Yamana Gold Provides Exploration Update
OREANDA-NEWS. YAMANA GOLD INC. (TSX:YRI)(NYSE:AUY) ("Yamana" or "the Company") herein provides an update on several of the exploration programs at its Chapada, Jacobina, Gualcamayo, Minera Florida and Monument Bay properties. The primary goals of the Company's exploration programs are to discover and develop new Mineral Resources, and to upgrade Mineral Resources to Mineral Reserves at the Company's operations. New discoveries at existing mines are the optimal way to create sustainability, growth and long term value. Results to-date from the 2016 exploration programs are encouraging at all levels including target generation, exploration drill testing, and Mineral Resource infill and ore delineation programs. Select highlights for the aforementioned properties are provided as follows:
- The 2016 exploration program continues to demonstrate the growth potential at Chapada and suggest a larger system of mineralization than was initially envisaged;
- Currently gold and copper mineralization has been identified along a 15 kilometre trend from Santa Cruz in the southwest through the Chapada mine complex to Suruca in the northeast;
- Drilling at Sucupira is supporting Mineral Resource growth with results returning some of the highest gold and copper intersections discovered on the Chapada property to date;
- District exploration is developing the Mineral Resource potential at the newly discovered Formiga deposit and testing other highly prospective targets; and
- Delineation and Mineral Resource expansion drilling at Suruca is supporting a path towards production for the near surface oxide gold only deposit.
- The mine delineation and exploration drill programs at Jo?o Belo, Canavieiras Norte, Canavieiras Sul, and Morro do Vento continue to report multiple intercepts of above average grade over potentially mineable widths;
- The average grades and widths of four mineral reefs at Canavieiras Sul well exceed expectations with average grades for all four mineral reefs in excess of 6.0 grams per tonne ("g/t") gold across drill intercepts of approximately three metres; and
- Exploration drilling at the Canavieiras Norte mine has hit mineralization in the Main Reef one kilometre below historic artisanal mining, supporting the long term growth outlook for Jacobina.
- Surface exploration at Gualcamayo is returning positive results that support the long term outlook for the property and the potential to extend mine life by increasing the size of the oxide Mineral Resource that is amenable to the current heap leach process;
- Infill drilling at the Las Vacas deposit, 2 kilometres northwest of the QDD Main pit, has returned positive results that support Mineral Resource growth and the deposit remains open along strike; and
- Exploration drilling at the Cerro Condor and Potenciales targets located on the flanks of the QDD Main pit wall has discovered gold mineralization thought to be extensions of the ore mined from the QDD Main pit. These new deposits have the potential to be brought into the near-term production profile.
MINERA FLORIDA HIGHLIGHTS
- The focus of the exploration program has shifted from a Mineral Resource infill program to a Mineral Resource discovery and growth program during 2016;
- Drill results to-date confirm extensions to depth and along strike of the Lorena, Lissette and Tribuna veins within the core mine; and
- District exploration continues to identify and develop through surface geologic mapping and geochemical sampling, numerous auriferous quartz veins that suggest the potential for long term Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve growth.
MONUMENT BAY HIGHLIGHTS
- Results from the winter drilling program which focused on developing continuity of the high grade mineral shoots was successful in intersecting significant gold mineralization on the projected trends in 20 out of 27 holes drilled; and
- The fall drilling program will focus on further definition drilling and testing down-plunge extensions of high-grade zones.
Peter Marrone, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yamana commented as follows: "Exploration is the lifeblood of a mining enterprise and we are pleased that our exploration efforts are continuing to return impressive results across our portfolio. These results, most notably at Chapada and Gualcamayo, demonstrate the potential within our portfolio to improve our production profile and create value at existing operations. At Chapada, we are continuing to discover and develop multiple ore bodies and deposits, and that speaks directly to the long term potential and optionality we have at this cornerstone asset. At Gualcamayo, we have made a number of distinct discoveries with the potential that they may connect beneath and behind the existing pit, and represent a significant increase in mineable oxide Mineral Resources, which are expected to contribute to a meaningful increase in mine life. Results from Monument Bay, Yamana's first 100% owned Canada project, returned positive results in proving geologic concepts on high-grade distribution, which provides encouragement for on-going district exploration."
The Chapada mine, located in central Goias State, Brazil, has been in operation since 2007 producing a gold and copper concentrate at a historic annual production rate generally in the range of 105,000 to 150,000 ounces gold and 120 to 150 million pounds copper. To sustain and grow current production levels, the Company has allocated a $6.0 million exploration budget for 2016. The overall budget supports local mine infill and exploration drill programs along with district scale exploration work that includes mapping, soil sampling and drill testing of developed targets.
