see Columbus Gold's news release dated April 21, 2015
On June 2015, Columbus Gold commenced a Phase III drilling program designed to support the completion of the bankable feasibility study, consisting of a combination of RC and DD drilling:
5,000 meters of RC fence drilling for infrastructure site condemnation;
14,500 meters of combined RC and DD in-fill drilling to: 1) convert a portion of the current Indicated resources to the Measured category, and 2) better define mineralization contained within the surface saprolite zone (oxide), and;
1,900 meters of DD geotechnical drilling.
For more details about the Phase III drilling program see Columbus Gold's news release dated June 30, 2015
On July 2015 Columbus Gold announces the results of the NI 43-101 compliant, Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") conducted by SRK Consulting.
Montagne d'Or PEA Highlights
After-tax NPV (at 8%) of US$324 Million
After-tax IRR of 23%, at a gold price of US$1200 per ounce ("Oz")
Initial Capital Cost of US$366M, including US$44M contingency
All-in Sustaining Costs ("AISC") of US$711/Oz
Life of Mine ("LOM") Production of 3.05 million ounces
Average Annual Gold Production 273,000 Oz in years 1-10
Milling Capacity of 12,500 tonnes/day, with an average grade of 2.0 g/t in years 1-10
On December 2015, Columbus announces its intent to engage Tractebel Engineering to complete a study on potentially connecting Columbus Gold's 100% owned Montagne d'Or Gold Project to the national power grid. The power study is part of the ongoing Feasibility Study that commenced in October 2015. For more details about this anouncement see Columbus Gold's news release dated December 30, 2015
On April 2016, Columbus Gold completes the 2015-2016 resource development drilling program. For complete details about the completion of the 2015-2016 drilling program see Columbus Gold's news release dated April 22, 2016
On May 2016, Columbus Gold provides an update on the advancement of the Feasibility Study and ESIA on the Montagne d'Or Gold Deposit. For complete details on this update see Columbus Gold's news release dated May 26, 2016
On July 2016, Columbus Gold is granted permits covering potential extensions of the Montagne d'Or Gold deposit. For complete details about the grant of these Exclusive Exploration Permits (PER) see Columbus Gold's news release dated July 27, 2016
On November 2016, Columbus announces preparations for an exploration focused drilling program planned for commencement in January 2017, with the objective of assessing expansion potential. November 10, 2016
On August 2017, Columbus announces results of a 31 hole exploration drilling program at Montagne d'Or, confirming potential to increase size of the gold deposit to depth and along Strike. A new gold zone was discovered. August 15, 2017
Please refer to the following news releases highlighting drill results from Phase III and Phase II drill programs:
Results from a comprehensive metallurgical test work reviewed three gold recovery process options on master composites including: 1) whole-ore cyanidation, 2) a combination of gravity concentration followed by cyanidation of gravity tailing, and 3) gravity concentration followed by gold flotation from the gravity tailing. The test work indicates that the ore types of the principal Upper Felsic Zone ("UFZ") and subsidiary Lower Favorable Zone ("LFZ") are highly amenable to the three metallurgical processes tested, with recoveries of gold ranging from 95% to 97%.
Please refer to the following news release highlighting metallurgical results from the initial metallurgical program completed in 2014: