- Production in 2021 is expected to grow 16-36% year over year, with Gold Equivalent (“AuEq”) production of between 115,000 and 135,000 ounces.
- High margin production forecasted in 2021, with Cash Costs between $515-565 per ounce gold and All-in Sustaining Costs between $825-$875 per ounce gold.
- Exploration to increase significantly, with expenditures of $14-17 million projected in 2021. During the course of 2020, the drill rig fleet doubled to ten drill rigs. Our eleventh drill rig is expected to arrive on site imminently.
- Growth Capital Costs forecasted to be between $25-$30 million, which includes the ongoing twin incline development designed for up to 2 million tonnes per annum throughput, or 3 million tonnes per annum throughput with conveyors.
Note: All amounts in United States Dollars unless otherwise indicated.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- K92 Mining Inc. (“K92” or the “Company”) (TSX: KNT; OTCQX: KNTNF) is pleased to provide its operational outlook for 2021. The Company expects another significant, year-over-year, increase in gold equivalent production of 16-36% to 115,000 to 135,000 ounces, while also delivering low-cost production, with an estimated cash cost of $515-$565 per ounce gold and all-in sustaining cost of $825-$875 per ounce gold. Additionally, the Company plans to ramp-up exploration activities and invest in future production growth.
On exploration, 2021 is forecasted to have a significant increase in both near-mine and regional activities with a forecasted expenditure of $14-17 million. Over the course of 2020, the drill fleet doubled to ten rigs and an eleventh drill rig is expected to arrive imminently. Exploration plans are to target the Judd, Karempe, Kora and Kora South vein systems, and the Blue Lake porphyry in addition to continuing generative surface exploration.
Growth capital is forecasted to be between $25-30 million, which includes the ongoing twin incline development. The twin incline is designed for a throughput capacity of up to 2 million tonnes per annum, or 3 million tonnes per annum with conveyors.
Table 1 – 2021 Operational Outlook Summary
|Gold Equivalent Production(1)||Oz||115,000 to 135,000|
|Cash Costs(2)||$/Oz||$515 to $565 per ounce gold|
|All-in Sustaining Costs(2)||$/Oz||$825 to $875 per ounce gold|
|Growth Capital||US$||$25 to $30 million|
|Exploration||US$||$14 to $17 million|
Note (1) – Gold Equivalent Production based on the following commodity prices: Gold $1,800/oz, Copper $3.25/lb, and Silver $25/oz.
Note (2) - The Company provides some non-international financial reporting standard measures as supplementary information that management believes may be useful to investors to explain the Company’s financial results. Please refer to non-IFRS financial performance measures of the Company’s management’s discussion and analysis dated November 18, 2020, available on SEDAR and the Company’s website, for reconciliation of these measures.
John Lewins, K92 Chief Executive Officer and Director, stated, “2020 was certainly a very strong year for K92, with year-over-year production growth of 20%; significant exploration progress on multiple vein systems; increases of +180% and +50% in Kora’s M&I and inferred resource estimates, respectively, and; completion of our Stage 3 Expansion PEA outlining Tier 1 Asset potential of +318,000 oz AuEq run-rate. In addition, the quality and importance of Kora has been recognized, with K92 being awarded the prestigious Thayer Lindsley Award for Best Global Discovery from the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) for Kora North. Importantly, all of these milestones were achieved during the COVID-19 pandemic and were made possible due to the extraordinary commitment of our workforce, exceptional resource at Kora and also the support of Government in Papua New Guinea on all levels.
While we expect the COVID-19 environment to persist through the majority of 2021, we believe 2021 has the potential to continue the growth of our Company as we further expand production at Kainantu, significantly ramp-up exploration on multiple vein and porphyry targets, and complete our next resource update and Stage 3 Definitive Feasibility Study in the second half of 2020. We believe the future for Kainantu and K92 looks very exciting.”
Resource Estimate and PEA
The most recent PEA and Mineral Resource Estimate are included in a technical report titled, “Revised Independent Technical Report, Mineral Resource Estimate Update and Preliminary Economic Assessment for Expansion of the Kainantu Mine to Treat 1 Mtpa from the Kora Gold Deposit, Kainantu Project, Papua New Guinea,” with an effective date of April 2, 2020.
The PEA is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized. The Technical Report contains a full description of all underlying assumptions relating to the PEA. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
K92 mine geology manager and mine exploration manager, Andrew Kohler, PGeo, a qualified person under the meaning of Canadian National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, has reviewed and is responsible for the technical content of this news release. Data verification by Mr. Kohler includes significant time onsite reviewing drill core, face sampling, underground workings, and discussing work programs and results with geology and mining personnel.
K92 Mining Inc. is engaged in the production of gold, copper and silver from the Kora deposit at the Kainantu Gold Mine in the Eastern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea, as well as exploration and development of mineral deposits in the immediate vicinity of the mine. The Company declared commercial production from Kainantu in February 2018 and is in a strong financial position. K92 is operated by a team of mining company professionals with extensive international mine-building and operational experience.
On Behalf of the Company,
John Lewins, Chief Executive Officer and Director
For further information, please contact David Medilek, P.Eng., CFA at +1-604-687-7130.
NEITHER TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER (AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN POLICIES OF THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE) ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION: This news release includes certain “forward-looking statements” under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. All statements that address future plans, activities, events, or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur are forward-looking information, including statements regarding the realization of the preliminary economic analysis for the Kainantu Project, expectations of future cash flows, the planned plant expansion, production results, cost of sales, sales of production, potential expansion of resources and the generation of further drilling results which may or may not occur. Forward-looking statements and information contained herein are based on certain factors and assumptions regarding, among other things, the market price of the Company’s securities, metal prices, exchange rates, taxation, the estimation, timing and amount of future exploration and development, capital and operating costs, the availability of financing, the receipt of regulatory approvals, environmental risks, title disputes, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, accidents, labour disputes, claims and limitations on insurance coverage and other risks of the mining industry, changes in national and local government regulation of mining operations in PNG, mitigation of the Covid-19 pandemic, continuation of the lifted state of emergency, and regulations and other matters. There can be no assurance that such statements 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 statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.