The Company has completed 23,477 metres distributed in 172 holes in the near mine exploration and core mine infill programs through the end of July, 2016. The near mine program focused on defining and expanding the Sucupira Mineral Resource immediately adjacent to the main Chapada pit, testing and developing an IP anomaly immediately beneath the pit and testing for extensions of the oxide mineral envelops at Suruca and Hidrothermalito. The core mine infill program is concentrating on providing increased grade definition of the ore zones for selective mining purposes. Results are encouraging from all programs (Figure 1).
To view Figure 1, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig01.pdf
At Sucupira (Figures 2 and 3), drilling continues to define a cigar shaped mineral body that is elongated along the same trend as the main Chapada deposit. Drilling has returned continuous gold and copper values along a strike length of 1,700 meters with drill hole intercept lengths of between 9 and 180 meters for the low grade halo and intercept lengths ranging from 6 to 38 metres for the high grade core. An example of Sucupira mineralization is represented by results from hole NM-184 which returned 111.2 metres of 0.26 g/t Au and 0.42% Cu from 182 metres hole depth and a second interval of 24.66 metres of 0.39 g/t Au and 0.35% Cu from 304 metres hole depth. Included in the interval beginning at 182 metres are higher grade intercepts of 6.26 metres of 0.60 g/t Au and 0.86% Cu; 13.74 metres of 0.98 g/t Au and 1.05% Cu. The second interval beginning at 304 metres includes a high grade core of 8.72 metres assaying 0.86 g/t Au and 0.64% Cu. A list of select drill results can be found in Table 1 below.
To view Figure 2, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig02.pdf
To view Figure 3, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig03.pdf
Drill testing to explore for extensions of the Chapada ore body have shown positive results immediately beneath the current pit (Figure 4, Table 2). Holes NM-159 intersected 53.17 metres of 0.16 g/t Au and 0.29% Cu from 41.83 metre hole depth and hole NM-183 intersected 37.62 metres of 0.20 g/t Au and 0.24% Cu, both immediately beneath the ultimate pit boundary. To put into context these compare to current head grades being processed at the Chapada mill in the order of 0.29 g/t Au and 0.32% Cu. The Chapada deposit is open to the southeast and will be further tested in the second half of 2016.
The Suruca gold deposit is located 8 kilometres NE of the main Chapada pit and contains probable reserves of 1.032 million gold ounces contained within 58.9 million tonnes at a grade of 0.55 g/t Au. The near surface portion of the deposit is oxidized and is amenable to extraction using conventional heap leach technology. A $1.9 million budget was approved in July to execute a 20,000 metre drill program that will delineate the oxide boundary of the deposit with a drill grid spacing on 35 meter centers. The program is underway and expected to be complete by December, 2016 and will support the completion of a feasibility study by early to mid-2017.
To view Figure 4, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig04.pdf
The District exploration program at Chapada is targeting the discovery of new deposits within the extensive concession holdings surrounding the Chapada deposit and exploring holdings distal to the Chapada Mine which present similar geologic, geochemical and geophysical characteristics within the Mara Rosa Greenstone Belt. The program has completed 3,476 metres distributed in 23 holes year to date.
During the first half of 2016, drilling has focused on the Formiga target located 15 kilometres northeast of the mine. The Formiga copper-gold mineralization occurs as a high grade core of copper and gold, commonly presented as massive chalcopyrite accompanied by varying amounts of disseminated bornite, pyrrhotite and pyrite, enveloped by a low grade halo of copper and gold mineralization, similar in geometry to Sucupira. The deposit occurs within similar meta-diorite and meta-sedimentary sequences found at the Chapada complex. Results to date are impressive (Table 3) and indicate that further drilling is required to define the extent of mineralization. Early in the third quarter, the exploration program transitioned to drill testing other targets generated within the Mara Rosa Belt, including Curicaca, Bom Jesus Central, Taquarucu and others. Results are pending.
The Jacobina gold deposit is located in the east central section of Bahia State of Northern Brazil. Gold mineralization in the "Serra do Jacobina" mountains was first discovered in the 17th century and mining in the region has occurred since that time. Modern mining techniques and extraction of the gold deposits began in the 1970's and the Company continued and expanded these efforts following acquisition of the mine in July of 2006.
The geologic and depositional setting has been compared to the Witwatersrand Basin-type deposits found in South Africa, well known for large, multi-million ounce gold deposits and sustained production history. The Jacobina deposits are found within the southern portion of a north-south aligned mountain range comprised of Paleoproterozoic age conglomerate, schist and quartzite that continue for over 200 kilometres. The company controls a significant portion of this belt, with exploration efforts concentrated around current operations.
