Map of the Ixtaca Project Plan
Longitudinal section with a 340 degree view
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Almaden Minerals Ltd. (“Almaden” or “the Company”; TSX: AMM; NYSE American: AAU) is pleased to announce additional results from its ongoing review of exploration targets that fall outside of the currently defined reserve envelope of the Ixtaca deposit (see Figure 1, Exploration Targets).
The main Ixtaca zone of the Ixtaca deposit is hosted in limestone where the veins form a broad vein zone referred to as the vein swarm. This vein swarm in the limestone has been the primary focus of the Company’s exploration efforts and feasibility study level engineering study of the Ixtaca deposit (see “About the Ixtaca Deposit” below).
Contiguous to the Main Ixtaca Zone, shaly carbonate rocks host the more discrete, concentrated, gold-silver vein-related mineralization of the Northeast Extension Zone, which also has higher associated zinc and lead values. Based on structural interpretation, the Main Ixtaca Zone gold-silver vein swarm may be the upper part of a vein system that transitions at depth into structurally controlled silver-lead-zinc dominated mineralization where the Northeast Extension Zone lies down dip below Main Ixtaca Zone (see Figure 2, Main Ixtaca Zone Longitudinal Section and Northeast Extension Zone Cross Section). This potential for metal zoning from upper gold-silver to deep silver-lead-zinc mineralization is supported by geological interpretation, geological models for epithermal precious metal deposits and observations made at other epithermal vein deposits in Mexico.
Deep drilling below the Ixtaca Main Zone will be a priority in a future drill program currently being planned by the Company.
About the Ixtaka Deposit
Since discovery with the first drill hole, exploration work at Ixtaca has been almost entirely focused on the discovery area and this work has resulted in the silver and gold reserve that underpins the Feasibility Study (“FS”) results of which were announced in December 20181.
Highlights of the FS, using base prices of $1275/oz gold and $17/oz silver unless otherwise noted, include the following (all US dollars):
Average annual production of 7.06 million ounces of silver and 108,500 ounces of gold (15.2 million silver equivalent ounces or 203,000 gold equivalent ounces)2 in the first 6 years;
After-tax IRR of 42% and after-tax payback of 1.9 years;
After-tax NPV of $310 million at a 5% discount rate;
IRR after tax of 57% at the highest uppercase price deck of US$1425/oz Au and US$20/oz Ag;
After-tax NPV (5%) of US$466 million at the highest upper case price deck of US$1425/oz Au and US$20/oz Ag;
Initial capital of US$174 million;
Average annual production of 6.14 million ounces of silver and 90,800 ounces of gold (12.9 million ounces of silver equivalent or 173,000 ounces of gold equivalent) over an 11-year mine life;
All-in Sustaining Costs (“AISC”), including operating costs, sustainment capital, expansion capital, private and public royalties, refining and transportation, of US$11.30 per ounce silver equivalent or US$850 per ounce gold equivalent;
Eliminating the tailings dam by using filtered tailings, reducing the project’s footprint and water usage. Construction of a water reservoir to provide permanent and permanent water supply for local residents.
1 Additional details can be found in Almaden’s technical report entitled Ixtaca Gold-Silver Project Puebla State, Mexico NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Feasibility Study, which was updated on SEDAR on October 3, 2019.
2 Equivalent calculations use a 75:1 silver:gold ratio (based on $1275/oz Au and $17/oz Ag).
While awaiting the outcome of its permit application and related procedures (see news releases dated February 27, 2020 and September 9, 2020), the Company is continuing to explore this large property with a focus on some previously identified high-grade targets Potential is outside of the current reserve as defined in the FS.
The Ixtaca deposit is one of several exploration targets on the Company’s mineral claims covering an area of high grade epithermal clay alteration. The project area is partially covered by volcanic ash deposits that mask underlying alteration, potential vein zones and associated soil responses. In areas without this ash cover, soil sampling has defined several distinct zones of elevated gold, silver and trace element values typically associated with epithermal vein systems. The Ixtaca Zone is one of the largest areas of gold/silver soil reaction, but is also one of the areas with the least ash coverage on the project.
Management believes that the other altered and geochemically anomalous areas may represent additional zones of underlying epithermal quartz-carbonate veining such as the Ixtaca Zone. The potential quantity and grade of these exploration targets are conceptual in nature. Insufficient exploration and/or study has been completed to define these exploration targets as a mineral resource. It is uncertain whether additional exploration will result in these exploration targets being delineated as a mineral resource.
John A. Thomas, P.Eng., Almaden’s VP Project Development and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”), has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical content of this news release relating to the FS . Morgan J. Poliquin, Ph.D., P.Eng., President and CEO of Almaden and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”), has reviewed and approved all other contents of this press release.
Almaden Minerals Ltd. owns 100% of the Ixtaca Project in Puebla State, Mexico, subject to a 2.0% NSR paid by Almadex Minerals Ltd. is held. The Ixtaca gold-silver deposit was discovered by Almaden in 2010.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
“J Duane Poliquin”
J. Duane Poliquin, P.Eng
Almaden Minerals Ltd.
Certain statements and information in this press release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian provincial securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements or information. Forward-looking statements or information in this press releasee relate, among other things, to: the outcome or nature of exploration programs Ixtakaand the Company’s ability to comply with health protocols related to COVID-19.
These forward-looking statements and information reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based on a number of assumptions, including assumptions regarding the legal positions of Almaden and the relevant Mexican authorities, which, although believed by the Company to be subject to by inherently involves significant legal, regulatory, business, operational and economic uncertainties and contingencies, and such uncertainties generally increase with longer-term projections and prospects. These assumptions include: stability and predictability of Mexico’s natural resources, mining, environmental and agricultural laws and regulations and their application and judicial decisions thereon; continued respect for the rule of law in Mexico; Gold, silver and base metal prices remain as estimated; Exchange rates remain as estimated; availability of funds; capital, closure and reclamation estimates; mineral reserve and resource estimates; prices for energy input, labour, materials, supplies and services (including transportation); no work-related disorders; timely receipt of all necessary permits, licenses and regulatory approvals; the ability to secure and maintain title to property and the necessary surface rights exploration and operations; community support in the Ixtaka Project, ; and the ability to comply with environmental, health and safety laws. The foregoing list of assumptions is not exhaustive.
The Company cautions the reader that forward-looking statements and information are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from the forward-looking statements or information contained in this press release. These risks and other factors include, but are not limited to, risks related to: political risk in Mexico; crime and violence in Mexico; Corruption; environmental risks, including environmental matters under Mexican laws and regulations; Impact of environmental impact assessment requirements on the Company’s proposed exploration and development activities at the Ixtaka Project; certainty of mineral title and the outcome of litigation; community relations; governmental regulations and the ability to obtain necessary licenses and permits; risks associated with mineral properties that are the subject of prior unregistered agreements, assignments or claims and other titles; changes in mining, environmental or agricultural laws and regulations and changes in the application of standards under existing laws and regulations that may increase business costs and limit operations; and these factors have been discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Almaden’s Annual Information Form and Almaden’s most recent Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC Actions, events or results differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statement or information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that our forward-looking statements or information will prove to be accurate. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements or information. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release any changes to any forward-looking statements or information contained in this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release or the occurrence of unanticipated events.
Almaden Minerals Ltd.
Email: [email protected]
Maps accompanying this announcement are available at