Positive Exploration Results For The Çakmaktepe Extension Project
DENVER, CO - SSR Mining Inc. reported positive results from 194 diamond drill holes for Ardich for the period from March 2020 to May 2021. These results build upon the preliminary economic analysis (PEA) reported in the Çopler District Master Plan (CDMP20) Technical Report issued in November 2020, in which the Ardich deposit contributed 1.23 million ounces of gold from Measured and Indicated resources, and 0.35 million ounces of gold from Inferred Mineral Resources.
Ardich represents a key organic growth initiative for SSR Mining, with the PEA highlighting the potential for approximately 1.1 million ounces of gold production over an 11-year mine life for approximately $50 million in development capital expenditures1. Ardich was discovered in 2017 and is located 1.5km north of the Çakmaktepe mine and 6km from the Çopler operations, allowing future development to leverage existing oxide and sulfide processing infrastructure. Drilling and technical study activities are ongoing to further refine the value of this near mine opportunity and target a maiden Mineral Reserve declaration in 2022. Permitting is concurrently being advanced with a target for first gold production in 2023.
All 194 diamond holes (AR234-AR427) reported in this release were drilled in 2020 and 2021 subsequent to the cut-off date used in the compilation of the Mineral Resources in the PEA. None of the assays reported in today's release were included in the CDMP20. These new results include both step-out holes (drilled outside of and below the current Mineral Resource) and in-fill (within the area of the current Mineral Resource). The step-out holes are located to the west, south and south-west of the current Ardich Mineral Resource area. Step-out holes confirmed the extension of mineralization, many with impressive grades, including the following holes: AR274: 7.48 g/t Au over 40.7 meters from 155 meters, including 29.99 g/t Au over 5 meters from 187 meters; AR280: 4.18 g/t Au over 24.5 meters from 246 meters, including 35.1 g/t Au over 1 meter from 264 meters; AR356: 2.98 g/t Au over 62.7 meters from 163 meters, including 13.43 g/t Au over 3.4 meters from 205 meters; AR407: 3.68 g/t Au over 54 meters from 145 meters, including 15.43 g/t Au over 2 meters from 157 meters; and AR417: 2.20 g/t Au over 49.8 meters from surface.
Rod Antal, President and CEO said, "These are great results and we are eager to build them into our models as we aim to both improve on the Ardich PEA case presented in the current Technical Report and deliver an initial Mineral Reserve statement for the project. Permitting and other works required to bring Ardich into production continue in parallel with the exploration and resource definition drilling. We continue to view Ardich as a key driver of organic growth in our global exploration portfolio, with first production expected in 2023."
The PEA case is preliminary in nature and includes an economic analysis that is based, in part, on Inferred Mineral Resources. Inferred Mineral Resources are considered too speculative geologically for the application of economic considerations that would allow them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves, and there is no certainty that the results will be realized. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The Ardich deposit is a listwanite-dolomite hosted gold replacement mineralization occurring along thrust fault zones between listwanite, ophiolite, dolomite, cataclastite, hornfels, and limestone. Mineralization and alteration extend in a NW-SE direction, parallel to major high angle fault structures controlling both mineralization and block rotations. Gold grades increase at dolomite-listwanite contacts and within silica-rich (jasperoid) listwanites. The mineralization is predominantly oxide with sulfide mineralization confined to pyrite-rich jasperoid zones. Based on available drill data, the main mineralized zone appears tabular and almost flat lying.
As exploration advances and the geological understanding of the Çakmaktepe and Ardich deposits increases, it appears that there is probable structural connectivity between the areas, potentially creating an expanded "Greater Çakmaktepe" development pathway.