Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia– (Newsfile Corp. – May 11, 2020) – Steppe Gold Limited (TSX: STGO) (“Steppe Gold” or “the Company”) is extremely pleased to provide an update on ore processing at its 100% owned ATO Gold Mine in Mongolia.
Further to the March 25 announcement of the commencement of ore processing, the Company announces that it has now commenced gold and silver sales. To date the Company has sold a total of 5,233 oz of gold and 1,372 oz of silver in two separate deliveries to the Central Bank of Mongolia. This has generated cash flow before stream obligations of US$8.5 million.
To date the Company has mined, crushed and stacked approximately 640,000t of ore at a grade of 2.0g/t gold onto Cell 1 where leaching is currently underway. A further 100,000t of ore has been delivered to the ROM pad and is being crushed and stacked. Daily mining of ore continues from the ATO1 open cut and is currently being scaled up.
The Company remains on track to produce approximately 60,000 ounces of gold in 2020 at cash costs of circa $500 per ounce from the ATO Mine. Positive cash flows from the ATO Mine will go towards studies to expand the open pit and processing facilities for the Company to increase gold production to a targeted 150,000 ounces of gold per annum. Exploration drilling results for approximately 11,000 metres of diamond core drilling targeting extensions at depth on the ATO1, ATO4 and Mungu deposits will be available in the coming months.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not resulted in any material impact on Steppe Gold’s operations and the Company currently does not expect it will impact its 2020 production. Preventative measures are in place to ensure the well-being of employees and contractors and no risks were noted at the end of the quarter. Management continues to monitor the situation at the site and corporate offices to prevent or minimize any effects that the pandemic may have on operational or financial reporting activities.
The Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry of Mongolia noted, “We would like to applaud Steppe Gold for successfully commencing gold production at the ATO Gold Mine, which will positively impact the economy during this difficult period.”
The Central Bank of Mongolia stated, “We are happy to welcome Mongolia’s most recent gold producer. Steppe Gold is playing a vital role in growing our gold production and contributing to the foreign exchange reserves in Mongolia.”
Matthew Wood, Executive Chairman, commented, ”We are delighted to commence gold sales at the ATO Gold Mine. In a very difficult business environment we have been able to reach this key milestone. We thank our team for their dedication and professionalism and all our stakeholders for their support. We are well placed to pursue our vision to be Mongolia’s premier precious metals company”
Bataa Tumur-Ochir, President and Chief Executive Officer of Steppe Gold, stated, “We are very pleased to have made a successful start to gold production at our ATO gold mine. We have worked very hard to prepare for a safe and productive start to our production phase and we are delighted to commence gold and silver deliveries to the Central Bank of Mongolia. We are very grateful to all our stakeholders in Mongolia for their support as we celebrate this milestone. We have now increased our mining rate and we plan to increase our gold and silver deliveries as we move out of the ramp up phase”
Steppe Gold Limited
Steppe Gold is Mongolia’s premier precious metals company.
For Further information, please contact:
Matthew Wood, Executive Chairman
Bataa Tumur-Ochir, CEO and President
Shangri-La office, Suite 1201, Olympic street
19A, Sukhbaatar District 1,
Ulaanbaatar 14241, Mongolia
Tel: +976 7732 1914
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
The above contains forward-looking statements that are subject to a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in our forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause such differences include: changes in world commodity markets, equity markets, costs and supply of materials relevant to the mining industry, change in government and changes to regulations affecting the mining industry. Forward-looking statements in this release include, among other things, statements regarding the trading of the Common Shares and business, economic, and political conditions in Mongolia. Although we believe the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, results may vary, and we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws