VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2012) - Chesapeake Gold Corp. ("Chesapeake") (TSX VENTURE:CKG) is pleased to announce the results of a new NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate for its 100% owned Metates gold-silver project located in Durango State, Mexico. The resource estimate was prepared by Independent Mining Consultants ("IMC") of Tucson, Arizona and incorporates 53 core holes totalling 23,500 meters completed by Chesapeake in 2011. The previous resource estimate for the Metates deposit was announced in April 2010 and was based on a gold equivalent cutoff grade of 0.40 g/t gold and assumed metal prices of $900 per ounce gold and $14 per ounce silver. The new resource is based on assumed metal prices of $1,200 per ounce gold and $24 per ounce silver and a cutoff grade of 0.35 g/t gold equivalent*.
Key findings of the new mineral resource estimate are:
- Measured and Indicated resources increase to 19.0 million ounces of gold, 519 million ounces of silver and 4.2 billion pounds of contained zinc, representing over 95% of the total mineral resource
- Inferred resources of 800,000 ounces of gold, 21 million ounces of silver, and 130 million pounds of zinc
- Measured and Indicated gold equivalent resources of 27.9 million ounces
Based on a cut-off grade of 0.35 g/t gold equivalent the in-pit resources are as follows, broken down into sedimentary hosted and intrusive hosted mineralization:
|Metates Mineral Resource|
|Resource Class||Ktonnes||Gold Eq.||Gold||Gold||Silver||Silver||Zinc||Zinc|
|Measured + Indicated||1,179,359||0.74||0.50||19,010||13.7||518,692||0.161||4,184|
*Gold equivalent grade is defined as gold (g/t) plus silver (g/t)/58.4 taking into account different metallurgical recoveries for gold and silver. Note: contained resources may not add due to rounding
The Metates resource estimate is based upon 29,223 assay intervals and 229 diamond core drill holes totalling 86,700 meters. An updated geologic interpretation included 14 rock types and 10 structural domains. The resource estimate used inverse distance weighting methods to assign estimated gold, silver and zinc grades to blocks within the geologic domains. The average drill hole spacing throughout the resource area is approximately 75 meters. Block size for the geology and grade estimation modeling was 15 meters by 15 meters by 15 meters. Grade models were validated visually and the inverse distance resource estimates were compared with nearest neighbour models. Tonnage estimates incorporated 617 bulk density measurements to assign unique densities for the 14 different rock types defined in the geologic model. IMC classified the resource by applying a specific number of individual assay composites together with the average distance from the closest drill holes for each block.
The mineral resource was estimated within the US$1,200 gold optimized pit shell (using a cut-off grade of 0.35 g/t gold equivalent) based on a large open pit delivering ore at the rate of 120,000 tonnes per day. The economic parameters and costs used to develop the pit shell are processing the ore via grinding, production of a flotation concentrate and oxidation of the concentrate followed by cyanidation to recover gold and silver. Assumed operating costs were US$1.50 per tonne for mining, and US$10.80 per tonne for processing, general and administrative. Estimated overall metal recoveries are 90% for gold and 77% for silver based on extensive metallurgical testing (see Chesapeake news release NR3-2011). Potential revenue from zinc recovery was not used in the economics to derive the resource. Mineralization that is within the block model but falling outside the pit shells is not reported in the resource estimate. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability and may include inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them and allow them to be classed as mineral reserves.
The open pit associated with the resource measures 2,200 meters north-south, 1,900 meters east-west and about 650 meters in depth. The total material within this cone shell is 2.39 billion tonnes. Based on the results of the 2011 drill program, the deposit remains open to the northwest and southeast. The north and northeast extent of the deposit has been defined as drilling of the former Inferred classed resources in this area largely returned lower grade assays. The 2011 infill drill program supported an increase in the Measured + Indicated resources by 1.83 million ounces gold, 52.2 million ounces silver and 791 million pounds of zinc over the previous estimate.
This resource estimate will form the basis for developing an engineered pit design that will be used to generate potential reserves as part of the upcoming pre-feasibility study ("PFS"). The design of the PFS pit will use a variable and higher cutoff grade than used for this resource estimate to optimize overall economic returns. The PFS pit will sequentially mine the higher grade intrusive hosted mineralization in the earlier years of operation before moving into the sediment hosted mineralization.
Chesapeake's 100% owned Metates project is one of the largest undeveloped gold-silver projects in the Americas. On a gold equivalent basis, Metates contains 27.9 million ounces in Measured + Indicated class material along with 1.2 million ounces in the Inferred class.
The resource estimations were completed by Mike Hester, FAusIMM, of IMC, an independent qualified person ("Q.P.") pursuant to NI43-101, who has reviewed and approved this release. Gary Parkison, CPG, Vice President Development for Chesapeake Gold and Metates Project Manager and a Q.P. has reviewed the technical information contained in this release.
Chesapeake has in place a comprehensive quality assurance/quality control ("QA/QC") program including standards, blanks and duplicate samples as well as check assays that form part of the sampling and assaying protocol. Core samples are cut with one-half of the core shipped directly to ALS Labs in Hermosillo, Mexico for sample preparation with the pulps subsequently sent to ALS Labs in Vancouver, Canada for gold fire assay and ICP analysis. The results of the QA/QC program have been reviewed by Jeff Jaacks, Ph.D, of Geochemical Applications International, Inc., an independent qualified person.
For more information on Chesapeake and its Metates Project, please visit our website at www.chesapeakegold.com.
CHESAPEAKE GOLD CORP
P. Randy Reifel, President
This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Such forward-looking statements and information herein include, but are not limited to, statements regarding prospective gold, silver and zinc production, timing and expenditures to develop the Metates property, gold, silver and zinc resources, grades and recoveries, cash costs per ounce, capital and operating expenditures and sustaining capital and the ability to fund mine development at Metates. The Company does not intend to, and does not assume any obligation to update such forward-looking statements or information, other than as required by applicable law.
Forward-looking statements or information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Chesapeake and its operations to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such statements. Such factors include, among others: ability to finance mine development, fluctuations in the prices of gold, silver and zinc, fluctuations in the currency markets (particularly the Mexican peso, Canadian dollar and U.S. dollar); changes in national and local governments, legislation, taxation, controls, regulations and political or economic developments in Canada and Mexico; operating or technical difficulties in mineral exploration, development and mining activities; risks and hazards of mineral exploration, development and mining (including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected geological conditions, pressures, cave-ins and flooding); inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance; availability of and costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as properties are mined; risks in obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and challenges to the Company's title to properties.
Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements or information, there may be other factors that cause results to be materially different from those anticipated, described, estimated, assessed or intended. There can be no assurance that any forward- looking statements or information will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements or information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.