Copler Saddle zone shows mine potential, Alacer says

By Posted Northern Miner Staff / October 01, 2019 / / Article Link

Alacer Gold's (TSX: ASR) Copler Saddle shear zone sits on the western periphery of the company's Copler open-pit mine in eastern Turkey, 1,100 km southeast of Istanbul and 550 km east of Ankara.

The open-pit mine produced 170,865 oz. gold last year, and Alacer believes Copler Saddle, which sits outside the mine's mineral resource, could become a source of additional oxide ore that could be converted into production.

The Denver-based company has drilled 50 diamond drill holes totaling 6,150 metres into Copler Saddle, and says the results contain both oxide and sulfide gold mineralization.

Recent highlights include 23 metres grading 9.65 grams gold (oxide) from 25 metres, including 6 metres of 30.78 grams gold, 1 metre of 104 grams gold (oxide) and 1 metres of 8.6 grams in hole CDD657.

Drill hole CDD659 returned 17 metres of 8.41 grams gold (oxide and sulphide) from 35 metres, and CDD664 cut 14 metres of 7.49 grams gold (oxide) from 49 metres, including 8 metres of 12.25 grams gold. CDD709 intersected 11 metres of 2.52 grams gold (oxide and sulphide) from 164 metres and 33 metres of 2.25 grams gold (oxide) from 197 metres.

All of the holes were reported outside of the Copler resource shells and planned mining areas.

The Copler Saddle shear zone is an arc-like structure running north-south for 2 km and passes through the mine's currently producing West pit.

The ????pler mine has been operating since 2010, processing oxide ore via a heap leach operation. But the oxide ore is progressively being depleted and the mine started processing sulphide ore in November 2018 using pressure oxidation, also known as POX.

Alacer forecasts 2019 production of 125,000 to 145,000 oz. from the oxide plant and 230,000 to 270,000 oz. from the sulphide plant, at consolidated all-in sustaining costs (AISCs) of US$675 to US$725 per ounce.

The Copler mine has a 20-year mine life based on measured and indicated resources of 86.5 million tonnes grading 2.03 grams gold for 5.7 million oz. gold.

The company is also advancing its Ardich satellite deposit at Copler, where six diamond drills are at work.

In April, Alacer reported a resource estimate for Ardich of 13.2 million indicated tonnes grading 1.5 grams gold for 639,000 oz. contained gold and another 2.6 million inferred tonnes averaging 1.16 grams gold for 96,000 oz. gold. The resource consisted of predominantly oxide ore, with some sulfphide.

Highlights of previously announced drill holes at Ardich include 68 metres averaging 4.8 grams gold from 53 metres, including 14 metres of 7.21 grams gold in hole ARO9 and 69 metres of 2.21 grams gold from 36 metres depth in hole AR31 and 50 metres of 3.01 grams gold from 43 metres in hole AR41. Hole AR134 returned 29 metres of 4.81 grams gold from 114 metres, including 7 metres of 11.74 grams gold from 120 metres downhole.

In a September presentation, the company said an interim resource estimate is underway for late 2019, while work is underway to determine starter pit options.

Ardich is the company's highest priority development project and has potential to add production in two to three years, the company says.

The Copler mine is owned 80% by Alacer and 20% by Turkey's Lidya Mining.

Over the last year, Alacer's shares have traded in a range of $2.00 and $6.25. At press time shares were trading at $5.30 apiece. The company has 295 million common shares outstanding for a $1.6-billion market capitalization.

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