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Tectonic Metals Initiates Heap Leach Metallurgical Testing on Flat Gold Project

Thursday, 16 May 2024 08:00 AM

Tectonic Metals Inc.

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / May 16, 2024 / Tectonic Metals Inc. (the "Company" or "Tectonic") (TECT:TSX-V)(TETOF:OTCQB)(T15B:FSE) today announced the launch of a multi-phase metallurgical column test program to confirm low-cost heap leaching as a viable gold processing and extraction method at the Chicken Mountain bulk-tonnage intrusion target, one of six district-scale intrusion targets within the 99,840 acre, Flat Gold Project ("Flat") in southwestern Alaska. This initiative is part of the Company's ongoing 2024 value creation strategy as metallurgical testing is one of the most critical steps a company can take in successfully transforming an exploration-stage project into a profitable mining opportunity.

Tony Reda commented, "Heap leaching is a processing and extraction technology becoming increasingly popular and coveted over recent years due to the potential cost advantages and lower environmental impact it can offer to miners especially as the world-wide average grade of gold deposits has decreased over the past few decades. Tectonic is excited about the prospects of heap leaching at our Flat Gold Project especially since our initial metallurgical test work completed in 2023 demonstrated exceptional plus 95% gold recoveries with gold mineralization appearing to be not grind sensitive, extremely low in sulphur, non-preg-robbing and favourable to not just one but several gold extraction methods. Our heap leach column test work program is rigorous and will not only assess overall leach kinetics, but also provide insight into how various size fractions of drill core respond to leaching as an indication of optimal crush sizing. For context, crushing and grinding typically are the biggest consumers of energy at an operating mine, and therefore, the most expensive operational cost significantly impacting a mine's all-in sustaining costs. With this in mind, we are setting the bar high by initiating our first ever column tests utilizing coarse, ¾ inch crushed rock material. The 2024 column results will provide a baseline on determining the optimum crush and recovery characteristics for heap leaching at Flat."

More on the Flat Metallurgical Program

Phase one of the 2024 program was initiated utilizing samples selected by Tectonic from historically drilled diamond core with the objective of investigating the potential for low-cost heap leaching. Subsequent phases of the column leach test work program will utilize samples from Tectonic's 2023 diamond drill core currently stored onsite.

For the phase one column test work, two composites representing general lower and higher-grade material were selected from historic ½ NQ sized drill core. The lower grade composite comprises 25 sample intervals selected from six different drill holes for 91.70 kg while the higher-grade composite includes 22 sample intervals from nine different drill holes for a total of 83.90 kg.

The testing program for both the lower and higher-grade sample composites will include assay head sample analysis, coarse and fine bottle roll leach testing, and column leach testing of minus ¾ inch material. Assay screen analyses of both head and leach tailings will be utilized to evaluate the extraction of gold at different particle sizes.

The metallurgical test work is being conducted by Base Metallurgical Laboratories, under the supervision of Tectonic's Technical Advisor, Mr. Fred Lightner, P.E., a metallurgical engineer from the Colorado School of Mines with over 50 years of industry experience (+25 projects) specializing in heap leach gold project evaluation, consultation, feasibility, construction and operations. Base Metallurgical Laboratories is a fully integrated mineral processing laboratory located in Kamloops, British Columbia. The facility incorporates metallurgical, mineralogy and analytical capabilities. This ensures rapid turnaround times on our test work programs. Base Met. Labs is backed by experienced metallurgists with regard to flotation and cyanidation process flowsheet development and interpretation of mineralogical analyses.

Previous Metallurgical Studies at Flat

Initial metallurgical characterization test work on Chicken Mountain mineralization was conducted by Tectonic in 2023, and complete results were reported in the February 16th, 2023, news release available by clicking here.

About Heap Leaching and Column Tests

Heap leaching is a widely used extraction method for minerals, including copper, gold, silver, etc. Using data compiled by Mining Intelligence, MINING.COM states that there are currently 286 heap leach mines operating worldwide with most being in Russia (45), the USA (41), Chile (35), Mexico (28), China (16), Peru (14), Kazakhstan (13), Zambia (10). More specific to the Flat Gold Project, heap leaching is used at two notable Reduced Intrusion-related Gold Systems (RIRGS), the Fort Knox Mine in Alaska operated by Kinross Gold Corp. and the Eagle Gold Mine in the Yukon operated by Victoria Gold Corp.

Heap leach column metallurgical tests are critical in evaluating the feasibility and efficiency of heap leaching for specific ore bodies. The purpose of heap leach column tests is to simulate the heap leaching process on a smaller scale in a controlled laboratory environment. These tests allow for the assessment of key parameters such as leach solution flow rates, heap permeability, leach kinetics, and recovery rates. By understanding these factors, mining engineers and metallurgists can optimize the heap leaching process, improving mineral recovery and making the process more economically viable.

About Tectonic Metals Inc.

Tectonic brings a highly disciplined capital allocation and development process to mineral exploration. By consistently limiting their focus to tier-1 opportunities that fit their formula for mine economics, and de-risking projects upfront, the team has established a tremendous track record of success. Members of the Tectonic team have been directly involved in identifying and monetizing several significant gold discoveries throughout N. America that have created a tremendous amount of value for shareholders and stakeholders.

To learn more about Tectonic, please click here.

Qualified Person 

Tectonic's disclosure of a technical or scientific nature in this press release has been reviewed, verified, and approved by Peter Kleespies, M.Sc., P.Geo., Tectonic's Vice President of Exploration, who serves as a Qualified Person under the definition of National Instrument 43-101.  

On behalf of Tectonic Metals Inc.,

Tony Reda
President and Chief Executive Officer

For further information about Tectonic Metals Inc. or this news release, please visit our website at or contact Jesse Manna, M.Sc., Investor Relations, at toll-free 1.888.685.8558 or by email at [email protected].

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information in this news release constitutes forward-looking information and statements under applicable securities law. Any statements that are contained in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as "may", "should", "anticipate", "expect", "intend" and similar expressions and include, but are not limited to, the potential for mineralization at Tectonic's projects, any future exploration activities and the size; the receipt of any regulatory approvals, including the final approval of the TSXV.

Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and is based upon a number of estimates and assumptions of management at the date the statements are made including, among others, assumptions about future prices of gold and other metal prices, currency exchange rates and interest rates, favourable operating conditions, political stability, obtaining governmental and other approvals and financing on time, obtaining required licenses and permits, labour stability, stability in market conditions, availability of equipment, accuracy of any mineral resources, successful resolution of disputes and anticipated costs and expenditures. Many assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of Tectonic, and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct.

Although Tectonic considers these beliefs and assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect, and the forward-looking statements in this release are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks, including, without limitation: the Company's ability to implement its business strategies; risks associated with mineral exploration and production; risks associated with general economic conditions; adverse industry events; marketing and transportation costs; loss of markets; volatility of commodity prices; inability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources, and/or inability to access sufficient capital on favourable terms; industry and government regulation; changes in legislation, income tax and regulatory matters; competition; currency and interest rate fluctuations; and other risks.

Readers are further cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions, or expectations upon which they are placed will occur. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. Although Tectonic 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. Tectonic does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE: Tectonic Metals Inc.

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