SolGold PLC Announces Appointment of Key Executive

SolGold PLC


SolGold PLC Announces Appointment of Key Executive

Monday, July 29, 2019 2:00 AM

Appointment of Key Executive

BISHOPSGATE, LONDON / ACCESSWIRE / July 29, 2019 / The Directors of SolGold Plc (SolGold or the Company) are pleased to advise the appointment of Mr Ingo Hofmaier to the position of Executive General Manager, Project and Corporate Finance. Mr Hofmaier is expected to commence in the role effective 9 September 2019.

Commenting on the appointment, SolGold CEO Mr Nick Mather said:

"Ingo's appointment is very important for SolGold and underscores the Company's commitment to the progression of the Cascabel project through Prefeasibility and Definitive Feasibility by end 2020. Ingo will be focusing on the establishment of a development financing solution for SolGold's share of development costs incurred by ENSA on the Cascabel Project. His comprehensive understanding of SolGold and the project, his experience in debt and equity capital markets and financings of this nature, and his deep understanding of the global commodity markets, particularly copper and gold, auger well for delivery of the financing package. He is an outstanding appointment, which we indicated to the market as part of the effort to build up the project delivery team, and has the full backing of the Board to do the job for SolGold."

Ingo Hofmaier joins SolGold from London based investment banking firm Hannam & Partners, where he was instrumental in building the mining investment banking practice over the last six years. He was corporate broker to a dozen UK listed mining stocks, and worked on the USD3bn financing of the Aluminium Bahrain 500kt aluminium smelter expansion, the recapitalisation of Kenmare Resources, the acquisition of Stillwater (by Sibanye) and Ivanhoe (by Rio Tinto), funded bulk and base metals mines into production and counted numerous global hedge funds and private equity investors among his clients over the years.

Prior to his role as Head of Metals and Mining at Hannam & Partners, Ingo was:

1. Rio Tinto - Business Development Executive (London);
2. Wienerberger AG - Corporate Finance (Vienna) & Commercial Director (Bangalore);
3. Capgemini Consulting - Strategy consultant in natural resources (Vienna).

SolGold is manager of the world-class Cascabel project held by ENSA currently 85% owned by SolGold. The project is located in northern Ecuador has a recently published PEA which highlighted a base case NPV at a discount rate of 8% of USD4.3bn, assuming a 55 year mine life at an underground block cave mining rate of 50mtpa, using a projected copper price of 3.30 /lb copper, and a gold price of USD 1300/ oz and a silver price of USD 16.0/oz. The base case indicated a preproduction capital cost of USD2.7bn and an initial capital payback period of 3.6 years with an internal rate of return (post tax) of c25.9%. The project is being designed as a long life mine providing quick payback from the copper and gold rich core and long run profitability.

SolGold is continuing to push towards Pre-Feasibility by end 2019 and Definitive Feasibility-Study by the end of 2020.

SolGold is currently focussed on the collection of additional metallurgical and geotechnical data and the delivery of a third mineral resource estimate which will aim to deliver conversion of the bulk of the current inferred resource into indicated status as the central basis for the PFS. Fifteen (15) drill rigs are expected to be deployed on Cascabel by September in support of this effort.

SolGold endorses a high Ecuadorean stakeholder basis and employs Ecuadoreans across 97% of its 450 strong staff base, including 86 geologists 44 of which are at Cascabel and 30% female. The Company is strongly committed to best practice community and social engagement, safety and environmental care.

In regard to his appointment, Mr Hofmaier remarked:

"SolGold has developed a blueprint for the rapid and efficient discovery and appraisal of Ecuadorean copper gold porphyry projects. This position reflects the natural transition of the Company to become a major gold and copper miner. The outstanding high-grade core and configuration and scale of the orebody, Ecuador's commitment to the extractive industry, and outstanding logistic advantages make Cascabel the ideal starter operation for SolGold. I look forward to being at the centre of driving the finance function, and funding Cascabel into production via an independent, flexible and multi-source funding solution. Likely low cost of capital for years to come together with an excellent copper and gold market outlook will provide a welcome tailwind in SolGold's efforts to realise value from this outstanding ore-body. Personally I am excited to be working with a globally recognised exploration and truly driven management team."

