Val-d’Or, QC – November 23, 2022 – Bonterra Resources Inc. (TSX-V: BTR, OTCQX: BONXF, FSE: 9BR2) (“Bonterra” or the “Company”) a Canadian gold exploration company with a large portfolio of advanced exploration assets anchored by a central milling facility in northern Quebec, Canada, provides the following operational updates:
The Company is pleased to announce that it has completed the process of putting the underground infrastructure at the Bachelor-Moroy deposit under long-term care and maintenance (see press release dated September 7, 2022). All useable equipment, spare parts and consumables have been relocated to surface safely. Flooding of the underground infrastructure is in progress and the site remains in compliance with all applicable governmental regulations.
With respect to permitting and considering the aforementioned changes, the Company has revised the scope of the expansion for the Bachelor Mill Complex and reports that it has submitted answers to the second stage of questions to COMEX (Environmental and Social Impact Review Committee). The revised expansion project considers a daily throughput of 1,800 tonnes per day (“tpd”) (compared to 2,400 tpd in the original expansion request) and maintains the same capacity for the tailings management facility of an additional 8 million tonnes. At the revised throughput of 1,800 tpd, the Company may be eligible to permit the expansion through a more streamlined process. The Company intends to continue to work in close collaboration with the regulatory authorities and local stakeholders throughout the permitting process.
The Company has undertaken a PFS on the Barry open pit project following the release of a positive preliminary economic assessment (“PEA”) earlier this year (see press release dated June 13, 2022). Several technical milestones have been achieved since the commencement of the PFS including 25,000 meters (“m”) of infill drilling at the open pit deposit and geochemistry, hydrogeology and geotechnical analysis at both the Barry and Bachelor Mill Complex.
Although a significant amount of progress on technical matters has been made as part of the PFS, the inability to receive timely and reasonable quotes from mining contractors, suppliers and other service providers has created a challenging environment to adequately assess the economics of the Barry open pit project. This is in addition to significant cost escalation that is prevalent throughout the mining sector. This has led the Company to re-evaluate the development plan at Barry. Specifically, the Company is planning to first complete an infill drilling program on the upper half (above 300 m elevation) of the underground portion of the Barry deposit to determine whether the higher-grade mineralization from the underground, combined with a likely larger scale operation, generates a more economically robust development.
Two drill rigs are presently in operation at Barry at a rate of 6,000 m per month (see press release dated November 15, 2022). The drilling is focused on the upper half of the underground deposit at Barry. To date, 15,900 m of infill drilling has been completed targeting the underground.
Marc André Pelletier, President and CEO commented: “Challenges in preparing the PFS as a result of inflationary pressures on energy, equipment, and labour costs are affecting the entire mining industry, especially in northern Quebec. Rather than join the ranks of mining companies that are developing assets in this challenging environment, Bonterra has decided to re-evaluate the development plan at Barry. Importantly, all the technical work carried out to date is expected to form a solid foundation for future mine development and especially for advancing the permitting.
With the Bachelor-Moroy deposit underground infrastructure under long-term care and maintenance, the Company is on track to reduce its maintenance costs and expects to reallocate those financial resources towards advancing the development of the Barry project. Other cost saving initiatives are also being considered to further reduce costs.’’
The technical content of this release has been reviewed and approved by Marc-André Pelletier, Eng, President, and Chief Executive Officer; a Qualified Person as defined in National Instrument 43-101 -Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
Bonterra is a Canadian gold exploration company with a large portfolio of advanced exploration assets anchored by a central milling facility in Quebec, Canada. The Company has four main assets, Gladiator, Barry, Moroy, and Bachelor that collectively have a total of 1.24 million ounces in Measured and Indicated categories, and 1.78 million ounces in Inferred category. Importantly, the Company owns the only permitted and operational gold mill in the region. Bonterra is focused on graduating from advanced exploration to a development company to deliver shareholder value.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This press release contains “forward-looking information” that is based on Bonterra’s current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections. This forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements with respect to Bonterra’s exploration and development plans and placing the Bachelor-Moroy deposit under long-term care and maintenance. The words “will”, “anticipated”, “plans” or other similar words and phrases are intended to identify forward-looking information. This forward-looking information includes namely information with respect to the planned exploration programs and the potential growth in mineral resources. Exploration results that include drill results on wide spacings may not be indicative of the occurrence of a mineral deposit and such results do not provide assurance that further work will establish sufficient grade, continuity, metallurgical characteristics and economic potential to be classed as a category of mineral resource. The potential quantities and grades of drilling targets are conceptual in nature and, there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the targets being delineated as mineral resources. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Bonterra’s actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forwardlooking information. Such factors include but are not limited to: uncertainties related exploration and development; the ability to raise sufficient capital to fund exploration and development; changes in economic conditions or financial markets, environmental and other judicial, regulatory, political and competitive developments; technological or operational difficulties or inability to obtain permits encountered in connection with exploration activities; and labour relations matters. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect our forward-looking information. These and other factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking information.