At Jacobina, the ore delineation and exploration programs have provided important detailed mineral reserve data to aid in mine planning and sequencing of the known ore deposits and have also encountered additional new potential Mineral Resource bodies. The Company has budgeted $4.5 million to complete the exploration program during 2016 which includes 36,000 metres of mine delineation and infill and exploration drilling. Approximately 22,200 metres of drilling is complete to date with many of the holes returning multiple zones of above average grade gold intercepts over potentially mineable widths (Figure 5, 6 and Table 4). Exceptional results are found within all targets tested and within the upper and lower reef sequences.
To view Figure 5, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig05.pdf
To view Figure 6, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig06.pdf
Canavieiras Norte and Sul
Geologists have tracked and calculated the average grade and widths of four impressive reefs that are found at Canavieiras Sul based on a minimum of 100 drill hole intercepts and a minimum intercept of 1 metre. The MSPC reef averages 6.35 g/t Au over 3.9 metres, the LVL reef averages 8.32 g/t Au over 2.7 metres, the MU reef averages 7.01 g/t Au over 3.4 metres and the LU reef averages 8.10 g/t Au over 3.2 metres. These widths and grades should support long term Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve growth as exploration and mining activities are further developed in the Canavieiras reef complex. An example of the robust results is presented in Figure 7.
To view Figure 7, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig07.pdf
In addition, exploration hole CANEX06 cut 1.95 metres of 5.20 g/t Au from 832.2 metres hole depth and 2.40 metres of 12.28 g/t Au from 941.0 metres hole depth (Figure 8). This opens up the Jacobina deposit locally and along strike to the north, providing near and long term growth opportunities.
To view Figure 8, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig08.pdf
The goals of ore delineation for mining purposes are being accomplished, with current developed Mineral Reserves approaching 6 months of production. The goal is to ultimately reach greater than 12 months of developed Mineral Reserves ahead of production. Exploration will now add Mineral Resource growth to the list of goals, and will be testing and expanding the margins of known deposits, and developing new targets for long term sustainability and growth.
The Gualcamayo mine is located in Argentina in the north-central portion of San Juan Province and has been in continuous operation since 2008. Mineralization at Gualcamayo is formed as sediment-hosted disseminated gold deposits, disseminated gold along fracture zones overprinting sulfide bearing skarn alteration and as disseminations in porphyry intrusive stocks.
The initial 2016 exploration budget of $4.0 million was earmarked primarily for Mineral Resource infill drilling within the QDD Main pit and the underground mine areas, infill and limited deep drilling of the Las Vacas mineral body.
At Gualcamayo, exploration drilling that commenced in late 2015 to discover and develop new oxide ounces amenable to current heap leach processing technology continued into early 2016. The program focused on near mine targets and included the collection of 10 metre channel samples for geochemical analysis (Figures 9 and 10). Very positive results were returned from two areas immediately adjacent to the current open pit. The Cerro Condor target is located along the eastern rim of the QDD Main pit wall and was defined by channel sample results including 60 metres of 2.57 g/t Au and 10 metres of 9.19 g/t Au. The Potenciales target, located along the western flank of the pit wall was defined by numerous channel sample results, including 10 metres of 10.5 g/t Au and 10 metres of 13.28 g/t Au. Given these impressive surface results, a $3.5 million budget increase was approved in the first quarter for drill testing. Results of these drill programs have been very positive (Tables 5 and 6) and further drilling is planned for 2016 to expand these new discoveries.
Both of these new discoveries are significant in that they may define new oxide mineral resources and allow for pit wall lay backs to exploit more of the QDD Porfundo resources. An updated Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve from the new discoveries and QDD Profundo will be completed in the first quarter of 2017. While the Deep Carbonates project represents a large ore body, the Company is not currently allocating exploration funds to the deposit as the focus is on evaluating mining method and metallurgy.
To view Figure 9, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig09.pdf
To view Figure 10, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig10.pdf
Stepping 2 kilometres to the northwest of the QDD Main pit, the exploration team conducted follow up infill drilling of the Las Vacas target during the first half of the year yielding positive results such as 10 metres of 2.01 g/t Au in hole 16LVR-052 and 38 metres of 0.86 g/t Au in hole 16LVR-053 (Table 7). The initial results of this program indicate that portions of this near surface oxide deposit will be amenable to the current leaching and gold extraction circuit.
To support long term discovery and growth at Gualcamayo, the exploration team has developed and prioritized over 29 areas to explore based on proximity to the mine, favorable geology, geochemistry, geophysics and remote sensing characteristics, size potential and accessibility. Exploration of five highest priority targets is underway and with support from the mine and regional exploration staff.
