Highlights of the Mineral Resource Estimate:
Vancouver, Canada, November 27, 2023 – Heliostar Metals Ltd. (TSX.V: HSTR, OTCQX: HSTXF, FRA: RGG1) (“Heliostar” or the “Company”) is pleased to report an updated mineral resource estimate (“Updated Mineral Resource Estimate”) for its Ana Paula Project (the “Project” or “Ana Paula”) located in Guerrero, Mexico. The Updated Mineral Resource Estimate was completed by Rita Teal, Qualified Person with Teal CPG Inc.
The high-grade portion of the Ana Paula deposit has grown significantly from 860,519 measured and indicated ounces of gold grading 4.86 grams per tonne (“g/t") and 5,564 inferred ounces of gold grading 3.72 g/t to 710,920 measured and indicated ounces of gold grading 6.60 g/t and an additional 447,512 ounces inferred ounces of gold grading 4.24 g/t.
“At the beginning of this year Heliostar set out to transform the Ana Paula Project into a deposit that will support a high-margin, underground gold mine. Today’s updated resource estimate is a major milestone on this rapid path of growth and de-risking toward production. In acquiring the project, the Company saw three key levers to improve the deposit; increases in both resource size and grade, enhanced gold recoveries and higher upfront mining grades. Today’s resource estimate, coupled with the Company’s recent metallurgical results have firmly delivered on each lever. The measured and indicated resource grades are up by 58% and 30% respectively and the deposit has grown significantly. The initial metallurgical analysis improved on our base case by over 10% to an 80.4% gold recovery utilizing a conventional flow sheet. The continuous zone of greater than 200,000 ounces grading greater than 10 g/t gold within the High Grade Panel can be targeted in the initial years of a mine plan. These additional resources have been delivered at a cost of just US$16 per gold ounce. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this update is that the High Grade Panel, Parallel Panel and Expansion zone are all open to grow, and new targets, immediately north of this year’s drilling, are clear with our new exploration model.” commented Heliostar CEO, Charles Funk.
Table 1: Ana Paula Project High Grade Mineral Resource Estimate (2.5 g/t cutoff grade)
Table 2: Ana Paula Project Global Mineral Resource Estimate (1.0 g/t cutoff grade)
Table 3: Ana Paula Project Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource Sensitivity Table
Table 4: Comparison Between Updated and March 2023 Resource Estimates at 2.5g/t cutoff
Note: The March 2023 Resource Estimate was not previously presented at a cutoff gold grade of 2.5 g/t. These figures are presented here for comparison purposes. The technical report to be filed in connection with the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate will include these figures.
Table 5: Comparison Between Updated and March 2023 Global Resource Estimates
Note: The cutoff gold grades in the table above differ because the March 2023 resource estimate has a 0.6 g/t cutoff within an open pit shell and a 1.6 g/t outside of this shell. Heliostar has selected a 1.0g/t cutoff as a representation of the global resource estimate for the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate.
Updated Resource Estimate Discussion
The Updated Mineral Resource Estimate has been designed and optimized for an underground mining scenario. The previous mineral resource estimate from March 2023 (the “March 2023 estimate”) was designed and optimized for an open pit mining scenario with an underground component beneath the pit shell. The simplest comparison between these estimates is undertaken using the 2.5 g/t cutoff grade for both estimates (Table 4). A global comparison is shown for direct comparison with the previous total resource estimate (Table 5).
The clearest contrast between the updated resource and March 2023 Estimate remains the average gold grade. In the new resource, the gold grade has materially increased in every category.
The tighter drill spacing undertaken by Heliostar in 2023 in the area of the High Grade Panel has supported reporting to the measured and indicated categories in the updated resource with an underground mining focus. The broader spaced holes outboard and beneath the High Grade Panel have largely been re-classified to inferred status in the updated resource due to the tighter drill spacing required for an underground mining focused resource estimate. In underground mining, each resource block must be targeted for extraction and underground development must be put in place to access it. Whereas in an open pit scenario all blocks on each level of the mine are mined regardless of classification.
The tighter spaced drilling completed by Heliostar in 2023 was the principal driver of higher average gold grades in the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate. The Company believes the same potential exists to increase grades in the current inferred classification when it undertakes tighter spaced drilling to convert these resources to higher confidence classification categories.
Heliostar’s understanding of the geological controls on mineralization has also increased between the resource models. The Ana Paula deposit is hosted by westerly dipping, thinly bedded, calcareous sediments and lesser tuffs. These rocks have been deformed and intruded by calc-alkalic, felspar porphyry sills and dykes. These intrusives are believed to drive phreatomagmatic breccias that pre-date gold mineralization. An interpreted east-west fault system control is considered key for gold mineralization. The High Grade Panel is defined by one of these faults, where it hosts a polymictic breccia body that is approximately 280 metres wide, 100 metres high and 60 metres thick. The Parallel Panel is a second east-west trending fault to the north. Gold mineralization is interpreted to have been driven by deeper intrusive rocks and exploits the east-west faults and porous bedding planes as a fluid conduit. Favorably porous and reactive rock units preferentially host high-grade gold mineralization, particularly the main polymictic breccia body that hosts the High Grade Panel.
