Çöpler District Exploration

Alacer’s exploration licenses surrounding the Çöpler Gold Mine span across a 17 km by 25 km area. The exploration licenses are managed under two separate joint ventures. Alacer owns 80% of the licenses adjacent to Çöpler Mine under the Anagold Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. JV and 50% of the remaining licenses in the Çöpler District under the Kartaltepe JV, both in partnership with Lidya Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.

Copler District with 5 areas 2018

Çöpler Mine

The operating mine is the epicenter for district exploration activities, with established infrastructure for treating both oxide and sulfide gold ores.

  • Following the successful commencement of mining at Çakmaktepe, the ability to execute the Çöpler near-mine development strategy has been proven.
  • A recent scoping study to determine the optimal pathway for the expansion of the heap leach oxide processing capacity in the Çöpler District identified various options for standalone facilities and heap leach pads of varying size (some >50Mt), along with low-cost incremental expansion options at Çöpler (~25Mt of additional heap leach capacity). These options provide pathways to accelerate low-cost, near-term development of Çakmaktepe phase two, Ardich, Çöpler Saddle and other Çöpler District prospects, as well as options for a new separate mine development should the Ardich deposit grow to the full extent of the mineralized target.
  • The Çöpler heap leach pad expansion will be executed in phases. Engineering for phase one was completed in Q3 2019 for the first ~6 million tonnes of capacity. The existing EIA allows for phase one to be constructed and site works are underway with targeted completion in 2020. The total cost for phase one (~6Mt) will be ~$12 million. This development plan ensures that there is no short to medium-term restriction to oxide plant production. Detailed engineering and permitting for subsequent phases are progressing in parallel.
  • Construction of the access road to Çakmaktepe, that connects the Çöpler Gold Mine to the eastern exploration prospects, is complete.
  • Çöpler in-pit exploration program has identified ore that has been fed to the processing facilities. Part of this was the over 1 million tonnes of limestone gold ore that allowed blending with the lower sulfide, high carbonate ore previously stockpiled. The in-pit exploration program is ongoing with some contribution being included in the 2019 production schedules. The in-pit exploration program is ongoing and the Company expects the program to continue to deliver additional oxide ore production.
  • The newly constructed sulfide plant provides optionality to treat sulfide gold ores or concentrates.

Çakmaktepe – Mining Started September 2018

The Çakmaktepe Project (50% Alacer owned) is located approximately 5km to the east of the existing Çöpler Gold Mine infrastructure and is connected by a haul road .

All regulatory and permitting approvals have been received and mining activities commenced in September 2018. During Q3 2019, phase one of oxide ore mining of 1.6 million tonnes at Çakmaktepe in shallow, permitted areas was completed. No further mining of ore is currently scheduled from Çakmaktepe during the remainder of 2019. As a result of the very successful phase one of mining of oxide ore at Çakmaktepe, an additional exploration program commenced in the Çakmaktepe permitted mining area, with two diamond drill rigs currently testing targets. The aim of this short exploration program is to fast track phase two from areas of Çakmaktepe which are already permitted and ready for mining.

Production from Çakmaktepe for phase one is 80% attributable to Alacer as a commercial arrangement has been entered into whereby the Çöpler operation purchased Çakmaktepe ore, with the cost included in production cost

Further information on the Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve is available in the “Alacer Gold Announces Maiden Mineral Reserve and a 70% Increase in Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource for Çakmaktepe as well as Additional Exploration Results for Çakmaktepe” press release.

Çöpler Saddle Shear Zone

The Çöpler Saddle (80% Alacer owned) (“The Saddle”) has been defined by surface mapping and soil sampling on a 25m by 25m grid (gold geochemistry). The Saddle borders the western flank of the Çöpler Mine with a shear zone passing through the existing Çöpler West Pit, which is in production. The shear zone is defined as an arc-like structure running north-south for approximately 2 kilometers. The Company announced the results of the initial testing of the Çöpler Saddle which consisted of 50 diamond drill holes outside of the Çöpler Resource shells and planned mining areas. The Çöpler Saddle represents one of the targets in the next phase of the Company’s execution of the Çöpler near‐mine development strategy within the next two to three years.

