TORONTO,Feb. 9, 2021/CNW/ –Battle North Gold Corporation(TSX: BNAU)(OTCQX: BNAUF) (“Battle North” or the “Company“) is pleased to provide an update on its 2021 construction plans for the Bateman Gold Project1(the “Project“). The Company also announces the appointment of Vice President, Human Resources Rachel Pineault.
Battle North President and Chief Executive OfficerGeorge Ogilvie, commented, “I’d like to welcomeRachel Pineaultto the Battle North Management Team. Rachel brings significant experience in human resources and has been involved in building 5 mines inCanada. Her addition comes at a very important phase of Battle North’s progression, as we embark on the significant growth of our organization in short order.””Construction on critical path items has commenced at the Bateman Gold Project and we are excited that the Board has approved the full construction of the Project, with the potential to be pouring first gold by the end of the year. In addition, we have commenced drilling of highly-prospective targets on our regional Red Lake Properties and we will be providing an overview of our 2021 exploration plans shortly.”2021 Bateman Gold Project Construction:Red Lake’sNext Gold MineBattle North is advancing its shovel-ready Bateman Gold Project to become the next gold producer in theRed Lakegold mining camp. The Company’s Board of Directors have approved construction of the Project as described in the Feasibility Study1, including the 2021 construction budget. The Company anticipates spending approximatelyC$59.1 milliontowards initial capital development in 2021, including underground development, construction of an ammonia reactor, upgrades to the tailings management facility (“TMF“), camp and mill and the purchase of stationary and mobile equipment. As of January 31, 2021, Battle North has spent approximatelyC$4.0 million on critical path construction items, as described below. The Company also plans to spend approximatelyC$17.8 millionon capitalized operating cost expenditures in 2021, including continued infill drilling, site maintenance and underground development. As previously disclosed, onDecember 22, 2020Battle North signed a commitment letter for aUS$40 million credit facility with Macquarie Bank Limited (“Credit Facility“)2. The Credit Facility, in concert with our strong cash balance, is expected to fully fund the Bateman Gold Project to Commercial Production.Based on the current construction schedule, the Company is currently targeting the processing of ore at the Project by end of 2021 and the achievement of Commercial Production by the end of 2022.
1For more information on the Project and its Feasibility Study, including capital requirements and production profile, see the Technical Report for the Project dated January 27, 2021 (the “Project Technical Report“), available under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com and on its website atwww.battlenorthgold.com.
Critical Path Construction Items
At the end ofNovember 2020, Battle North had commenced activities on key work streams that are critical to the Company’s plan of achieving Commercial Production by end of 2022. These areas are as follows:
- Underground Capital Development:In the Feasibility Study1, approximately 8,600 metres (“m“) of underground capital development prior to Commercial Production was envisaged. This amount of development is expected to enable 9 to 12 months of development flexibility ahead of stope production.3,300 mof underground capital development is planned for 2021.To-date, the Company has completed approximately100 mof underground capital development. The contractor has completed the construction of the surface portal and is currently advancing the ramp decline. In addition, the contractor has also been advancing the ramp incline between the244 mand183 mLevels, which will connect to the decline from surface. Once the connection has been made, the ramp provides another point of access to transport equipment, personnel and material to and from the underground, as well as the Project’s fully-operational shaft. The Company is also advancing the development on the610 mLevel that will ultimately be used to establish a fresh-air raise from the610 mLevel to the305 mLevel as part of the underground ventilation system.Pictures of the portal and ramp decline construction and ramp incline development, respectively, are set out below.
- Wastewater Treatment: Before recommissioning the Project mill, the Company will need to build an ammonia reactor to enhance its existing wastewater treatment plant. The ammonia reactor will process wastewater from the mill, where ammonia is produced as a by-product of the cyanide destruction circuit, and from the underground workings, which contain small amounts of ammonia from the ammonium nitrate (“ANFO“) explosives used within the mine. Battle North has selected the supplier for the equipment and is finalizing the designs before construction commences. The ammonia reactor construction is expected to be completed in Q4/2021.The Company is also planning to upgrade its TMF. This includes buttress support in key areas as well as adding another lift to the current TMF configuration. The design work is being finalized and construction is expected to commence later this spring.
- Camp Upgrades: The 242-person camp on the Bateman Gold Project property had been in care and maintenance for more than 5 years. The Company commenced work to upgrade the camp to allow for the safe accommodation of personnel and to permit social distancing in the common areas under the Company’s COVID-19 protocols. The camp upgrades are nearing completion and the camp is expected to begin accommodating personnel by the end of Q1/2021.
- Battle North has assembled an in-house Engineering Procurement Construction and Management team (“EPCM team“) that will oversee construction of the Project.
