Steppe Gold doubles ATO mine resource

ATO gold mine. Credit: Steppe Gold

Steppe Gold (TSX: STGO) has doubled the mineral resource at its ATO gold mine from 1.22 million oz gold equivalent (AuEq) to 2.45 million oz, the Mongolia-focused miner announced Wednesday.

This updated resource estimate will form the basis of the upcoming bankable feasibility study (BFS) due out in Q2 2021.

The updated ATO resource includes 41.6 million tonnes of measured and indicated resources with an average grade of 1.67 g/t AuEq, containing 2.24 million oz AuEq (1.39 million oz gold and 20.48 million oz silver).

The increase in M&I resources is primarily due to significant expansion through drilling at the ATO 4 deposit and incorporation of a maiden resource at the Mungu deposit, the company explained.

The ATO 4 deposit, where mining has recently commenced, shows M&I resources of 15.68 Mt at 1.62 g/t for total of 819,000 oz AuEq. The maiden resource at the Mungu discovery shows M&I resources of 7.57 Mt at 1.74 g/t for 424,000 oz AuEq.

“The new resource supports our Phase 2 expansion project and shows ample resources for a circa 2.5 Mt per annum fresh ore development,” Bataa Tumur-Ochir, president and CEO of Steppe Gold, commented in a news release.

“The bankable feasibility study remains on schedule to be released Q2 2021, and we are optimistic that this study will bear out a robust economic result and a further 10 plus years of production at 150,000 oz AuEq with a focus on the fresh rock ores.”

The Altan Tsagaan Ovoo (ATO) project is an open-pit heap leach operation estimated to produce 146,699 oz gold and 672,518 oz silver over the project period. The mine commenced production in April 2020.

“The resource interpretations also show further potential zone extensions, for which there are numerous targets. We plan to ramp up the exploration program in 2021, with the aim of unlocking additional value on the ATO property with an internal target of 3 to 5 million oz across our licences,” executive chairman Matthew Wood added.

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