Vancouver, B.C. – Northern Vertex Mining Corp. (TSX.V: NEE)(OTC Nasdaq Intl.: NHVCF) (the “Company” or “Northern Vertex”) is pleased to provide the following operational update on its 100% owned Moss Gold Mine located in NW Arizona, USA.
Kenneth Berry, President and CEO, states: “Concurrent to delivering our strongest quarter since announcing commercial production in September 2018, the Company continues to implement improvements in several areas at Moss to reduce costs and increase production performance. We are seeing positive results in the recovery rate of both the Merrill Crowe plant and heap respectively. Also, the use of backhoe loading, and better blast control is showing immediate improvement in grade control and tonnage throughput. These achievements made over the last 6 months have allowed us to shift focus on cost reduction and resource expansion.”
Production Results for September 2019 versus Previous Quarters
|Three Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
|Three Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2019
|Three Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2019
|Three Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2019
|Gold ounces produced||5,218||6,057||7,482||8,460|
|Silver ounces produced||21,110||25,558||45,876||68,421|
|Gold eqv. ounces produced||5,499||6,398||8,094||9,372|
|Gold ounces sold||5,149||6,457||6,910||9,112|
|Silver ounces sold||14,081||16,678||29,971||73,495|
|Gold eqv. ounces sold||5,337||6,678||7,310||10,092|
*Gold to Silver Ratio 75:1
Oversized Ore Stockpile
During the first quarter, the Company brought in a portable crusher for a five-week period to eliminate the stockpile of oversized material. This was necessary to better reconcile mined to modeled ounces to pad and thus better understand and control dilution. The Company estimates that up to 1,818 contained ounces of gold and 31,516 contained ounces of silver were added to the leach pad.
Donegan (MCD) Drilling & Blasting
The Company brought on a new drilling and blasting contractor to reduce the amount of oversized rock being generated from mining activities going forward. In the first few weeks of blasting, fragmentation is excellent; and the oversized material has been significantly reduced, increasing crusher throughput and ounces to the pad.
Exploration Drill Update
To date,25 drill holes have been completed from an expected 29-hole reverse circulation drill program totaling approximately 4,300 meters. The infill drill program is being conducted at the West Pit, on the western end of the planned Phase II pit, to confirm grades and potentially extend the boundaries of mineralization. The West Pit infill drilling program is expected to be completed by the end of November; assay results should be received late December.
Stacking and Leaching Plan
Based on monthly column leach tests, a heap leach and stacking plan was developed resulting in a significant reduction in the timeline of our primary and secondary leach cycles. The primary leach cycle now yields 60% recovery for gold within 45 days versus the feasibility timeline of 150 days; whereas the secondary leach cycle is estimated to recover over 82% of the gold within 120 days versus the feasibility estimate of 240 days. This means the production of more ounces in less time.
Process Production at the Merrill Crowe Plant
Changes in the Merrill Crowe Plant (MC) bring it into industry standard. The MC Plant is now operating at or above industry standards with gold recoveries running 97+% and silver recoveries of 98+%. Plant flow has been consistent and topped out at 2350-2400gpm.
Better conservation and operational practices have allowed the site to be self-sufficient since June 2019, eliminating the need to truck water to site. A significant cost saving. Additionally, a new well, #21, was brought online in late October and provides the site with a buffer against any demand growth beyond current planning periods and the ability to rest and recharge wells at current demand.
Metallurgical Test Work
The metallurgical test work at site includes daily, weekly and monthly testing of live stacked material to flag any variability in metallurgical performance, confirm recovery curve(s) used in revenue modeling and establish solution chemistries that optimize gold and silver recovery. No significant metallurgical variability has been witnessed since this disciplined testing program has been in place.
The Company continues to work on completing the Environmental Assessment (EA) portion of Company’s Mine Plan of Operations (MPO) to expand mining, leaching and exploration onto public BLM land which is expected to extend mine life by approximately 5 years. Concurrently, amendments to the Aquifer Protection Permit, Air Quality Permit and Mine Reclamation are being prepared for submission to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality with the assistance of consultants Stantec, CDM Smith and Wood PLC respectively. The Company hopes to receive approval for the Phase III MPO in the first calendar quarter of 2020.
Northern Vertex continues to advance discussions with Mohave Electric on the construction of the powerline to the Moss site. Once completed, the powerline is expected to reduce diesel emissions to the environment by up to 90% and provide significant cost savings to the Company of up to $200,000 per month in fuel and maintenance costs over the next several years of operation. The powerline is fully permitted and construction ready.
Crush Size Test Work
Preliminary test-work to increase the crush size from 1/4”to 3/8”is on-going and continues to show positive results. A larger crush size to the heap pad would reduce maintenance costs and increase the tonnage and ounces being processed thus reducing costs and increasing cash flow to the bottom line.
We are pleased to add Miguel Rivera as Tech Services Superintendent to strengthen our mining team and John Stefka as environmental services Manager. These two gentlemen bring a wealth of experience and knowledge that will benefit the Company in managing our mining plans and expansion efforts onto BLM land.
Northern Vertex is participating in the Precious Metals Summit to be held in Zurich, Switzerland on November 11 -12, 2019 at the Park Hyatt.
An interactive mine site tour of Northern Vertex’s Moss Gold Mine is available on the Company’s website at northernvertex.com.
The foregoing technical information contained in this news release has also been reviewed and verified by Mr. Joseph Bardswich, P.Eng., a director of the Company and a Qualified Person (“QP”) for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101 (Disclosure Standards for Mineral Projects).
About Northern Vertex Mining Corp.
Northern Vertex Mining Corp. is focused on low cost gold and silver production at its 100% owned Moss Mine in NW Arizona. The Company has experience across all areas of operations, mine development, exploration, acquisitions and financing of mining projects. With operations at the flagship Moss Mine achieving commercial production the Company intends to consolidate additional producing or near-term production gold assets within the Western US. Through exploration, mergers and acquisitions Northern Vertex’s corporate goal is to become a mid-tier gold producer with over 200,000 ounces of gold production annually.