SSR Mining has announced today that it has intentions of a significant expansion of its wholly-owned Seabee Gold Operation, following preliminary economic assessment report.
Located in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada approximately 125 kilometers northeast of the town of La Ronge, the Seabee Gold Operation consists of two underground gold mines, the Santoy mine and the Seabee mine.
Santoy has been in continuous commercial production since 2014, while commercial production at the Seabee mine commenced in 1991.
Ore from both mines is processed at the Seabee mill facility, which has been in operation since 1991 and has current processing capacity of over 900 tonnes per day.
SSR Mining acquired the Seabee Gold Operation in as a result of an acquisition of Claude Resources Inc. and filed the technical report in October 2017, which included the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment evaluating an expansion of the Seabee Gold Operation.
Seabee has proven and probable mineral reserves of 360,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 8.19 g/t.
With the intention of expansion SSR has identified Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources of 540,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 8.02 g/t. The company has also highlighted Inferred Mineral Resources of 620,000 ounces of gold at a grade of 7.66 g/t.
Seabee produced record 77,640 ounces of gold in 2016. As SSR reaches the close of 2017, there is an anticipated production of between 75,000 and 85,000 ounces of gold.
What makes Seabee such an attractive proposition from an expansion perspective, is the fact that it has over 23,000 hectares of an underexplored, prospective greenstone belt land position.
Exploration activities in 2017 have been focused on several near mine targets, the conversion of Mineral Resources to Mineral Reserves and exploration at the contiguous Fisher property, where SSR Mining holds an option.
The Fisher property consists of over 34,000 hectares and would double the prospective land position at the Seabee Gold Operation.
Seabee Preliminary Economic Assessment Highlights:
Extends production profile to 2024: Estimated gold production averages 100,000 ounces per year over the period from 2018 to 2023, a 29% increase from 2016 production.
Near-term production growth: Estimated peak gold production of 120,000 ounces in 2020 is 55% higher than 2016 output.
Expanded operating margins: Estimated LOM cash costs of $548 per payable ounce of gold sold due to higher sustained throughput and an average mill feed grade of 8.51 g/t gold.
Improved processing plant performance: Estimated mill production averages 1,050 tonnes per day beginning in 2019, a 21% increase to 2016 throughput, with a projected 96.5% recovery.
Low capital investment: Development near existing infrastructure reduces projected total capex to $90 million, driving low AISC of $682 per payable ounce of gold sold.