BANYAN GOLD CORP. (“Banyan” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce an updated NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate on the Main Zone, at its Hyland Gold Project (“Hyland” or the “Project”), located 74 km east of Watson Lake, Yukon. The compiled results of the 2016 – 2017 drill programs, a 2016 Property-wide LIDAR Survey and ground based drill-hole location/survey work have enabled the Company to increase and improve the Mineral Resource Estimate on the Main Zone. Concurrently, the work resulted in a new geological model based on combined structural and geological controls where gold+silver mineralization preferentially develops within the brittle quartzite units, opening potential mineralization continuity at the Main Zone on all sides and to depth. In addition, Banyan’s recently released impressive leaching kinetics (see news release dated March 13, 2018) demonstrate the Main Zone is potentially amenable to an open-pit, heap leach style processing method.
Hyland’s Indicated Mineral Resource has increased to 8.6 million tonnes grading 0.85 g/t gold equivalent (“AuEq”) for 236,000 AuEq ounces with an Inferred Mineral Resource of 10.8 million tonnes grading 0.83 g/t AuEq for 288,000 AuEq ounces at a 0.3 g/t AuEq cut-off (details of tonnes and grade of Au and Ag in Table 1 below):
In situ Tonnes
“Banyan is delighted with the increase in both confidence and overall extent of gold ounces at the Hyland Main Zone from the previous Resource Model”, stated Tara Christie, President and CEO. “These results underscore the fact that the Company has identified and meaningfully added gold ounces to this near-surface, heap-leach amenable deposit. Moreover, this updated Mineral Resource Estimate has identified a new geologic model that opens up the exploration potential of the deposit to the East, an area largely ignored by historic drilling and exploration.”
Based on Banyan’s additional 2016/17 diamond drilling at the Main Zone, a 100% increase in tonnage in the indicated resource category was established as well as an increase of 15% in the Inferred resource.1
The focus of the 2016/2017 drill and trench programs by Banyan’s exploration team consisted of infill trenching and infill and step out drilling to:
- expand the understanding of the mineralizing controls at the Main Zone;
- confirm the previous geological interpretation and test the limits and continuity of the mineralization along strike to the north and south of the known deposit; and
- improve drill spacing to show continuity of mineralization and increase overall confidence in the deposit.
The Company’s Main Zone exploration programs successfully completed all of the above objectives while adding approximately 300m of strike length to the north and south of the 2016 deposit model and greatly increasing confidence in the deposit.
In 2016, the Company completed a LIDAR survey that provided for the accurate topography of the Main Zone deposit. Additionally, utilizing the 2016 LiDAR survey, all historic drill collars were located and surveyed in the field as part of the 2017 program resulting in more accurate controls on all drillholes than was available for previous studies.
1Normalized based on 2016 inferred resource. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Updated Resource Estimate
The New Mineral Resource Estimate for the Main Zone has an effective date of March 22, 2018
The 2017 Hyland exploration program included 3,850m of diamond drilling from 25 drill holes focused on infill, step-out exploration and dedicated metallurgical drilling concentrated on the Main Zone gold-silver mineralization. Exploration efforts focused on increasing confidence in the Main Zone Resource model as well as targeting resource expansion via testing the northern portion of the Main Zone, a previously under-tested zone prospective for the continuation of the Main Zone gold-silver mineralization. The update resource has now expanded to cover a 900m x 600m area, within the 186 square kilometre land package where Banyan has identified 18 km of prospective structural trend within the Quartz Lake Corridor.
Banyan retained SGS Canada Inc. (“SGS”) to update the Mineral Resource Estimate to incorporate an additional 4,030 metres of new drill data (21 holes) and new trench data in the Main Zone Deposit. The Company will file an NI 43-101 Technical Report in Support of the update Mineral Resource Estimate on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.
The resource estimate, based on the updated geological model, is presented at a series of cut‐off grades in Table 2. The 0.3 g/t AuEq cut‐off grade approximates an operational parameter that the Company has determined to be applicable.
The Company’s determination was made in consultation with its geological and engineering advisors, including SGS, and is in accordance with the guidelines of Reasonable Prospects for Eventual Economic Extraction (“RPEEE”) per the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum “CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves” (CIM, 2014).
Table 2 ¹
In situ Tonnes
(1) Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimate.
(2) Mineral resources are reported at a cut-off grade of 0.3 g/t AuEq. AuEq grade is based on $1,350.00/oz Au, $17.00/oz Ag and assumes a 100% recovery. The AuEq calculation does not apply any adjustment factors for difference in metallurgical recoveries of gold and silver. This information can only be derived from definitive metallurgical testing which has yet to be completed.
