Golden Independence Completes PEA for near Surface Resource at the Independence Project, Nevada

Vancouver, British Columbia–(Newsfile Corp. – December 23, 2021) – Golden Independence Mining Corp. (CSE: IGLD) (OTCQB: GIDMF) (FSE: 6NN) is pleased to announce the results of a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA“) for the Company’s flagship Independence Project (the “Project”) which adjoins Nevada Gold Mines’ Phoenix-Fortitude mining operations in the Battle Mountain-Cortez trend of Nevada. 

Independence PEA highlights include:

  • After-Tax NPV5% of US$35 million with an IRR of 18% at US$1,700/oz gold and US$24/oz silver

  • Significant leverage to metal prices with after-tax NPV5% of US$45M and IRR of 22% at spot prices*

  • Average annual production of 32,050 oz gold at an AISC of US$1,078/oz (net of silver credits)

  • LOM production of 195,443 oz gold and 1,281,420 oz silver

  • LOM after-tax cash flow of US$59 million at Base Case prices and US$72 million at spot prices*

  • Initial Capital of US$63 million including working capital and contingencies

  • Mine life of 6.1 years exploiting only 60% of the near surface resource contained within a US$1,800/oz gold price pit

* Spot prices used were US$1,799/oz gold and US$22.47/oz silver

“The PEA shows that at Base Case gold prices of US$1,700 per ounce, the heap leach component of the Independence Project has a significant positive net present value and very strong leverage to the gold price. At current spot prices, the project’s estimated net present value increases by over 30% to US$45 million with an after-tax IRR of 22%,” stated Golden Independence CEO, Christos Doulis. “Our focus in 2022 will be to continue to examine opportunities to significantly grow the Project though additional exploration work and strategic acquisition, additionally, unlocking the value of the high-grade skarn, and advancing and expanding the heap leach component of the Project.”

The PEA was completed by Dyer Engineering and Kappes, Cassidy & Associates, both of Reno Nevada, and provides an attractive preliminary economic case for the near-surface development of the Independence project. The PEA is based on the mining and processing a total of 20 Mt of ore grading 0.4 g/t gold and 7 g/t silver incorporating only 60% of the near surface resource constrained by a US$1,800/oz gold price pit. The PEA envisions a 9,000 tonne per day open pit and heap leach operation with a Merrill-Crowe circuit. Significant opportunities exist for improvement and optimization including potential for shared infrastructure with the adjacent Phoenix operating mine.

The study envisions a mine-life of just over six years, producing 195,443 oz of gold and 1.28 million oz of silver with life-of-mine all-in sustaining costs, net of silver credits, of US$1,078 per oz of gold. This generates an After-Tax NPV5% of US$34.5 million and an IRR of 18% using Base Case metals price assumptions of US$1,700/oz gold and US$24/oz silver. 

The Independence 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. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

Mineral Resource Estimate

The PEA is based on an updated mineral resource estimate (see December 20, 2021 news release), effective November 15th, 2021 with the near-surface resource being constrained by a US$1,800/oz gold price to arrive at a pit-constrained resource as outlined in the table below. This current pit-constrained resource supersedes previous resource estimates for the project, including, for greater certainty the resource estimate included in the December 20, 2021 news release, which is no longer current and should not be relied upon. The Company also notes that the Qualified Person who reviewed and approved the technical disclosure in the December 20, 2021 news release was James Ashton, P.E. an Independent Mining Engineer and a consultant to the Company and not R. Tim Henneberry as incorrectly stated in the news release. The December 20, 2021 news release also incorrectly stated that a technical report would be filed in support of the mineral resource disclosed therein no technical report will be filed in support of that mineral resource estimate and reference should be made to the PEA and the updated mineral resource below.

Independence Project Mineral Resource Summary
(effective November 15, 2021, pit constrained at $1,800/oz gold price)

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Notes to Mineral Resource Estimate:

  1. Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of Mineral Resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, sociopolitical, marketing, changes in global gold markets or other relevant issues. The CIM definitions (2014) were followed for classification of Mineral Resources. The quantity and grade of reported inferred Mineral Resources in this estimation are uncertain in nature ‎and there has been insufficient exploration to define these inferred Mineral Resources as ‎indicated Mineral Resource. It is probable that further exploration drilling will result in upgrading them to the ‎indicated or measured Mineral Resource category.
  2. The Mineral Resource Estimate incorporates over 132,000 feet of reverse circulation and core drilling in 246 holes, and outlines both a near surface and a deep skarn resource. The near surface mineralization is primarily based on the reverse circulation drilling, while the deep skarn mineralization is based entirely on core drilling. 
  3. The resource was prepared by James Ashton, P.E., an independent QP, with an effective date of November 15, 2021. 
  4. The mineral resources are constrained by an optimized pit and presented at variable diluted gold equivalent breakeven cutoff grades, which represents mineralization that is potentially available for open-pit mining and heap-leach processing. 
  5. The Deep Skarn mineralization resources were quantified based on deep tabular solids representing potentially underground mineable lenses.
  6. Gold equivalent values are a function of metal price and metal recoveries.
  7. Rounding may result in apparent discrepancies between tonnes, grade, and contained metal content.

