Southern Empire Resources Corp. (“Southern Empire”; TSX-V: SMP; Frankfurt: 5RE; OTC: SMPEF) is pleased to provide an update on the preliminary characterization and metallurgical assessment of surface materials collected from various historical mine waste rock dumps on its Oro Cruz Property, southeastern California.
David Tupper, Southern Empire’s VP Exploration stated: “The objectives of our preliminary studies were to establish the presence of gold in the historical, pit-run mine waste dump materials and to determine if such gold could potentially be extracted from these materials by conventional leach methods. The results are positive and supportive of a more detailed assessment of the gold potential in the historical mine waste rock stockpiles that exist at our brownfields Oro Cruz Project.”
Oro Cruz Project – Historical Mine Waste Rock Dump Sample Gold Assay Results Summary:
American Girl Waste Rock Dump:
- Average gold assay of 104 surface rock samples: 0.448 grams gold/tonne (“g Au/t”)
- Range of values (maximum/minimum): 7.070 / 0.009 g Au/t
- Approximate footprint: 17.5 hectares (“ha”; 43.1 acres)
Padre y Madre Waste Rock Dump:
- Average gold assay of 54 surface rock samples: 0.203 g Au/t
- Range of values (maximum/minimum): 1.770 / <0.002 g Au/t
- Approximate footprint: 7.6 ha (18.1 acres)
Oro Cruz Waste Rock Dump:
- Average gold assay of 29 surface rock samples: 0.208 g Au/t
- Range of values (maximum/minimum): 0.768 / 0.022 g Au/t
- Approximate footprint: 10.4 ha (25.7 acres)
Dale Wallster, Southern Empire’s CEO commented: “We are very encouraged with the initial assessment of the gold potential of our Oro Cruz Project historical waste dumps. Specifically, we are very pleased with the preliminary cyanidation metallurgical test gold recovery rates of 74.4% and 89.7% for the American Girl and the Padre y Madre materials respectively. While the gold grades we are reporting are less than 1 gram per tonne, they are still very significant given that more than 60% of the 125,736 ounces that Equinox Gold produced at their nearby Mesquite mine in 2019 was from their low-grade waste rock dumps.”
Equinox Gold Corp.’s April, 2020 NI 43-101 Technical Report, concerning their Mesquite mine, reported an Indicated Resource estimate of 5.2 million tonnes in their waste dumps grading 0.18 g Au/t and an Inferred Resource estimate in the waste dumps of 26.4 million tonnes grading 0.23 g Au/t. Proven and Probable open pit, oxide reserves outlined at the Mesquite mine include 13.7 million tonnes grading 0.37 g Au/t (See Equinox Gold Corp. news release of May 12, 2020). Mineralization at the Mesquite Mine is not necessarily indicative of mineralization at the Oro Cruz Project and its waste dumps.
Preliminary Metallurgical Test Work Results
Blue Coast Research Ltd. (“Blue Coast”) of Parksville, British Columbia, was contracted to undertake cyanidation metallurgical studies of two composite samples blended from select assay laboratory sample rejects (>80% passing 2mm) of surface grab samples collected from each of the American Girl and Padre y Madre waste rock dumps. These sample composites are not considered representative of waste rock dump material gold grades.
American Girl Waste Rock Dump Material:
- Test procedure 96-hour Coarse Material Bottle Roll
- Samples comprising Composite 10
- Composite sample head grade: 0.61 g Au/t
- Aliquot sample size: 2.0 kg
- 96-hour Gold Recovery: 74.4 %
Padre y Madre Waste Rock Dump Material:
- Test procedure 96-hour Coarse Material Bottle Roll
- Samples comprising Composite 2
- Composite sample head grade: 0.39 g Au/t
- Aliquot sample size: 1.0 kg
- 96-hour Gold Recovery: 89.7 %
Future planned work for additional evaluation of the historical waste rock mine dump materials includes:
- Determination of waste dump volumes
- Reverse Circulation (“RC”) drilling and mechanical trenching to properly characterize the distribution of gold in the waste dump materials
- Conduct additional cyanidation and column leach tests to determine gold extraction at different crush sizes
- Conduct gravity concentration/mass reduction test work
Sampling Procedures and Quality Assurance and Quality Controls (“QA/QC”)
Grab samples of fine and coarse material were collected at roughly 50 metre (“m”; 164 feet) to 100 m (328 ft) centres across the upper surfaces and around the perimeter slopes of the historical, pit-run mine waste dumps.
Gold analysis was performed by the Geoanalytical Laboratories of the Saskatchewan Research Council (“SRC”) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (ISO 17025:2017). The SRC is one of Canada’s leading providers of applied research, development and demonstration (“RD&D”), and its internationally recognized and accredited, state-of-the-art Geoanalytical Laboratories have provided high-quality, advanced analytical testing and mineral processing analysis to the exploration and mining industry since 1973. For further information regarding the SRC and the accreditation of their Geoanalytical Laboratories, please visit www.src.sk.ca/mining.