Example cross sections and plans of the revised geologic interpretation, including prior and new mineralized zone interpretations, can be reviewed on the Company website at www.banyangold.com.
Resource Model Parameters
New Mineral Resource Estimate
The new Mineral Resource Estimate prepared by SGS is based on data from 71 drill holes (10,564 metres) and 14 trenches (2,014 metres) and includes 4,030 metres of new drill data (21 holes) from 2016 to 2017 and 617 metres of trenching (3 trenches).
Resource Calculation and Categorization
Grades for Au (g/t) and Ag (g/t) were interpolated into blocks by the inverse distance squared (“ID2”) method. Two passes were used to interpolate grade into all of the blocks in the wire frames. For Pass 1, the search ellipse size (in metres) was set at 45 x 45 x 25 in the X, Y, Z direction; for Pass 2, the search ellipse size was set at 130 x 130 x 50. Blocks were classified by the interpolation procedure as Indicated if they were populated with grade during Pass 1 and Inferred if they were populated with grade during Pass 2. Pass 2 search ellipse size was set to assure all remaining blocks within the wire frames were assigned a grade. Grades were interpolated into blocks using a minimum of 6 and maximum of 12 composites to generate block grades during Pass 1 (maximum of 3 samples per drill hole), and a minimum of 4 and maximum of 12 composites to generate block grades during Pass 2 (no maximum samples per drill hole).
For the 2018 resource estimate, a grade control wireframe model was built which involved visually interpreting the Main Zone mineralized zones from cross sections using histograms of gold and silver values. Polygons of mineral intersections were made on 25 metre cross sections and these were wireframed together to create a contiguous resource model in GEOVIA GEMS version 6.7.4 software. The modeling exercise provided broad controls of the dominant mineralizing direction. The Main Zone resource model defines a shallow north plunging (10° – 15°) antiformal structure with shallow to moderate (20° – 35°) west dipping limbs (axial plane). The antiformal structure extends for approximately 900 metres along strike. The lower limb of the antiformal structure extends to a depth of up to 250 metres.
Banyan had Bureau Veritas complete specific gravity (“SG”) measurements, by pycnometry, on the pulps of 143 core samples submitted for assay analysis from the Main Zone. Of the 143 samples, 76 are from within the Main Zone mineralized envelope and 67 are from waste rocks. The SG values of the 76 mineralized samples ranged from 2.65 to 4.60 and averaged 3.03. The average grade of the 76 mineralized samples is 0.95 g/t Au, ranging from 0.01 to 6.97 g/t Au. The SG values of the 67 waste samples ranged from 2.67 to 3.61 and averaged 2.89. The average grade of the 67 waste samples is 0.08 g/t Au, ranging from 0.01 to 0.67 g/t Au. For the current Mineral Resource Estimate an SG of 3.03 is used for the mineralized zone and 2.90 for the waste rocks.
Selection of Cut-off Grade
Based on the recent average oxide column leach recoveries of 86% (news release dated March 13, 2018), the geometry and proximity to the surface of the resource (within 200m of surface) and the similar technical parameters of other current and successful heap leach projects in northern North America, the conceptual mining method for the Hyland Main Zone would be open pit and heap leach based on the grades, mineralization geometry and proximity to/daylighting at surface. Northern heap leach comparables include: Victoria Gold Eagle deposit (Cut-off grade of 0.15 g/t Au), Kinross Fort Knox Mine (Cut-off at detection, average head grade of 0.25 g/t Au) and Goldcorp (formerly Kaminak) Coffee Deposit (Cut-off grade of 0.3 g/t Au for oxide and transition zone). Thus, the Company has determined, in consultation with its geological and engineering advisors, including SGS, that under the circumstances a cut-off grade of 0.3 g/t AuEq is reasonable and appropriate, based on its current evaluation of the Hyland Gold Project’s reasonable prospects of potential economic viability.
The reporting of the Mineral Resource Estimate complies with all disclosure requirements for mineral resources set out in the NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (2016). The classification of the mineral resource is consistent with CIM Definition Standards - For Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (2014), including the critical requirement that all mineral resources “have reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction”. In order to determine the quantities of material offering “reasonable prospects for economic extraction” by an open pit, pit optimization software and reasonable mining assumptions to evaluate the proportions of the block model (Indicated and Inferred blocks) that could be “reasonably expected” to be mined from an open pit were used. The results indicate that the vast majority of the resource (>90% of the Indicated resource and >70% of the total resource) exhibits reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction, and as a result the mineral resources presented in this release are not restricted within a pit shell.