The current mine plan is based on a US$1,700/oz gold price and envisions mining and processing of 20.1 million tonnes of the 33.2 million tonnes of ore contained within the US$1,800/oz gold price optimized pit. Gold prices in excess of US$1,800/oz could allow an additional 13.1 million tonnes of ore to be brought into a mine plan significantly extending the project’s life or permitting construction of a larger scale operation than the currently contemplated 9,000 tonnes per day. 

Key Economic Metrics under Base Case and spot prices are presented below

BASESPOT
Au Price (US$/oz) $1,700$1,799
Ag Price (US$/oz) $24.00$22.47
After-Tax NPV5 (US$M) $34.5$45.4
After-Tax IRR (%) 18%22%
Total After-Tax cashflows (US$M) $59$72
Payback Period (years) 4.13.8

Other project metrics are presented below

Total ore processed (Mt) 20.1
Treatment rate (tpd) 9,000 
Mine Life (years) 6.1
Strip Ratio (w:o)1.64
Average ore grade (g/t Au) 0.404
Metallurgical Recovery Au75%
Average annual gold production (oz) 32,050 
Average annual silver production (oz) 210,135 
Total gold production (oz) 195,443 
Total silver production (oz) 1,281,420 
Initial Capital (US$M) $58.4
Working Capital (US$M) $4.8
Cash Costs (US$/oz Au) $1,034
All-in Sustaining Costs (US$/oz Au) $1,078

The project net present value is most sensitive to gold price, moderately sensitive to operating cost, and least sensitive to capital cost as outlined below.

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The project is very sensitive to gold prices with a five percent increase in the US$1,700/oz Base Case forecast gold price to US$1,785/oz resulting in a 30% increase in the project’s estimated After-Tax NPV5% from US$34.5 million to US$44.9 million.

The economics of the heap leach component of the Independence project could be improved by leveraging existing infrastructure associated with the adjacent Phoenix Mine operated by NGM. Furthermore, the potential to expand the scale of the project is significant with several nearby heap leach amenable deposits having already been delineated but lacking the scale to support stand-alone production. Golden Independence is in active discussions with various mining companies to expand the scale of the Independence project.

Qualified Persons

The Mineral Resource Estimate update was completed by James Ashton, P.E. an Independent Mining Engineer and a consultant to the Company. The PEA was completed by James Ashton P. E., a consultant to the Company, and Carl Defilippi, RM SME of Kappes Cassiday & Associates, who have reviewed and approved the technical content of this news release.

Both Mr. Ashton and Mr. Defilippi are independent of Golden Independence Mining Corp. and are “qualified persons” as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

About Golden Independence Mining Corp.

Golden Independence Mining Corp., the operator of the Independence Joint Venture with Americas Gold Exploration Inc., is a development company focused on the advanced-stage Independence Project located adjacent to Nevada Gold Mine’s Phoenix-Fortitude mine in the Battle Mountain-Cortez Trend of Nevada. The Independence Project hosts an M&I resource of 334,300 ounces of gold and an Inferred resource of 847,000 ounces of gold with a substantial silver credit. A 2021 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) outlined a low-cost heap leach operation focusing on the near-surface resource with total production of 195,443 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of US$1,078 per ounce of gold.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: 

Christos Doulis, Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: 1.647.924.1083 Email: christos@goldenindependence.co

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This press release includes certain “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities legislation including the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, without limitation, statements relating the future operating or financial performance of the Company, are forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “potential”, “possible”, and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions, or results “will”, “may”, “could”, or “should” occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements in this press release relate to, among other things, any expansion to the scale of the Independence project and the potential for decreased costs. Statements concerning mineral resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking information to the extent that they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered if the Independence project is developed. Actual future results may differ materially. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Forward-looking statements reflect the beliefs, opinions and projections on the date the statements are made and are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and the parties have made assumptions and estimates based on or related to many of these factors. Such factors include, without limitation: the occurrence of unexpected financial obligations, fluctuations in the price of gold or certain other commodities; fluctuations in the currency markets; changes in national and local government, legislation, taxation, controls, regulations and political or economic developments; risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining (including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations, pressures, cave-ins and flooding); the presence of laws and regulations that may impose restrictions on mining and employee relations. Readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release concerning these times. Except as required by law, the Company does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law.

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