SolGold is intent on the application of its strategy to its 12 other wholly owned and highly prospective targets throughout Ecuador. The Company is focussed on the creation of a copper gold major production company in Ecuador, substantially covering one of the world's most under explored and prolifically mineralised porphyry copper gold provinces in the norther Andean Copper Belt.

By order of the Board
Karl Schlobohm
Company Secretary

The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the information contained herein.

This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

CONTACTS

Nicholas Mather

SolGold Plc (Chief Executive Officer) [email protected]

Tel: +61 (0) 7 3303 0665

+61 (0) 417 880 448

Karl Schlobohm

SolGold Plc (Company Secretary) [email protected]

Tel: +61 (0) 7 3303 0661

Anna Legge

SolGold Plc (Corporate Communications) [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3823 2131

Gordon Poole / Nick Hennis Camarco (Financial PR / IR) [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3757 4997

Andrew Chubb

Hannam & Partners (Financial Advisor) [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7907 8500

Ross Allister / David McKeown

Peel Hunt (Joint Broker and Financial Advisor)

[email protected]

Tel: +44 (0)20 7418 8900

James Kofman / Darren Wallace

Cormark Securities Inc. (Financial Advisor)

[email protected]

Tel: +1 416 943 6411

Follow us on twitter @SolGold_plc

ABOUT SOLGOLD

SolGold is a leading exploration company focussed on the discovery and definition of world-class copper and gold deposits. In 2018 SolGold's management team was recognised by the "Mines and Money" Forum as an example of excellence in the industry, and continues to strive to deliver objectives efficiently and in the interests of shareholders. SolGold is the largest and most active concession holder in Ecuador and is aggressively exploring the length and breadth of this highly prospective and gold-rich section of the Andean Copper Belt.

Dedicated stakeholders

SolGold employs a staff of over 560 and at least 98% are Ecuadorean. This is expected to grow as the operations at Alpala, and in Ecuador generally, expand. SolGold focusses its operations to be safe, reliable and environmentally responsible and maintains close relationships with its local communities. SolGold has engaged an increasingly skilled refined and experienced team of geoscientists using state of the art geophysical and geochemical modelling applied to an extensive data base to enable the delivery of ore grade intersections from nearly every drill hole at Alpala. SolGold has 86 geologists, of which 11% are female, on the ground in Ecuador looking for copper and gold.

About Cascabel and Alpala

The Alpala deposit is the main target in the Cascabel concession, located on the northern section of the heavily endowed Andean Copper Belt, the entirety of which is renowned as the base for nearly half of the world's copper production. The project area hosts mineralisation of Eocene age, the same age as numerous Tier 1 deposits along the Andean Copper Belt in Chile and Peru to the south. The project base is located at Rocafuerte within the Cascabel concession in northern Ecuador, an approximately three hour drive on sealed highway north of Quito, close to water, power supply and Pacific ports(Figure 1).

Having fulfilled its earn-in requirements, SolGold is a registered shareholder with an unencumbered legal and beneficial 85% interest in ENSA (Exploraciones Novomining S.A.) which holds 100% of the Cascabel concession covering approximately 50km2. The junior equity owner in ENSA is required to repay 15% of costs since SolGold's earn in was completed, from 90% of its share of distribution of earnings or dividends from ENSA or the Cascabel concession. It is also required to contribute to development or be diluted, and if its interest falls below 10%, it shall reduce to a 0.5% NSR royalty which SolGold may acquire for US$3.5m.

Over 189,984m of diamond drilling has been completed on the project. With numerous rigs currently active on the project, SolGold produces up to approximately 10,000m of core every month. The Cascabel drill program is currently focussed on extending and upgrading the status of the Alpala Resource, as well as further drill testing of the rapidly evolving Aguinaga prospect. Drill testing of the Trivinio target has commenced, whilst the numerous other untested targets, namely at Moran, Cristal, Tandayama-America and Chinambicito, are flagged for drill testing as overall program demands allow.

