In 2014, the Company reported an updated Life of Mine Plan ("LOM Plan") for the Mineral Ridge Operation that included the Drinkwater, Mary, Mary LC, and the five satellite deposits, Brodie, Bluelite, Solberry, Wedge and Oromonte (see July 21, 2014
news release and Mineral Reserve & Resource Estimates
). With completion of mining of the Drinkwater deposit in Q3 2014, production in 2015 has come from the Mary, Mary LC, Solberry and Bluelite deposits.
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Operations Area Map
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Operations Area Map with Drill Hole Locations
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Mary - Mary LC Deposit
The Mary deposit is located immediately southeast of the Drinkwater pit. Scorpio Gold commenced pre-stripping operations in the Mary pit in December 2011 and initial ore production in Q2 2012. Exploration drilling in 2011 indicated that the gold mineralization extended further southeast from the Mary zone to the adjacent Mary LC zone, encompassing a strike length of 780 meters. Subsequent work determined that the Drinkwater, Mary and Mary LC zones were not isolated deposits but represented one continuous zone of mineralization.
Drilling in 2012 and 2013 was designed to support modification of the original Mary pit design to the southwest to include the continuation of mineralization into the Mary LC zone. A highly successful program led to completion of a mineral reserve and resource estimate for the Mary - Mary LC and incorporation of the expanded pit design into the updated LOM Plan. Pre-stripping of the Mary LC pit commenced in the first quarter of 2014 and extraction of development ore was realized in the second quarter of 2014. Attaining commercial production status at Mary LC is expected in Q4 2015.
Infill and step-out drilling on the Mary LC post the March 31, 2014 cut-off date of the LOM Plan focused on increasing the total mineral resources, upgrading resource categories, lowering the strip ratio and potentially increasing the mineral reserve estimate for the deposit.
Exploration drilling in 2015 tested an area extending up to 250 meters northeast of the Mary LC pit outline. In this northeastern direction, significant mineralization has been intersected at vertical depths ranging from 50 to 150 meters, with depth to mineralization generally increasing to the northeast. Follow-up drilling is under consideration to further investigate this area as a potential open pit and/or underground mining target.
Mary LC Drill Plan
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The satellite Brodie, Bluelite, Solberry, Wedge and Oromonte deposits are situated west and southwest of the Drinkwater pit and lie in close proximity to the leach pad. These deposits are part of a semi-continuous trend of mineralization within a shallow-dipping stratigraphic horizon. They lie on the western flank of an anticlinal fold structure and are considered to be related to mineralization within the Drinkwater-Mary trend, which lies on the eastern flank.
Continued drilling on the satellite deposits post the LOM Plan cut-off date has included infill, development and exploration drilling to expand and upgrade the current mineral reserve and resource base and potentially extend life of mine.
Brodie & Bluelite Deposits
The Brodie and Bluelite deposits are located 975 meters (3,200 feet) and 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) southwest, respectively, of the Drinkwater pit. Previous operators thought the Brodie and Bluelite deposits were separate mineralized bodies; however, results of Scorpio Gold's drilling has demonstrated they are one semi-continuous zone. The mineralized corridor encompasses a strike length of some 1,370 meters (4,500 feet) and is situated immediately adjacent to the leach pad.
Infill and step-out drilling in has continued on both deposits as well the mineralized structural corridor that extends between, known as the NW Brodie trend. Results are expected to positively impact the current resource base for the Brodie and Bluelite deposits and potentially allow for defining a new resource in the NW Brodie trend area.
Brodie Drill Plan
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Bluelite Drill Plan
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NW Brodie Trend Drill Plan
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The Solberry deposit lies west of the Drinkwater pit and 600 meters (1,970 feet) northwest of the leach pad. Results from expansion drilling in 2014-15 at Solberry are expected to positively impact the current resource base and will potentially allow for defining a new resource in the wide area of mineralization that extends +150 meters to the east of the current pit outline and +125 meters south toward the Bluelite deposit.
Solberry Drill Plan
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The Wedge deposit is located 225 meters (740 feet) southwest of the Drinkwater pit and immediately adjacent to the leach pad. Results from the 2014-15 expansion drilling program are expected to positively impact the current resource base for this deposit.
Wedge Drill Plan
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The Oromonte target occurs over a 300 x 500 meter area situated between the Solberry and Wedge deposits. A small mineral resource estimate for the deposit based on 53 RC drill holes was reported in the 2014 LOM Plan. Follow-up drilling in 2014-2016 intersected significant mineralization at vertical depths ranging from near surface to 150 meters depth across the target area.
The mineralization at Oromonte is interpreted to be a continuation of the mineralized horizon(s) between the Solberry and Wedge deposits that have been offset by normal faulting. The occurrence of a higher-grade zone of mineralization at depth is thought to be related to a rheological contrast between the basement granite and a later intrusion of alaskite (leucogranite). The difference in deformational behaviour of the two rock types under stress may have caused greater structural damage and fluid flow within the mineralizing structures in this area, resulting in a higher-grade zone of mineralization. The Oromonte deposit was subsequently down-dropped by late-stage normal faulting. A generalized geological model of the mineralization is presented in the Oromonte Cross Section.
Although not accessible by open pit mining, the deeper mineralization at Oromonte may be amenable to underground extraction should further results support underground development. Historical underground workings occur in the Wedge deposit area approximately 180 meters to the east.
Oromonte Drill Plan
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Oromonte Cross Section
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