Minera Florida, Chile
Minera Florida is located within the Coastal Cordillera in the Metropolitan Region of Central Chile. The gold, silver, zinc polymetallic deposit is hosted by quartz veins and stockwork developed in Cretaceous age andesite tuffs and other volcaniclastic units intruded by an Early Eocene granodiorite batholith. Modern mining at the Pedro Valencia Mine has occurred continuously since 1986 using underground mining and extraction techniques, producing an initial 40,000 to 50,000 ounces of gold plus by-product silver and zinc per annum to 112,580 ounces of gold and 660,997 ounces of silver in 2015.
Exploration activities in 2016, changed from a focus of infill and reserve replacement in 2015 to a focus of Mineral Resource discovery and growth. A combined $9.0 million operational and capital expenditures budget, including a $1.8 million increase related to drilling at Tribuna Este, was approved to extend known deposits in the core mine areas along strike and to depth, and to venture into new areas outside of the core mine area to develop mineral anomalies identified in prior exploration programs. In addition, surface exploration mapping and sampling accelerated in 2015 and continued into 2016 due to early success of identifying numerous quartz vein trends and gold anomalies that are proposed to be linked to producing vein structures at depth.
Results to date have confirmed mineral extensions to depth and along strike at the Lissette and Tribuna Central targets within the core mine area (Figure 11). Important intervals exposed to date at Lissette include 9.2 g/t Au over 3.15 meters in ALH1805, 17.5 g/t Au over 2.77 meters in ALH1808 and 7.6 g/t Au over 9.96 meters in ALH1822 (Table 8, Figure 12). Surface mapping and geologic interpretation of results within the core mine area have led to drill testing the Lorena and Tribuna Este targets. Positive results from both targets (Tables 9 and 10) supported the development of a tunnel which will provide access to further drill test and develop these targets. Assays returned from the Lorena targets include 4.3 g/t Au, 9.0 g/t Ag and 3.61% Zn over 2.98 metres in ALH1768 and 8.7 g/t Au, 50.0 g/t Ag and 1.14% Zn over 3.64 metres in ALH1771. Tribuna Este hole ALH1764 returned 3.3 g/t Au, 19.0 g/t Ag and 3.2% Zn which supports the theory of a continuation of the Tribuna mineralization east of the Maqui Fault.
The Company has demonstrated that fault offset targets of important ore bodies found within the Core Mine Complex are present east of the Maqui Fault, and that new extensions within the Core Mine Complex will continue to provide growth of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves and surface investigations yet untested at Minera Florida have a high likelihood of new discoveries in the coming months and years.
To view Figure 11, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig11.pdf
To view Figure 12, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig12.pdf
The Monument Bay Project, located in eastern Manitoba, Canada, is the primary property of several Canadian properties that the Company acquired in 2015. The Monument Bay Project hosts an Indicated Mineral Resource of 1.787 million ounces of gold contained in 36.58 million tonnes at a grade of 1.52 g/t Au and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 1.781 million ounces of gold contained in 41.97 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.32 g/t Au. The Monument Bay deposits are hosted in the Stull Lake Greenstone Belt comprised by three volcanic assemblages, ranging in age from 2.85 to 2.71 Ga. Gold and tungsten mineralization occurs along the steeply north dipping Twin Lakes Shear Zone and the AZ Sheer Zone.
The 2016, $6.0 million exploration program has focused on improving the drill density within the high grade mineralized shoots on the eastern portion of the Twin Lakes deposit. A total of 27 holes totaling 7,850 meters were completed during the winter campaign.
Assay results received to-date are consistent with expected gold grades, based on the current geologic model. The majority of the Q1 high-grade drill intercepts are located within the eastern portion of the Twin Lakes deposit, within multiple sub-parallel lenses occurring along a strike length of 425 meters (506100E - 506525E), vertical range of 350 meters and are locally open to depth (Figures 13 and 14).
Significant Q1 assay results (at a 2.0 and 5.0 g/t Au cutoff) are summarized in Table 11 below. Of note was hole TL-16-575, which intersected two separate zones with +600.0 g/t Au (uncut) over 0.5-0.65 m widths. These are the highest gold grades encountered in the project to-date. Other positive results include 9.7 meters of 8.26 g/t Au in TL-16-580, 6.0 meters of 16.29 g/t Au in TL-16-581, 2.2 meters @ 16.71 g/t Au in TL-16-583, 2.9 meters @ 16.05 g/t Au in Tl-16-596 and 8.7 meters @ 7.58 g/t Au in hole TL-16-590.
The summer land-based drill program is currently underway with the goals of infilling and extending the high grade shoots to depth.
To view Figure 13, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig13.pdf
To view Figure 14, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/yamana_gold_sept06_2016_fig14.pdf