Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. (TSX:SBB) is pleased to provide the following report on 2012 activities at Back River along with an update on Xstrata Zinc Canada's ("Xstrata Zinc") Hackett River Project.
Back River Gold Project
In February 2012, the Company launched its biggest campaign at Back River to date.
The objectives at Back River for 2012 were to continue to expand the known resources at depth and along strike, to complete infill drilling on the known deposits and to continue to look for new discoveries on the Goose, George and other claim blocks. Significant engineering and environmental work also comprised part of the work completed this year all with the goal of supporting the upcoming Back River pre-feasibility study ("PFS") and permitting phase.
The Nunavut work program for 2012 was comprised of a significant drill program, facilitated from both camps at Goose and George. Also, two new deep diamond drills were mobilized to Goose to test the deeper G2 Zone at Umwelt for a total of eight drill holes in the region in 2012.
Significant capital projects were undertaken at both camps including construction of an all weather airstrip. Although construction of the airstrip is not yet complete, even in its current stage of construction it will enable a more efficient mobilization of fuel and supplies to site in 2013.
Some of the highlights at Back River in 2012 include:
-- Completed a positive preliminary economic assessment ("PEA").
-- Completed 69,661 m of drilling including 23,801m of infill, 24,698 of
extension, 14,795 of new target drilling and 6,367 of geotech drilling.
-- Extended both Umwelt and Llama deposits 400 m to the south of previous
-- Identified several new opportunities to discover large open-pitable
-- Entered the permitting process by filing a project description with
relevant Nunavut authorizing agencies.
-- Engaged engineering team and commenced PFS.
-- Completed significant environmental baseline data collection to support
the permitting phase and PFS.
-- Constructed additional buildings and infrastructure at both George and
Goose camps to support larger field programs and workforces in 2012 and
Currently work is focused on assessing all drill data from 2012 to enable a new Back River resource calculation as well as completing a high level strategic review of the PEA and relating trade off studies to support the upcoming PFS.
Plans for 2013 include:
-- Updated resource calculation for Back River end of Q1, 2013.
-- A field program to support the PFS and ongoing exploration efforts;
-- Completion of a PFS in Q3, 2013.
-- Filing of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement by year end 2013.
-- All the while applying fiscal responsibility to preserve the strength of
the Company's balance sheet.
"We will have our work cut out for ourselves in 2013," said Rob Pease, President & CEO. "We are fortunate to have an asset like Back River that has a critical mass of good grade ounces to move towards development. We expect the project will evolve as optimizations are included in the PFS that were not contemplated in the PEA. Also, we think it is important to continue to grow Back River by adding ounces and finding new deposits and will include an exploration component to our work program for 2013."
A more detailed 2013 fieldwork plan and budget is expected to be announced early in the new year.
Xstrata Zinc's Hackett River Project
The high-grade zinc-silver Hackett River Project is located approximately 50km from Sabina's flagship Back River gold project and is envisaged as a 10-20,000 tonne per day open-pit and underground operation with an expected mine life of over 15 years. Sabina holds a significant silver production royalty on Hackett River comprising 22.5% of the first 190 million ounces of silver produced and 12.5% of all the silver produced thereafter. Sabina is pleased to provide the following update on the project.
Xstrata Zinc's 2012 Hackett River Accomplishments:
-- Completed 51,000 m of drilling.
-- Conducted environmental and Socio-Economic baseline studies - mostly
-- Engineering and pre-feasibility study commenced in September 2012 -
Engaged Hatch Canada Ltd.
-- Conducted preliminary assessment of tailings, waste rock, airstrip and
new exploration camp locations.
"We are continuing with our exploration activities at the Hackett River site and view the property as one of our leading potential projects in Canada," said Neil Wardle, Chief Operating Officer, Xstrata Zinc Canada.
Rob Pease, President & CEO of Sabina, added: "We are pleased to see such significant progress at Hackett River which will help create value for Sabina shareholders through continued de-risking of our silver royalty. We look forward to working in close cooperation with Xstrata Zinc and local stakeholders as we endeavour to create long-lasting employment and economic development opportunities together through our efforts at Back River and Hackett River."
SABINA GOLD & SILVER CORP.
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. is an emerging precious metals developer with district scale, world class assets in one of the world's newest, most politically stable mining jurisdictions: Nunavut, Canada.
Sabina's primary assets, all located in Nunavut, consist of: the Back River Gold Project, currently in the pre-feasibility and permitting phase; the Wishbone Claims, a vastly prospective grass roots project; and the Hackett River Silver Royalty, a silver production royalty on Xstrata Zinc's Hackett River project comprising 22.5% of the first 190 million ounces produced and 12.5% of all the silver produced thereafter. The Company had cash of $129.1 million at September 30, 2012 and plans to end the year with approximately $118 million in the treasury.
All news releases and further information regarding drill results for the 2012 campaign can be found on the Company's website at www.sabinagoldsilver.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements relating to mineral resource estimates and drilling results at Llama, Umwelt, George and Goose and the expected impact of these mineral resources are forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation of certain Provinces in Canada. Forward looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", 'projects", "potential" and similar expressions, or that events or conditions "will", "would", "may", "could" or "should" occur. Information inferred from the interpretation of drilling results may also be deemed to be forward looking statements, as it constitutes a prediction of what might be found to be present when and if a project is actually developed. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to fluctuations in metal prices; uncertainties related to raising sufficient financing to fund the planned work in a timely manner and on acceptable terms; changes in planned work resulting from weather, logistical, technical or other factors; the possibility that results of work will not fulfill expectations and realize the perceived potential of the Company's properties; risk of accidents, equipment breakdowns and labour disputes or other unanticipated difficulties or interruptions; the possibility of cost overruns or unanticipated expenses in the work program; the risk of environmental contamination or damage resulting from Sabina's operations and other risks and uncertainties, including those described in Sabina's Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2011.
Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of Sabina's management on the date the statements are made. Sabina undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements should management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, change.
This news release has been authorized by the undersigned on behalf of Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.
Rob Pease, President & CEO
930 West 1st Street, Suite 202
North Vancouver, BC V7P 3N4
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.
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