Gold assay results for the samples collected are only a preliminary assessment of the potential presence of gold hosted by the historical mine waste dumps and are not considered representative of the whole. As a result, QA/QC were limited to analytical lab checks with the insertion of standards, blanks and repeat samples in the sample stream prior to gold fire assay analysis at SRC.
A combination of appropriately spaced mechanical trenching and RC drilling is required to provide sample profiles through the full height of the historical waste dumps to properly assess the distribution and total content of gold within them.
The metallurgical test work conducted by Blue Coast on the Oro Cruz Project historical waste dump materials is also preliminary in nature. The objective of this limited test work was to establish the potential for gold extraction by conventional leach methods. The American Girl and Padre y Madre waste dump surface sample composites (with target P80 primary grind sizes of 892 micron (“μm”) and 995 μm, respectively) were each the subject of a single 96-hour bottle roll cyanidation test utilizing a sodium cyanide solution of 1.0 g/L NaCN maintained throughout and solids maintained at 40%. Dissolved oxygen was maintained at ~8 parts per million (ppm) and pH was maintained in the range of 10.5-11.
The scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been prepared, reviewed and approved by David Tupper, P.Geo. (British Columbia), Southern Empire’s VP Exploration and a Qualified Person (“QP”) within the context of Canadian Securities Administrators’ National Instrument 43-101; Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (NI 43-101)
About Southern Empire Resources Corp.
Southern Empire is focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of metals and minerals deposits in North America.
In the Cargo Muchacho mountains of Imperial County, California, Southern Empire owns 100 per cent of the historical gold-producing American Girl mine property and holds options to acquire a 100-per-cent interest in the adjacent 2,160-hectare (5,338-acre) Oro Cruz property located approximately 22.5 kilometres (14 miles) southeast of the operating Mesquite gold mine of Equinox Gold Corp.
At Oro Cruz, extensive historical drilling and large-scale open-pit and underground mining of the American Girl, Padre y Madre, Queen and Cross oxide gold deposits by the American Girl Mining Joint Venture (AGMJV; ultimately owned 53 per cent by MK Gold Company and 47 per cent by Hecla Mining Company) occurred between 1987 and 1996. During that time, gold was recovered by heap leaching of lower-grade ores and milling of higher-grade ores. AGMJV operations ceased in late 1996 because of declining gold prices leaving the Oro Cruz property with many gold exploration targets in addition to the historical inferred resource estimate, reported In 2011 by Lincoln Mining Corp., totalling 341,800 ounces gold based on 4,386,000 tonnes averaging 2.2 grams gold per tonne at a cut-off grade of 0.68 g/t Au (4,835,000 tons at 0.07 ounce gold per ton; Please refer to the Cautionary Notice Regarding the Oro Cruz Property Historical Resource Estimate below).
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Southern Empire Resources Corp.,
Dale Wallster, CEO and Director
Cautionary Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains forward-looking statements which constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation (“forward-looking statements”). All statements included herein, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements that are based on assumptions as of the date of this news release and reflect management’s current estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “anticipated”, “estimated”, “potential”, “open”, “future”, “assumed”, “projected”, “used”, “detailed”, “has been”, “gain”, “planned”, “reflecting”, “will”, “anticipated”, “estimated”, “might”, “may” “containing”, “remaining”, “to be”, or statements that events, “could” or “should” occur or be achieved and similar expressions, including negative variations.
Southern Empire cautions that all forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance; that they are inherently uncertain and that actual performance may be affected by a number of material factors, many of which are beyond its respective control. Forward-looking statements are subject to a many, varied known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the ability of Southern Empire to control or predict, and which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among other things: risks and uncertainties relating to Southern Empire’s limited operating history, the need to comply with environmental and governmental regulations, results of exploration programs on its projects, results of metallurgical test work, the ability to fund exploration and development programs, and other risks and uncertainties identified in Southern Empire’s annual and interim financial statements and management discussion and analysis that are filed on the Canadian Securities Administrators’ System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (“SEDAR”). Accordingly, actual and future events, conditions and results may differ materially from the estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking information.
Except as required under applicable securities legislation, Southern Empire undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking information.
Cautionary Notice Regarding Oro Cruz Project Historical Resource Estimate
The historical resource estimate outlined above is disclosed in a technical report dated April 29, 2011, prepared for Lincoln Mining Corp. by Tetra Tech, Inc. and filed on SEDAR. It is termed an inferred mineral resource, which is a category set out in NI 43-101. It was based on historical reverse circulation and core drill hole sample, underground channel sample, and blasthole sample assay results and calculated using ordinary kriging to estimate gold grades in 10-foot-by-10-foot-by-five-foot blocks. Accordingly, Southern Empire considers this historical estimate reliable as well as relevant as it represents key targets for future exploration work. However, a QP has not done sufficient work to verify or classify the historical estimate as a current mineral resource and Southern Empire is not treating this historical estimate as current mineral resources.
Work Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Timing of Southern Empire’s exploration programs will be contingent on governmental regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and also the availability of exploration-related personnel, drill contractors, equipment, lodging, et cetera. Southern Empire will adhere to COVID-19 directives regarding safe working practices putting worker, community and national safety first and will proceed with exploration and development work programs only if potential COVID-19 risks can be effectively managed.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.