Ardich Gold Project

Ardich Drill Hole Locations

Drill hole locations and surface reflection of mineralized zones. Mineralization is open in all directions.

Ardich (80% Alacer owned) is an exciting near-surface (predominantly oxide) oxide gold deposit located approximately 6km northeast of the Çöpler Gold Mine. The Corporation announced a maiden Measured & Indicated Mineral Resource of 294,000 gold ounces at an average grade of 1.32 gold g/t and Inferred Mineral Resource of 85,000 gold ounces at an average grade of 1.20 gold g/t in December 2018. 

The size of the Ardich deposit is highly prospective, with this maiden Mineral Resource representing the first estimate of a potentially larger deposit. The Mineral Resource is based on only the first 55 diamond core drill holes completed and does not include drill assays received after October 1, 2018. At the end of 2018, an additional 42 diamond core drill holes had been drilled since the cut-off date for the Mineral Resource. These additional holes indicate that the current resource estimate will grow. Gold mineralization modeled at Ardich is primarily oxidized with a small portion of sulfidic ore which does not contribute to this Mineral Resource.

Ardich represents the next stage of our successful organic growth strategy as we work to add a fourth ore source to our portfolio. The Ardich Mineral Resource continues to demonstrate the oxide ore prospectivity from the Çöpler District. In parallel to continuing to define and grow Ardich, environmental, permitting and processing options are advancing to ensure pathways for low-cost, near-term development of Ardichare achievable.

Opportunities exist to process Ardich oxide ores at the existing and expanded Ҫӧpler oxide plant facilities or to construct standalone processing facilities at Ardich. A feasibility study will be completed in 2019 for a ~20Mt incremental expansion of the Çöpler heap leach pad. In addition, options for standalone facilities and heap leach pad facilities of varying size (some >50Mt) are being explored should the Ardich deposit grow to the full extent of the 2km mineralized target.

Forestry drill permit applications have been submitted and are awaiting approval to allow further step-out drilling of the highly prospective areas to the south and east of the Ardich Mineral Resource.

There have been a number of recent announcements on exploration activity in Ardich with impressive results:

  • Hole AR09 with 67.7m averaging 4.08 g/t gold from 53.3m depth (including 14.2m at 7.21 g/t)
  • Hole AR31 with 68.6m averaging 2.21 g/t gold from 36.0m depth (including 17.0m at 5.5 g/t)
  • Hole AR41 with 50.2m averaging 3.01 g/t gold from 43.4m depth (including 7.9m at 8.81 g/t)
  • Hole AR52 with 57.7m averaging 3.84 g/t gold from 121.3m depth (including 10.2m at 5.75 g/t)
  • Hole AR54 with 61.4m averaging 2.22 g/t gold from 5m depth (including 6.4m at 7.75 g/t)

Conceptual cross-section of the Ardich prospect showing gently dipping shallow gold mineralized zones.

Ardich Cross-section

Conceptual cross-section of the Ardich prospect showing gently dipping shallow gold mineralized zones.

The Mavialtin Porphyry Belt (50% Alacer owned) extends from the newly discovered Ardich gold prospect in the north to Mavidere (previously called Karakartal) in the south. It is approximately 20km in length and approximately 6-7km in width with numerous areas of mineralization. The mineralized corridor includes the gold copper porphyry prospects of Mavidere, Sarıdere, Aslantepe, and Findiklidere, some with porphyry intrusions at surface:

  1. Grow the known areas of mineralization, or new discoveries, to be a standalone economic mine deposit, and/or,
  2. Develop a Mavialtin Complex where various smaller deposits could be processed through a common facility.

Demirmağara (80% Alacer owned) has both epithermal mineralization and evidence of porphyry alteration with areas of elevated soil and rock, gold and copper grades.

  • As with other areas, the Alacer geological team have taken a very disciplined approach to exploration in Demirmağara, data mining the Corporation’s historical exploration database, remapping, reinterpretation and frugal drill confirmation of models. This has led to a reinterpretation of Demirmağara.
  • As a result, recently the Corporation discovered a porphyry stockwork system at surface which was exposed by a trench sampling revealing potassic granodiorites.
  • The Corporation awaits Forestry permits to drill test this target.
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