Largest Exploration Program In Nearly A Decade At Hycroft Mine
WINNEMUCCA, NV - Hycroft Mining Holding Corporation continues the engineering and design work for the next phase of operations, it will be conducting the largest exploration program at the Hycroft Mine in nearly a decade. There has been no exploration drilling at Hycroft since 2014 and, prior to that, drilling was focused on step-out drilling from the known pits for heap leach operations. The Company is focusing on the higher-grade opportunities identified in the 2021 program and for the first time at Hycroft, a systematic approach to understanding the genesis of this world class scale deposit, including potential feeder systems. Hycroft is a low-sulfidation, epithermal system with numerous banded quartz veins similar to Midas-style mineralization yet there has been no prior focus on understanding these veins and what they may mean to potential feeder systems.
The 2022 – 2023 exploration program at the Hycroft Mine will comprise approximately 125,000 feet of reverse circulation ("RC") drilling and approximately 20,000 feet of core drilling. The RC drill rig is on site and the core drill rig is expected to arrive on site later in July. The RC drilling is being conducted by National EWP Inc. of Elko, NV and the core drilling will be conducted by First Drilling LLC of Montrose, CO.
The focus of the 2022-2023 exploration activities are: Drilling to expand and extend the high-grade Vortex Zone, including, follow up on the intercepts encountered in the 2021 drill program which returned 51.8 meters (170 feet) grading 2.47 grams per tonne ("g/t") (0.072 ounces per ton ("opt")) gold and 25.5 g/t (0.744 opt) silver (H21R-5592) in drill hole H21R-559; Following up higher-grade intercepts from the 2021 drill program; Approximately 102 intercepts (1.5 meter intervals) averaging 4.1 grams per metric ton ("g/t") or 0.13 ounces per ton ("opt") gold and 85.3 g/t (2.73 opt)) were encountered; Drilling three zones at depth that were identified in prior geophysics work indicating high potential for feeder zones; and Targeted drilling outside the known resource area to assess district potential. More than 60,000 acres of the Company's land position has not been explored.
The Company will also conduct targeted infill drilling within the existing deposits where there is limited drilling. Based on the geology and surrounding drill results, the Company is optimistic that the additional limited drilling could convert material currently modeled as waste to an ore classification in the resource model. This would reduce the strip ratio, haulage costs, equipment costs, and increase revenue in the ongoing engineering and design work. Additionally, based upon the results of such additional infill drilling, Inferred Mineral Resources could be upgraded to higher resource classifications inside and adjacent to the current pit limits.
Diane R. Garrett, President & CEO, said, "We are grateful to our shareholders and all who contributed to our solid financial position that affords us the ability to advance our corporate strategy of focusing on higher grade opportunities at Hycroft as we work to complete the technical studies for the sulfide mill operation. Hycroft is one of the largest gold and silver deposits in the world located in the Tier 1 mining jurisdiction of Nevada."
Alex Davidson, Vice President, Exploration, commented, "From the 2021 metallurgical drill program, we observed that high-grade mineralization occurs at the intersection of the steeply dipping north-south trending faults1 and the east-west faults2. These geologic controls of the higher-grade mineralization that are known at Hycroft are similar to structures seen at the historic high-grade past-producing, Rosebud gold mine, which is surrounded by our land position. We believe that there remains untapped potential at Hycroft and many of our findings during 2021 support this opportunity. With the largest exploration program in nearly a decade, we will continue to build on the work to date and investigate the opportunities identified. Findings of higher grade will be critical to the overall design of the processing plant, the mill throughput rate and mine plan sequencing."
The results of this exploration program, together with the 2021 metallurgical drill program results will be used for the geologic modelling, updated resource models and mine planning activities associated with the technical studies underway for the sulfide mill operation. The 2022-2023 exploration program expenditures are anticipated to be approximately US$ 15-20 million. Exploration activities, targets and expenditures will evolve based on information and results obtained.