Esgold Corp. [ESAU-CSE; SEKZF-OTC; N2W-FSE] has filed on SEDAR the NI 43-101 technical report on mineral resource estimate and preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the Montauban gold project located at Notre-Dame-de-Montauban, Quebec.
The results of the PEA were previously announced in the company’s news release dated March 2, 2023.
The mineral claims comprising the Montauban property are located in southern Quebec, 120 km west of Quebec City and 80 km northeast of Trois-Rivieres, and straddle the border of the Mauricie and Capitale-Nationale Administrative Regions of Quebec.
The PEA presents a positive tailings reprocessing operation with very attractive economics, and sets the table for the rejuvenation of Montauban-les-mines with the proactive remediation of the legacy mine tailings. The PEA comprises the first cornerstone of Esgold’s strategy to revive the area’s 100-year mining history.
PEA Highlights: Pre-tax net present value (NPV) (discount rate 5%) of C$14.08M, internal rate of return (IRR) of 42.6% and payback of less than 2 years; After-tax NPV (discount rate 5%) of C$6.99M, IRR of 23.4% and payback of less than 2 years; Assumed gold price US$1,750/oz, silver price US$21/oz and mica concentrate price US$200/tonne with a CAD/USD exchange rate of 1.35; 4 years of mine life with 923,000 tonnes of tailings at 0.41 g/t gold 33.34 g/t silver and the recovery of 57,187 tonnes of mica; Revenue of C$62.2M; Life-of-Mine capital of C$17.04M; and Operation cost/tonne of tailings at C$29.
Jean Yves Therien, CEO and Director, “The PEA clearly demonstrates the low cost and positive return of the Montauban reprocessing / remediation project using a traditional excavation and reprocessing scenario, which includes pulping, pumping, gravity separation, cyanidation for gold/silver recovery with Merryl Crow. The stabilization of the orphan tailings at Montauban includes the addition of limestone from the nearby St-Marc des Carrieres quarry.
“The Company intends on cleaning the area and delivering a secured non-acid generating tailings pond. The various tailings have unique topography and are not saturated, which makes them amenable to rapid development and extraction. The Company will also recover a portion of the coarse micas during processing. We are in a good position, as we are permitted and have an approved reclamation plan.
“The positive results of the PEA will allow us to seek financing for the completion of the mill, the construction of the new tailings pond and submission of the Bond for the reclamation plan.
“The property also hosts an historical underground hard-rock resource prepared by J. Marchand in 2003, which is not considered current by the company. The 2003 technical report describes two surface blocks: one identified as the south block with 114,473 tons at 6.1 g/t Au and 94 g/t Ag – equivalent to 22,281 ounces of gold and 347,086 ounces of silver – and a north block with 274,500 tons grading 2.8 g/t Au and 15.0 g/t Ag – corresponding to 24,917 ounces of gold and 133,912 ounces of silver. It is also our goal to exploit these hard rock historical mineral resources, which will need additional work to comply with current NI 43-101 standards.
“Two underground sectors drilled in 2010 and 2011 are identified for potential near-surface bulk sampling. The company has yet to apply for permitting to extract these short-term complementary potential mineral resources. We also intend to further explore the property, as it is the first time that most of the key territory is owned by a single exploration company. This offers us tremendous potential and room for expansion from an exploration perspective.
“In short, we are not there for only four years. We will develop the camp in a manner that will respect of all stakeholders around our milling facility, but our priority is to reclaim the legacy tailings and restore the heydays of mining at Montauban.”
The property comprises a contiguous block of 76 claims covering 2,360.2 hectares or 23.6 km2, and is underlain by rocks of the Grenville Province, which borders the southeast part of the Canadian Shield. There are five principal tailings sites on the property (Anacon Lead 1, Anacon Lead 2, Tetreault 1, Tetreault 2 and the Notre-Dame-de-Montauban tailings that were generated during the processing of ore from the historic underground Montauban Mine, which hosted a gold-rich VMS deposit.
Now the project calls for the excavation and pumping of tailings material to the mill for recovery of coarse micas into a sellable concentrate, followed by regrinding prior to cyanidation with recovery by Merryl Crow process to allow production of doré bars.
As per discussions with the municipality, a formal agreement was signed and a royalty of 1% will be paid to the municipality.
The PEA considers a conventional truck and shovel sand pit operation with the exception of having a pumping box where the tailings will be mixed with water and pumped to the mill, reducing the consumption of fuel and required equipment for the project.
Estimated mineral resources for the Montauban and the Notre-Dame-de-Montauban tailings indicated resources are 7,800 Au ounces and 610,350 Ag ounces (603,700 tonnes grading 0.4 g/t Au and 31.4 g/t Ag), inferred resources are 4,200 ounces gold and 379,100 ounces silver (319,300 tonnes grading 0.41 g/t Au and 36.9 g/t Ag), (Table 1).
The operation is to bring the material from the tailings pile to the pump box near to the processing plant. The project is to feed 270,000 t of tailings to the plant for the first 3 years and 113,000t for the fourth year of operation for a total of 923,000 metric tonnes. The contractor at mining operation will operate on a 9-month operation basis to avoid freezing temperatures.
The company is fully permitted with its Certificate of Authorization and approved reclamation plan for Anacon Lead for its mill and most of its tailings tonnage.