The November 2018 Alpala MRE update, dated 15 November 2018, was estimated from 68,173 assays. Drill core samples were obtained from total of 133,576m of drilling comprising 128 diamond drill holes, including 75 drill holes comprising, 34 daughter holes, 8 redrills, and 11 over-runs, and represents full assay data from holes 1-67 and partial assay data received from holes 68 to 75. In contrast, the Dec 2017 Maiden MRE was estimated from 26,814 assays obtained from 53,616m of drilling comprising 45 drill holes, including 10 daughter holes and 5 redrills.

The November 2018 Alpala updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) totals a current:

  • 2,050 Mt @ 0.60% CuEq (at 0.2% CuEq cut-off) in the Indicated category, and 900 Mt @ 0.35% CuEq (at 0.2% CuEq cut-off) in the Inferred category.
  • Contained metal content of 8.4 Mt Cu and 19.4 Moz Au in the Indicated category.
  • Contained metal content of 2.5 Mt Cu and 3.8 Moz Au in the Inferred category.

Investors should consult the technical report dated 3 January 2019 for a detailed account of the assumptions on which the estimates were based as well as any known legal, political, environmental and other risks that could materially affect the development of the resources.

Getting Alpala advanced towards development

The resource at the Alpala deposit boasts a high grade core which, in the event of the construction of a mine, is targeted to facilitate early cashflows and an accelerated payback of initial capital. SolGold is currently investigating development and financing options available to the company for the development of Cascabel on reaching feasibility.

The results of the PEA were published on 20 May 2019, highlighting the following key aspects:

Ø Net Present Value ("NPV") estimates range from US$4.1Bn to US$4.5Bn (Real, post-tax, @ 8% discount rate, US$3.3/lb copper price, US$1,300/oz gold price and US$16/oz silver price) depending on production rate scenario.

Ø Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") estimates range from 24.8% to 26.5% (Real, post-tax, US$3.3/lb copper price, US$1,300/oz gold price and US$16/oz silver price) depending on production rate scenario.

Ø Pre-production Capex estimated at approx. US$2.4B to US$2.8B, and total Capex including life of mine sustaining Capex of US$10.1B to US$10.5B depending on production rate scenario.

Ø Payback Period on initial start-up capital - Range from 3.5 to 3.8 years after commencement of production depending on production rate scenario.

Ø Preferred Mining Method - Underground low-cost mass mining using Block Cave methods applied over several caves designed on two vertically extensive Lifts.

Full results and all details of the PEA are available in the Company's market release of 20 May 2019.

SolGold's regional push

SolGold is using its successful and cost efficient blueprint established at Alpala, and Cascabel generally, to explore for additional world class copper and gold projects across Ecuador. SolGold is the largest and most active concessionaire in Ecuador.

The Company wholly owns four other subsidiaries active throughout the country that are now focussed on twelve high priority gold and copper resource targets, several of which the Company believes have the potential, subject to resource definition and feasibility, to be developed in close succession or even on a more accelerated basis from Alpala.

SolGold is listed on the London Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange (LSE/TSX: SOLG). SolGold is listed on the London Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange (LSE/TSX: SOLG). The Company has on issue a total of 1,846,321,033 fully-paid ordinary shares; 139,012,000 share options exercisable at 60p and 21,250,000 share options exercisable at 40p.

See www.solgold.com.au for more information. Follow us on twitter @SolGold_plc

CAUTIONARY NOTICE

News releases, presentations and public commentary made by SolGold plc (the "Company") and its Officers may contain certain statements and expressions of belief, expectation or opinion which are forward looking statements, and which relate, inter alia, to interpretations of exploration results to date and the Company's proposed strategy, plans and objectives or to the expectations or intentions of the Company's Directors. Such forward-looking and interpretative statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors beyond the control of the Company that could cause the actual performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from such interpretations and forward-looking statements.

