Vancouver, British Columbia – Ero Copper Corp. (“Ero” or the “Company”) (TSX: ERO) is pleased to announce its 2019 updated National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) compliant mineral reserve and resource estimate along with updated life of mine (“LOM”) production, capital and operating cost projections for its 97.6% owned NX Gold Mine, located in Mato Grosso State, Brazil. The update incorporates the results of the first systematic drill exploration effort undertaken since the mine commenced operations in 2012, and includes the Santo Antonio Vein discovery. Highlights of the update include:
•416% increase in Indicated mineral resources, inclusive of mineral reserves, to 442,600 tonnes containing approximately 174,700 ounces of gold (a 296% increase in contained gold) compared to the Indicated mineral resources set out in the 2018 Technical Report (as defined below);
•476% increase in Probable mineral reserves to 378,900 tonnes containing approximately 138,200 ounces of gold (a 448% increase in contained gold) compared to the Probable mineral reserves set out in the 2018 Technical Report;
•Over 1,000% increase in Inferred mineral resources to 470,200 tonnes containing approximately 141,700 ounces of gold (a 458% increase in contained gold) compared to the Inferred mineral resources set out in the 2018 Technical Report; and,
•Underpinning the significant increase in mineral reserves and resources, an updated LOM plan shows average annual production of approximately 40,500 ounces of gold at an average annual head grade of 11.63 grams per tonne gold resulting in average C1 cash costs of approximately US$479 per ounce of gold produced over the next three years.
Commenting on the update, David Strang, President & CEO stated, “Our strategy for the NX Gold Mine at the outset of 2019 was to secure an initial mine life extension of three to five years at low-cost production for the Company. We are pleased with the result of this effort as we now see a strong foundation of gold production on which to build longer-term growth. The fact that this was achieved over only eight months of drilling in what amounts to the first real exploration effort undertaken at the property since 2012, speaks to the opportunity we see at NX Gold to continue to organically grow the mineral reserves and resources, extend mine life and ultimately significantly increase production volumes from the mine.
Over the next year, we will continue to expand upon the success of the Santo Antonio Vein discovery adding incremental mine life through resource conversion of our significant inferred mineral resource base, drill testing new extensions of the Santo Antonio, Bras and Matinha veins as well as undertaking the first regional exploration program ever conducted on the extensive land package controlled by NX Gold.”
The NX Gold mineral reserve and resource estimate is shown in the following table:
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Mineral Reserve & Resource Notes:
1.Mineral Resource effective date of August 31, 2019.
2.Mineral Reserve effective date of September 30, 2019.
3.Presented mineral resources inclusive of mineral reserves. All figures have been rounded to the relative accuracy of the estimates. Summed amounts may not add due to rounding.
4.Mineral resource gold cut-off grade of 1.90 grams per tonne (“gpt”) gold. Mineral resources have been estimated using ordinary kriging inside 2.5m x 2.5m x 0.5m block sizes and minimum stope dimensions of 1.25m x 1.25m x 1.50m. The mineral resource estimates were prepared in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (“CIM”) Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the CIM Council on May 10, 2014 (the “CIM Standards”), and the CIM Estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Best Practice Guidelines, adopted by CIM Council on November 23, 2003 (the ‘CIM Guidelines”), using geostatistical and/or classical methods, plus economic and mining parameters appropriate to the deposit.
5.Mineral reserve estimates were prepared in accordance with the CIM Standards and the CIM Guidelines, using geostatistical and/or classical methods, plus economic and mining parameters appropriate for the deposit. Mineral reserves are based on a long-term gold price of US$1,350 per ounce (“oz”), and a USD:BRL foreign exchange rate of 3.80. Mineral reserves are the economic portion of the Indicated mineral resources. Mineral reserve estimates include operational dilution of 10% plus planned dilution of approximately 10% within each stope. Assumes mining recovery of 90% and pillar recovery of 60%. Practical mining shapes (wireframes) were designed using geological wireframes / mineral resource block models as a guide.
Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
UPDATED LOM PRODUCTION PLAN
The Company’s updated LOM production plan, prepared in conjunction with the updated mineral resource and mineral reserve estimate, provides a pathway for average annual production of approximately 40,000 ounces of gold over the next three years.