Updates on Other Key Construction Items
Other key construction items that the Company plans on completing prior to achieving Commercial Production include:
- The purchase and mobilization of equipment including 30- and 50-tonne trucks, LHDs (various sizes between 2.5 to 6 yard), 1- and 2-boom jumbo drills, scissor lifts, rock bolters, jacklegs and stopers;
- Minor upgrades to the mill;
- Minor upgrades to the underground infrastructure (shaft, pumping, loading systems, etc.)
- Upgrade of sewage treatment for the site infrastructure; and
- Additional office buildings and a dry facility.
The Company has also taken additional measures to enhance the safety of employees and on-site contractors including installation of a COVID-19 rapid test equipment, which is currently operational.For photographs and videos of the Bateman Gold Project construction, please visit the “Media Centre” section of the Battle North website athttps://battlenorthgold.com/investors-and-news/default.aspx#media, or the Company’sFacebookandInstagrampages.
Stope Development, Mining and Production
The Company anticipates stope mining and the processing of first ore later this year. As part of the stope planning, Battle North also expects to complete additional infill-drilling of the planned stopes prior to mining.
Appointment of Vice President of Human Resources
The Company has appointedRachel Pineaultas Vice President, Human Resources. Rachel brings more than 25 years of progressive senior management experience, successfully leading, developing, and implementing strategic human resources initiatives and aboriginal engagement within Northern communities.
Prior to joining Battle North Gold, Rachel was Director of Human Resources – Canadian Operations at Kirkland Lake Gold, where she developed and implemented initiatives to drive business plans and support operations. Rachel previously held the position of Vice President, Human Resources and Aboriginal Affairs at Detour Gold Corporation, where she led the human resources function on both the corporate and mine site levels. Earlier in her career, she managed the Human Resources and Aboriginal Affairs portfolio for De Beers Canada – Victor Mine where she held accountability for full workforce ramp-up and developed a sustainable business model to bring long-term benefits, including training and educational initiatives, to impacted communities.
Rachel is a Board member for Wahgoshig Resources Inc. (Wahgoshig First Nation), sits on the International Advisory Board for the Goodman School of Mines atLaurentian University, and is a past Executive Member of Northern College’s Board of Governors.
About Battle NorthBattle North is developing the Bateman Gold Project to become the next gold producer in the renowned Lake gold district in Ontario, Canada and controls the second largest exploration ground in the district. Battle North also owns a large gold exploration land package on the Long Canyon gold trend near theNevada–Utahborder inthe United States. Battle North’s shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BNAU) and the OTCQX markets (BNAUF). For more information, please visit our website atwww.battlenorthgold.com.
BATTLE NORTH GOLD CORPORATION
George Ogilvie, P.Eng.President, CEO, and DirectorPicture 1 – Portal construction and Ramp Decline Excavation from Surface
Picture 2 – Ramp Incline Development Between the244 mand183 mLevels
Cautionary Statements regarding Forward-Looking Statements
All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained or incorporated by reference in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” and “forward looking information” (collectively, “forward-looking statements“) within the meaning of applicable Canadian andUnited Statessecurities legislation. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “advancing”, “anticipates”, “assumption”, “budget”, “contemplating”, “contingencies”, “development”, “embark”, “estimate”, “expected”, “exploration”, “factors”, “feasibility”, “phase”, “finalizing”, “forecast”, “forward”, “future”, “goal”, “growth”, “may”, “need”, “path”, “pending”, “plan”, “potential”, “progress”, “project”, “prospective”, “risk”, “schedule”, “shortly”, “shovel-ready”, “strategic”, “study”, “subject to”, “target”, “testing”, “trend”, “ultimately”, “uncertainties” and “will”, or variations of such words, and similar such words, expressions or statements that certain actions, events or results can, may, could, should, will (or not) be achieved, occur, provide or result in the future. In some cases, forward-looking information may be stated in the present tense, such as in respect of current matters that may be continuing, or that may have a future impact or effect. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the 2021 construction plans and 2021 budget for the Project (including activities (such as construction and completion of the ammonia reactor, buttressing and lift of the tailings management facility (or TMF) and other such upgrades, recommissioning of the mill, camp upgrades, stope mining and in-fill or definition drilling, stockpiling), timing or schedules for advancing and completing such activities, related costs and expenditures and funding thereof, and milestones (including processing of ore,pouring first gold and Commercial Production, and the prospective timing thereof)); the Feasibility Study for the Project and results thereof (including development and construction plans and schedules and forecast expenditures); 2021 exploration plans including drilling of targets on the Company’s regional Red Lake Properties and the prospectivity of such targets; theUS$40 million Credit Facility with Macquarie Bank Limited (the “Credit Facility“);funding of the Project including to Commercial Production; and future updates on such an other matters from the Company.
Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, estimates, expectations and opinions, which are considered reasonable and represent best judgment based on available facts, as of the date such statements are made. If such assumptions, estimates, expectations and opinions prove to be incorrect, actual and future results may be materially different than expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. The assumptions, estimates, expectations and opinions referenced, contained or incorporated by reference in this news release which may prove to be incorrect include those set forth herein, as well as the Project Technical Report, the Company’s annual information form dated march 27, 2020(“2020 AIF“) and the Company’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three-quarters ended in 2020 (collectively, the “2020 MD&A“) and accompanying financial statements, all available under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.comand on its website atwww.battlenorthgold.com, as well as: (1) permitting, exploration and development at the Project being consistent with the Company’s current expectations including the maintenance of existing permits, licenses and other approvals and the timely receipt of other permits, licenses and other approvals necessary from time–to–time; (2) political and legal developments being consistent with its current expectations; (3) the completion of necessary work, evaluations and studies, and provision of services, on the timelines currently expected (notwithstanding the risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors described below including COVID-19) and the results being consistent with the Company’s current expectations; (4) development and construction at the Project being consistent with the Company’s expectations including budget, forecast cost and expenditures, and schedule thereof; (5) the exchange rate between the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar being approximately consistent with current expectations; (6) price assumptions for gold; (7) prices for diesel, natural gas, electricity and other key supplies being approximately consistent with current levels; (8) the accuracy of the Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource estimates in the Project Technical Report (including ore tonnage and grade estimates) and the Company’s internal models; (9) labour and materials costs being consistent with the Company’s current expectations; (10) continuing amenable relations with key stakeholders including local communities and First Nations; (11) the closing of the Credit Facility substantially on the terms of the Commitment Letter previously announced; and (12) the Company’s ability to meet future debt obligations and/or complete future financings to raise additional capital as and when needed to fund ongoing operations and construction of the Project.
Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Battle North to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors include, among others: not closing the Credit Facility; the sufficiency of the proceeds of the Credit Facility, together with cash currently on the Company’s balance sheet, to fund the Project to Commercial Production; gold price fluctuations; possible variations in mineralization, grade or recovery or throughput rates; uncertainty of Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource estimates; inability to realize exploration potential, mineral grades and mineral recovery estimates; actual results of exploration activities including their impact; delays in completion of exploration and other drilling or plans, and any modelling, re-interpretations or studies, for any reason including insufficient capital and other risks, uncertainties, contingencies and factors identified herein; labour issues at the Company or third parties, such as government and regulatory agencies, suppliers and service providers, including labour shortages and/or work curtailments or stoppages as may result from COVID-19; conclusions of economic, geological or structural evaluations and models including those reflected in the Project’s Feasibility Study and Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource estimates; changes in Project parameters as plans continue to be refined; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents and other risks of the mining industry; delays and other risks related to operations; the ability to obtain and maintain permits and other regulatory approvals (as well as the timing and terms thereof) and to comply with such permits, approvals and other applicable regulatory requirements; the ability of Battle North to comply with its obligations under material agreements including Project development and construction contracts and any current or future financing agreements; the availability of financing for proposed programs and working capital requirements on reasonable terms and in a timely manner; the ability to close the Credit Facility substantially on the terms of the Commitment Letter previously announced; the ability tomeet, repay, or refinance, or replace, or renegotiate current and future debt obligations on reasonable terms and in a timely manner including the closure and reclamation surety bond; the ability of third-party service providers and other suppliers to deliver on reasonable terms and in a timely manner; risks associated with the ability to retain key executives and key operating personnel; cost of environmental expenditures and potential environmental liabilities; relations with local communities including First Nations; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; cost of supplies; market conditions and general business, economic, competitive, political and social conditions; our ability to generate sufficient cash flow from operations or obtain adequate financing to fund our capital expenditures and working capital needs and meet our other obligations; the volatility of the Company’s share price, and the ability of our common shares to remain listed and traded on the TSX; epidemics, pandemics and other public health crises, including COVID-19 or similar such viruses; the impact of any merger, acquisition or other strategic transaction involving the Company including any acquisition or other change in control of the Company; the “Risk Factors” in the 2020 AIF, the risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors identified in the Project Technical Report and the 2020 MD&A (and accompanying financial statements). The foregoing list of risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors is not exhaustive; readers should consult the more complete discussion of the Company’s business, financial condition and prospects that is provided in the 2020 AIF and the other aforementioned documents.
The forward-looking statements referenced or contained herein are expressly qualified by these Cautionary Statements as well as the Cautionary Statements in the 2020 AIF, the Project Technical Report and the 2020 MD&A (and accompanying financial statements). Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this news release (or as otherwise expressly specified) and Battle North disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws.Qualified PersonThe scientific and technical content of this news release has been read, verified and approved byMike Willett, P.Eng., the Company’s Vice President of Operations and Projects, who is a Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators
The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release
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