Accordingly, the reader should not rely on any interpretations or forward-looking statements; and save as required by the exchange rules of the TSX and LSE or by applicable laws, the Company does not accept any obligation to disseminate any updates or revisions to such interpretations or forward-looking statements. The Company may reinterpret results to date as the status of its assets and projects changes with time expenditure, metals prices and other affecting circumstances.

This release may contain "forward‑looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward‑looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements regarding the Company's plans for developing its properties. Generally, forward‑looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved".

Forward‑looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward‑looking information, including but not limited to: transaction risks; general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; future prices of mineral prices; accidents, labour disputes and shortages and other risks of the mining industry. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward‑looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

The Company and its officers do not endorse, or reject or otherwise comment on the conclusions, interpretations or views expressed in press articles or third-party analysis, and where possible aims to circulate all available material on its website.

The Company recognises that the term "World Class" is subjective and for the purpose of the Company's projects the Company considers the drilling results at the growing Alpala Porphyry Copper Gold Deposit at its Cascabel Project to represent intersections of a "World Class" deposit. The Company considers that "World Class" deposits are rare, very large, long life, low cost, and are responsible for approximately half of total global metals production.

"World Class" deposits are generally accepted as deposits of a size and quality that create multiple expansion opportunities, and have or are likely to demonstrate robust economics that ensure development irrespective of position within the global commodity cycles, or whether or not the deposit has been fully drilled out, or a feasibility study completed.

Standards drawn from industry experts (1) Singer and Menzie, 2010; (2) Schodde, 2006; (3) Schodde and Hronsky, 2006; (4) Singer, 1995; (5) Laznicka, 2010) have characterised "World Class" deposits at prevailing commodity prices. The relevant criteria for "World Class" deposits, adjusted to current long run commodity prices, are considered to be those holding or likely to hold more than 5 million tonnes of copper and/or more than 6 million ounces of gold with a modelled net present value of greater than USD 1 Billion.

The Company and its external consultants prepared an initial mineral resource estimate at the Cascabel Project in December 2017. Results are summarised in Table B attached.

The Mineral Resource Estimate was completed from 53,616m of drilling, approximately 84% of 63,500m metres drilled as of mid-December 2017, the cut-off date for the maiden resource calculation. There remains strong potential for further growth from more recent drilling results, and continue rapid growth of the deposit.

Any development or mining potential for the project remains speculative.

Drill hole intercepts have been updated to reflect current commodity prices, using a data aggregation method, defined by copper equivalent cut-off grades and reported with up to 10m internal dilution, excluding bridging to a single sample. Copper equivalent grades are calculated using a gold conversion factor of 0.63, determined using an updated copper price of USD3.00/pound and an updated gold price of USD1300/ounce. True widths of down hole intersections are estimated to be approximately 25-70%.

On the basis of the drilling results to date and the results of the Alpala Maiden Mineral Resource Estimate, the reference to the Cascabel Project as "World Class" (or "Tier 1") is considered to be appropriate. Examples of global copper and gold discoveries since 2006 that are generally considered to be "World Class" are summarised in Table A.

References cited in the text:

1.
Singer, D.A. and Menzie, W.D., 2010. Quantitative Mineral Resource Assessments: An Integrated Approach. Oxford University Press Inc.
2.
Schodde, R., 2006. What do we mean by a world class deposit? And why are they special. Presentation. AMEC Conference, Perth.
3.
Schodde, R and Hronsky, J.M.A, 2006. The Role of World-Class Mines in Wealth Creation. Special Publications of the Society of Economic Geologists Volume 12.
4.
Singer, D.A., 1995, World-class base and precious metal deposits-a quantitative analysis: Economic Geology, v. 90, no.1, p. 88-104.
5.
Laznicka, P., 2010. Giant Metallic Deposits: Future Sources of Industrial Metal, Second Edition. Springer-Verlag Heidelberg.