The reader is cautioned that the results from the pit optimization are used solely for the purpose of testing the “reasonable prospects for economic extraction” by an open pit and do not represent an attempt to estimate mineral reserves. There are no mineral reserves on the Hyland Gold Project. The results are used as a guide to assist in the preparation of a mineral resource statement and to select an appropriate resource reporting cut-off grade.
The updated mineral resource presented in this report was estimated by Allan Armitage, Ph.D., P. Geo, (“Armitage”) of SGS. Armitage is an independent Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. This news release has been reviewed and approved by Paul D. Gray, P. Geo., Banyan Gold’s VP Exploration and a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.
All drill core and trench samples collected from the Hyland Gold program were analyzed at Bureau Veritas Minerals of Burnaby, B.C. utilizing the four acid digestion ICP-MS 35-element MA300 analytical package with FA450 50-gram Fire Assay with AAS finish for gold on all samples. All core samples were split on-site at Banyan’s core processing facilities at the Hyland Gold Project. Once split, half samples were placed back in the core boxes with the other half of split samples sealed in poly bags with one part of a three-part sample tag inserted within. All these samples were delivered by Banyan personnel or a dedicated expediter to the Bureau Veritas, Whitehorse preparatory laboratory where samples are prepared and then shipped to Bureau Veritas’s Analytical laboratory in Burnaby, B.C. for pulverization and final chemical analysis. A robust system of standards was implemented in the 2017 exploration drilling program and are monitored as chemical assay data become available.
All geological data in the resource estimate was verified by Armitage as being accurate to the extent possible and to the extent possible all geological information was reviewed and confirmed. Armitage feels that the assay sampling and QA/QC sampling of core by Banyan provides adequate and good verification of the data and believes the work to have been done within the guidelines of 43-101. Banyan is unaware of any legal, political, environmental or other risks that could materially affect the potential development of the Mineral Resource Estimate described in this news release.
About Banyan Gold
Banyan is a growth stage gold exploration company whose flagship property, the Hyland Gold Project, is approximately 70km NE of Watson Lake, Yukon, along the southeast end of the Tintina Gold Belt.
The Hyland Main Zone Indicated Gold Resource Estimate, prepared in accordance with NI 43-101, at a 0.3 g/t gold equivalent cutoff, contains 8.6 million tonnes grading 0.85 g/t AuEq for 236,000 AuEq ounces with an Inferred Mineral Resource of 10.8 million tonnes grading 0.83 g/t AuEq for 288,000 AuEq ounces. (details of tonnes and grade of Au and Ag in Table 3 below).
In situ Tonnes
The 9,230 ha Aurex-McQuesten Property, in close proximity to Victoria Gold's Eagle Project and Alexco Resource's Keno Hill Silver District, is highly prospective for structurally controlled, intrusion related gold-silver mineralization in relation to quartz monzonite dykes of the Tombstone intrusive suite.
Banyan trades on the TSX-Venture Exchange under the symbol “BYN”. For more information, please visit the corporate website at www.BanyanGold.com or contact the Company.
ON BEHALF OF BANYAN GOLD CORPORATION
(signed) "Tara Christie"
President & CEO
For more information, please contact:
Tara Christie David Rutt
Tel: (888) 629-0444 Tel: (888) 629-0444
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein. This news release contains forward-looking information, which is not comprised of historical facts. Forward-looking information involves risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events, results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Forward looking information in this news release includes, but is not limited to, Banyan’s objectives, goals or future plans, statements regarding exploration expectations, exploration or development plans and mineral resource estimates. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, uncertainties inherent to preparing a resource estimate within expected timeline, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, the preliminary nature of metallurgical test results, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, political risks, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, changes in equity markets, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in the development of projects and the other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry, enhanced risks inherent to conducting business in any jurisdiction, and those risks set out in Banyan’s public documents filed on SEDAR. Although Banyan believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information, which only applies as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Banyan disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law. Paul D. Gray of Banyan Gold Corp. is a “qualified person” within the meaning of such term as set forth in National Instrument 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators, and has verified and supervised the preparation of all of the scientific and technical information contained in this news release.
Statements in this news release regarding Banyan Gold which are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties. Such information can generally be identified by the use of forwarding-looking wording such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “believe” and “continue” or the negative thereof or similar variations.