To the north of the Parallel Panel, the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate highlights a number of poorly defined high-grade gold intercepts. These intercepts model as discrete zones of high-grade mineralization but remain poorly defined due to a lack of drilling. Heliostar believes these may be repetitions to the north of the interpreted east-west fault controls that host the High Grade Panel and Parallel Panels. They represent excellent exploration targets for continued growth of the Ana Paula deposit (Figure 3).
Exploration Discovery Cost
To date, the Company has incurred an aggregate of approximately US$4.7 million on exploration, project holding costs, studies and related matters since acquisition of the Project on March 28, 2023. This equates to an estimated discovery cost of US$16 per ounce for new high grade gold resources (above 2.5g/t gold) defined in the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate.
All-in; including project acquisition costs, all site and exploration costs and G&A since the acquisition of the Ana Paula project the company has a total cost of US$15.5 per resource ounce in the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate.
The Company is hosting a webinar tomorrow, November 28 at 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern time, to provide present the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the Ana Paula Project. Please use the link here to register for the webinar:
Quality Assurance / Quality Control
Core samples were shipped to ALS Limited Santiago Queretaro, Queretaro for sample preparation and for analysis at the ALS Laboratories in North Vancouver. The North Vancouver ALS facility is ISO/IEC 17025 certified. Gold was assayed by 30-gram fire assay with atomic absorption spectroscopy finish and overlimits were analyzed by 50g fire assay with gravimetric finish.
Control samples comprising certified reference samples and blank samples were systematically inserted into the sample stream and analyzed as part of the Company’s quality assurance / quality control protocol.
Statement of Qualified Person
The Updated Mineral Resource Estimate was completed by Rita Teal,. of Teal CPG Inc. Ms. Teal is an independent Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. Rita Teal and Lewis Teal, QP with Teal CPG, Inc. have reviewed and approved the technical contents of this news release.
About Heliostar Metals Ltd.
Heliostar is a junior mining company with a portfolio of high-grade gold projects in Mexico and Alaska.
The Company is developing the 100% owned Ana Paula Project in Guerrero, Mexico. In addition, Heliostar in conjunction with the Mexican federal and local government, is working to permit the San Antonio Gold Project in Baja Sur, Mexico. The Company continues to explore the Unga Gold Project in Alaska, United States of America.
Ana Paula hosts measured and indicated resources of 710,920 ounces of gold (320,204 measured and 390,716 indicated ounces) at 6.60 g/t gold and an inferred resource of 447,512 ounces of gold at 4.24 g/t gold. The asset is permitted for open-pit mining and contains significant existing infrastructure including a portal and a 412-metre-long decline.
For additional information please contact:
Chief Executive Officer
Heliostar Metals Ltd.
Investor Relations Manager
Heliostar Metals Ltd.
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 news release includes certain "Forward–Looking Statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and "forward–looking information" under applicable Canadian securities laws. When used in this news release, the words "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "plan", "forecast", "may", "would", "could", "schedule" and similar words or expressions, identify forward–looking statements or information. These forward–looking statements or information relate to, among other things: the exploration, development, and production at the Company’s properties; permitting at the San Antonio project; and the preparation and filing of a technical report in support of Updated Mineral Resource Estimate. Forward–looking statements and forward–looking information relating to any future mineral production, liquidity, enhanced value and capital markets profile of the Company, future growth potential for the Company and its business, and future exploration plans are based on management's reasonable assumptions, estimates, expectations, analyses and opinions, which are based on management's experience and perception of trends, current conditions and expected developments, and other factors that management believes are relevant and reasonable in the circumstances, but which may prove to be incorrect. Assumptions have been made regarding, among other things, the price of metals; no escalation in the severity of public health crises or ongoing military conflicts; costs of exploration and development; the estimated costs of development of exploration projects; and the Company's ability to operate in a safe and effective manner and its ability to obtain financing on reasonable terms.
These statements reflect the Company's respective current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of other assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by management, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political, and social uncertainties, and contingencies. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward–looking statements or forward-looking information and the Company has made assumptions and estimates based on or related to many of these factors. Such factors include, without limitation: precious metals price volatility; risks associated with the conduct of the Company's mining activities in foreign jurisdictions; regulatory, consent or permitting delays; risks relating to reliance on the Company's management team and outside contractors; risks regarding exploration and mining activities; the Company's inability to obtain insurance to cover all risks, on a commercially reasonable basis or at all; currency fluctuations; risks regarding the failure to generate sufficient cash flow from operations; risks relating to project financing and equity issuances; risks and unknowns inherent in all mining projects, including the inaccuracy of reserves and resources, metallurgical recoveries and capital and operating costs of such projects; contests over title to properties, particularly title to undeveloped properties; laws and regulations governing the environment, health and safety; the ability of the communities in which the Company operates to manage and cope with the implications of public health crises; the economic and financial implications of public health crises, ongoing military conflicts and general economic factors to the Company; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities; employee relations, labour unrest or unavailability; the Company's interactions with surrounding communities; the Company's ability to successfully integrate acquired assets; the speculative nature of exploration and development, including the risks of diminishing quantities or grades of reserves; stock market volatility; conflicts of interest among certain directors and officers; lack of liquidity for shareholders of the Company; litigation risk; and the factors identified under the caption “Risk Factors” in the Company’s public disclosure documents. Readers are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward–looking statements or forward-looking information. Although the Company has attempted to identify key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward–looking statements or forward-looking information to reflect changes in assumptions or changes in circumstances or any other events affecting such statements or information, other than as required by applicable law.