Deposit Name

Discovery Year

Major Metals

Country

Current Status

Mining Style

Inventory

LA COLOSA

2006

Au, Cu

Colombia

Feasibility - New Project

Open Pit

1 469Mt @ 0.95g/t Au; 14.3Moz Au

LOS SULFATOS

2007

Cu, Mo

Chile

Advanced Exploration

Underground

2 1.2Bt @1.46% Cu & 0.02% Mo; 17.5Mt Cu

BRUCEJACK

2008

Au

Canada

Development/Construction

Open Pit

3 15.6Mt @ 16.1 g/t Au; 8.1Moz Au

KAMOA-KAKULA

2008

Cu, Co, Zn

Congo (DRC)

Feasibility - New Project

Open Pit & Underground

4 1.3Bt @ 2.72% Cu; 36.5 Mt Cu

GOLPU

2009

Cu, Au

PNG

Feasibility - New Project

Underground

5 820Mt @ 1.0% Cu, 0.70g/t Au; 8.2Mt Cu, 18.5Moz Au

COTE

2010

Au, Cu

Canada

Feasibility Study

Open Pit

6 289Mt @ 0.90 g/t Au; 8.4Moz Au

HAIYU

2011

Au

China

Development/Construction

Underground

7 15Moz Au

RED HILL-GOLD RUSH

2011

Au

United States

Feasibility Study

Open Pit & Underground

8 47.6Mt @ 4.56 g/t Au; 7.0Moz Au

XILING

2016

Au

China

Advanced Exploration

Underground

9 383Mt @ 4.52g/t Au; 55.7Moz Au

Source: after MinEx Consulting, May 2017

1 Source: http://www.mining‐technology.com/projects/la‐colosa

2 Source: http://www.angloamerican.com/media/press‐releases/2009

3 Source: http://www.pretivm.com/projects/brucejack/overview/

4 Source: https://www.ivanhoemines.com/projects/kamoa‐kakula‐project/

5 Source: http://www.newcrest.com.au/media/resource_reserves/2016/December_2016_Resources_and_Reserves_Statement.pdf

6 Source: http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/news/gold‐iamgold‐files‐cote‐project‐pea/

7 Source: http://www.zhaojin.com.cn/upload/2015‐05‐31/580601981.pdf

8 Source: https://mrdata.usgs.gov/sedau/show‐sedau.php?rec_id=103

9 Source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2017‐03/29/content_28719822.htm

Table A: Tier 1 global copper and gold discoveries since 2006. This table does not purport to be exhaustive exclusive or definitive.

Grade Contained Metal
Grade
Category
Resource
Category
Tonnage
(Mt)
Cu (%) Au (g/t) CuEq (%) Cu (Mt) Au (Moz) CuEq (Mt)
Total >0.2% CuEq
Indicated
2,050 0.41 0.29 0.60 8.4 19.4 12.2
Total >0.2% CuEq
Inferred
900 0.27 0.13 0.35 2.5 3.8 3.2

Table B: Alpala Mineral Resource Estimate updated effective 16 November 2018.

Notes:

Mr. Martin Pittuck, MSc, CEng, MIMMM, is responsible for this Mineral Resource estimate and is an "independent qualified person" as such term is defined in NI 43-101.
The Mineral Resource is reported using a cut-off grade of 0.3% copper equivalent calculated using [copper grade (%)] + [gold grade (g/t) x 0.6] based on a copper price of US$2.8/lb and gold price of US$1,160/oz.
The Mineral Resource is considered to have reasonable potential for eventual economic extraction by underground mass mining such as block caving.
Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The statement uses the terminology, definitions and guidelines given in the CIM Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (May 2014).
The MRE is reported on 100 percent basis.
Values given in the table have been rounded, apparent calculation errors resulting from this are not considered to be material.
The effective date for the Mineral Resource statement is 16 November 2018.


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SOURCE: SolGold PLC


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