TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 27, 2021 - AEX Gold Inc. (AIM: AEXG; TSXV: AEX), an independent gold Corporation with a portfolio of exploration licences in Greenland, announces its unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements ("Financial Statements") for the quarter ended June 30, 2021. All figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.
The Financial Statements and the accompanying Management Discussion and Analysis are available on the Corporation's website at www.aexgold.com and will be filed under the Corporation's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com later today.
As previously communicated, the Nalunaq Project was put on hold in February 2021 due to unforeseen cost increases associated with the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic and as per the April 2021 announcement, the Corporation was focussing on four elements to continue advancing and de-risking the Nalunaq Project:
· Conducting a third-party engineering study to optimize the Project costs and de-risk the Project schedule that will enable AEX to re-assess the execution methodology (self-execution vs. EPC) post completion;
· Conducting fully funded 'early works' infrastructure and a 20,000-30,000m exploration program to expand the Nalunaq Resource;
· Continue to advance the EIA and SIA to obtain all permits;
· Regional exploration targeting both gold and Green/Strategic minerals through technical research, sampling and geophysical surveys.
Corporate and Operational Update
· The Corporation completed a tender process for the third-party engineering study and have appointed Halyard Inc. ('Halyard') a boutique engineering consulting firm based out of Toronto, Canada. Halyard was involved in the engineering and design of most of the components in the Nalunaq processing plant and comes with Greenlandic, project execution experience. The engineering study on the process plant and associated infrastructure are progressing according to plan and we still expect completion by Q4 2021. The study will advance engineering and significantly de-risk project cost and schedule.
· Legacy procurement and contracting commitments have been reviewed and orders that were placed for the Process Plant and Site Mobile fleet prior to the February 2021 announcement are ready for delivery, and a strategy for logistics/storage is being considered.
· The third-party review of the Nalunaq Resource Model by InnovExplo, a specialist in a wide range of exploration and technical services in the metals and mining industry, has been completed and has concluded that the existing resource model contains no fatal flaws. The results of the review and recommendations formed the framework of the 2021 exploration program at Nalunaq. The drilling program will also leverage the latest findings from the drilling campaigns of 2019 and 2020 to test the down-dip extension of Main Vein in the Kirkspir Valley, nearby the South and Valley Blocks. The drilling campaign has got off to a slow start given the influence of COVID-19 and the high demand placed on drilling contractors which has been caused by high Commodity prices. Negotiations are currently underway with additional international drilling companies to support our exploration efforts this year, which will extend to our 2022 campaign.
· A condition assessment of the Bulkhead will be conducted in October 2021 to confirm the design parameters and the quality of construction after which a remediation plan will be developed. The assessment will include non-destructive pile integrity and ultrasound tests to determine the Bulkhead thickness as well as an unconfined compressive strength test of cored concrete samples.
· In June 2021, site preparation for the 50-person exploration camp commenced. Construction of the camp is progressing according to plan with estimated completion by September 2021. The camp will support continuing exploration activities at Nalunaq as the weather conditions turn towards winter in the coming months. Following the camp construction, the bridge crossing the Kirkespir River will be upgraded to provide reliable access between the exploration camp and historical mine site.
· The Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") and Social Impact Assessment ("SIA") are being advanced with no material update at this stage.
· In parallel to the exploration being conducted at Nalunaq, regional exploration is predominately focused on the Vagar and Nanoq gold targets as well as other evolving targets in licences around Nalunaq. Furthermore, we are exploring for copper/base metals and rare earth elements ("REE") in the Sava licence, platinum group elements ("PGEs") in the Sagga dyke, graphite at Norrearm and base metals across the Tartoq licences.
Strengthening of the Board
The Corporation is pleased to announce the further strengthening of its Board of Directors with the appointment of two additional Non-Executive Directors, Liane Kelly and Warwick Morley-Jepson.
Liane brings a wealth of ESG experience to the Board having enjoyed a successful career focused on advising companies on sustainability and CSR initiatives. She currently sits on the Board of B2Gold Corporation and acts as a CSR Advisor to Middle Ground Consulting. Liane specialises in advising companies on community engagement and social impact, both of which will be vital for AEX as the Corporation continues to build on its strong engagement with its Greenlandic stakeholders. Liane replaces George Fowlie, who steps down from the Board, but will continue to provide his invaluable expertise in corporate and business development to the Corporation as well as supporting our Investor Relations in Canada.
Warwick has significant experience in mining having spent just under 40 years' in the industry, holding various managerial and executive positions including his current roles as Chairman and Independent Director of Wesdome Gold Mines and Karora Minerals respectively. Warwick was previously the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Ivanhoe Mines and before that held the same positions at Kinross Gold Corporation. His experience in mine development and operations at global mining firms is highly relevant to AEX as the Corporation continues to progress both the Nalunaq mine and its various exploration targets.
Q2 2021 Financial Highlights
· The Corporation had a strong cash balance of $49.6 million at June 30, 2021 ($61.9 million at December 31, 2020), with no debt, and total working capital of $48.5 million ($61.4 million at December 31, 2020).
· Capital asset purchase commitments, net of deposits on order as at June 30, 2021 was $6.0 million. These commitments, as previously reported, relate predominantly to the purchase of components of the process plant and surface mobile vehicles. Available liquidity, net of commitments as at June 30, 2021 was $43.6 million.
· Construction in progress increased by $2.1 million in H1 2021 (zero at December 31, 2020), as a result of capitalized engineering costs on the Nalunaq Project prior to suspension on February 10, 2021.
· Exploration and evaluation expenses during the quarter was $2.0 million (Q2 2020: $0.9 million), predominantly on the Nalunaq Property.
· General and administrative expenses during the period were $2.1 million (Q2 2020: $0.5 million), the result of increased headcount, consulting and professional fees associated with right-sizing the organizational structure to develop Nalunaq.
Selected Financial Information
The following selected financial data is extracted from the Financial Statements for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021.
Three months ended June 30, Six months ended June 30,
2021 2020 2021 2020
$ $ $ $
Exploration and evaluation expenses 1,998,049 912,676 3,245,196 1,524,451
General and administrative 2,093,578 498,639 3,678,649 881,550
Net loss and comprehensive loss (4,576,963) (2,442,132) (7,866,015) (3,408,569)
Basic and diluted loss per common share (0.03) (0.03) (0.04) (0.04)
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