Vancouver, B.C. November 10, 2022 — Ascot Resources Ltd. (TSX: AOT; OTCQX: AOTVF) (“Ascot” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the Company’s unaudited financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2022 (“Q3 2022”), as well as a summary of recent development highlights at the Company’s Premier Gold Project (“PGP” or the “project”), located on Nisga’a Nation Treaty Lands in the prolific Golden Triangle of northwestern British Columbia. For details of the unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements and management's discussion and analysis for the three months ended September 30, 2022, please see the Company’s filings on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).
All amounts herein are reported in $000s of Canadian dollars (“C$”) unless otherwise specified.
Q3 2022 AND RECENT HIGHLIGHTS
- The Company continued to advance underground development during Q3 2022 and subsequent to the quarter end. To October 17, 2022, approximately 921 metres have been developed in all headings, including muck bays, sumps, ore access drift, and the main ramp. Ground conditions have been excellent and heading advance and productivity have been going well. Development accessed initial ore in the A Zone of the Big Missouri deposit in August and sampling protocol was developed for grade reconciliation to the block model.
- The surface infrastructure at the Big Missouri, S1 pit portal area was progressively prepared for winter snow conditions, which have commenced at the end of October. The restart of mining development is now planned for mid-2023 when the snow melts in Spring 2023.
- A 500-metre geotechnical hole was completed on the planned centreline of the new Premier Northern Lights (“PNL”) development area next to the mill. The core from this hole was moved down to Stewart where it was logged and analyzed by our Geotech consultant the week of November 1, 2022.
- The Company remains in discussions with potential capital providers with respect to the refinancing of the current debt facilities and has optimized the mine plan to improve the lateral development to ore tonnages in the early years of the mine life.
- On July 14, 2022, the Company announced the first batch of assay results from the 2022 exploration drill program at PGP. These results were from surface exploration drilling at the emerging Sebakwe Zone near the Premier mill, and with assays of up to 193 g/t Au over 1 metre, they continued to highlight the high-grade tenor of the Sebakwe Zone.
- On August 22, 2022, the Company announced the second batch of assay results from the 2022 exploration drill program the Sebakwe Zone at PGP. Highlights from the drill results included 20.10 g/t Au over 1.40m.
- On September 13, 2022, the Company announced the first batch of assay results from the 2022 exploration drill program at Big Missouri at PGP. These results are from surface drilling for in-fill and exploration purposes at the Big Missouri deposit, approximately six kilometres north of the Premier mill. Highlights from the drill results included assays of up to 136.50 g/t Au over 1.00m. Drill holes were targeting the A Zone of the Big Missouri deposit in planned stoping areas, potential extensions of stopes, and gaps in previous drilling on the deposit.
- On October 17, 2022, the Company announced initial positive grade reconciliation between muck samples and the block model grade from underground development at the Big Missouri deposit at PGP. Combined results from ore drives 1 and 2 yielded overall 9% positive grade reconciliation from muck samples compared to the resource block model. As expected, the Company encountered high variability in development round grades often associated with high-grade epithermal gold deposits. Initial results suggested good potential to increase mined grades by continuously improving external mining dilution.
- On October 27, 2022, the Company announced the second batch of assay results from the 2022 exploration drill program at Big Missouri at PGP. Highlights from the drill results included assays of up to 330 g/t Au over 1.00m. A majority of high-grade intercepts were encountered within or close to existing block model wireframes and in potential extensions of those wireframes, further validating the resource model at PGP.
FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2022
The Company reported a net loss of $2,396 for Q3 2022 compared to $1,700 for Q3 2021. The increase in the net loss is attributable to a combination of factors including an increase in foreign exchange loss due to the strengthening U.S. dollar, a decrease in gain on valuation of the Company’s derivatives, an increase in property maintenance costs due to additional environmental compliance requirements in 2022, and an increase in finance expense due to higher reclamation bond fees and higher accretion of the Company’s reclamation obligations, partially offset by an increase in flow-through premium recognition, and a decrease in amortization and depreciation expense.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
As at September 30, 2022, the Company had working capital of $13,764 and a cash & cash equivalents balance of $24,490. During the nine months ended September 30, 2022, the Company issued 59,288,902 common shares, 13,710,500 warrants, 3,932,284 stock options, 235,513 Deferred Share Units, 721,432 Restricted Share Units and 162,162 Performance Share Units. Also, 906,750 stock options expired and 62,000 DSUs and 35,062 RSUs were exercised during the nine months ended September 30, 2022.
MANAGEMENT’S OUTLOOK FOR 2022 AND EARLY 2023
As noted in the Company’s press release of April 4, 2022, the Company is undergoing a process to refinance its Senior Facility with Sprott. As a result, the Company made the decision to slow down certain work packages and the general project construction until the refinancing has been completed. Consequently, certain critical construction activities such as the construction of the tailings dam and the new water treatment plant will be deferred until the spring of 2023. The Company is now targeting the start of production between late 2023 and early 2024.
Management is planning a number of activities for the remainder of 2022 and early 2023, which include:
- Completion of refinancing of the Senior Facility
- Advancement of underground ramp development with target delivery of ore for pre commissioning by Q4 2023
- Completion of a site preservation plan for a construction restart in Spring 2023
- Surface exploration drilling with a focus on the Day and Sebakwe zones
- Stope definition drilling at Big Missouri both from surface and underground
- Underground diamond drilling to probe additional historical openings
- Health and safety initiatives related to health screening and construction protocols
- Permit amendments due to slow down of certain construction activities
The progress of construction activities which are planned to restart in early 2023 are dependent on completion of the refinancing.
John Kiernan, P.Eng., Chief Operating Officer of the Company is the Company’s Qualified Person (QP) as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical contents of this news release.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Ascot Resources Ltd.
“Derek C. White”
President & CEO
For further information contact:
David Stewart, P.Eng.
VP, Corporate Development & Shareholder Communications
778-725-1060 ext. 1024
About Ascot Resources Ltd.
Ascot is a Canadian junior exploration and development company focused on re-starting the past producing Premier gold mine, located on Nisga’a Nation Treaty Lands, in British Columbia’s prolific Golden Triangle. Ascot shares trade on the TSX under the ticker AOT. Concurrent with progressing the development of Premier, the Company continues to successfully explore its properties for additional high-grade underground resources. Ascot is committed to the safe and responsible development of Premier in collaboration with Nisga’a Nation as outlined in the Benefits Agreement.
For more information about the Company, please refer to the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com or visit the Company’s web site at www.ascotgold.com, or for a virtual tour visit www.vrify.com under Ascot Resources.
The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
All statements and other information contained in this press release about anticipated future events may constitute forward-looking information under Canadian securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "expect", "targeted", "outlook", "on track" and "intend" and statements that an event or result "may", "will", "should", "could" or "might" occur or be achieved and other similar expressions. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein are forward-looking statements, including statements in respect of the use of proceeds of the Offering, the advancement and development of the PGP and the timing related thereto, the exploration of the Company’s properties and management’s outlook for the remainder of 2022. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements, including risks associated with the business of Ascot; risks related to exploration and potential development of Ascot's projects; business and economic conditions in the mining industry generally; fluctuations in commodity prices and currency exchange rates; uncertainties relating to interpretation of drill results and the geology, continuity and grade of mineral deposits; the need for cooperation of government agencies and indigenous groups in the exploration and development of properties and the issuance of required permits; the need to obtain additional financing to develop properties and uncertainty as to the availability and terms of future financing; the possibility of delay in exploration or development programs and uncertainty of meeting anticipated program milestones; uncertainty as to timely availability of permits and other governmental approvals; risks associated with COVID-19 including adverse impacts on the world economy, construction timing and the availability of personnel; and other risk factors as detailed from time to time in Ascot's filings with Canadian securities regulators, available on Ascot's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com including the Annual Information Form of the Company dated March 21, 2022 in the section entitled "Risk Factors". Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions made with regard to: the estimated costs associated with construction of the Project; the timing of the anticipated start of production at the Project; the ability to maintain throughput and production levels at the Premier Mill; the tax rate applicable to the Company; future commodity prices; the grade of Resources and Reserves; the ability of the Company to convert inferred resources to other categories; the ability of the Company to reduce mining dilution; the ability to reduce capital costs; and exploration plans. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and opinions of management at the date the statements are made. Although Ascot believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements and/or information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements since Ascot can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Ascot does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.