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Bonterra moves closer to restart of Barry open pit with release of PEA

The Urban-Barry mill in Quebec. Credit: Bonterra Resources

Bonterra Resources (TSXV: BTR) has released the results of an independent preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on its Barry open-pit project located in the Urban-Barry Camp of northern Quebec. The property is host to a former mine that produced over 43,000 ounces of gold between 2006-2008.

As outlined in the PEA, the Barry project has an after-tax net present value (NPV) of C$48.3 million (at a 5% discount rate) and a 43% internal rate of return (IRR). Initial capital cost for the project is estimated at C$22.1 million, about half of which is for infrastructure, with another C$21.3 million to sustain the life of mine costs (excluding closure).

Gold production over the 4.8-year mine life is projected at 30,000 oz. annually (or 145,050 oz. total), at an all-in sustaining cost of $1,065/oz. Production is based on 1.9 million tonnes of measured and indicated resources at a grade of 2.68 g/t gold (165,000 oz. of gold) in the open-pit portion of the deposit.

“The PEA on the Barry open-pit project represents an important step towards a restart of production at the Barry open-pit project by Bonterra. The PEA highlights a project that requires a modest upfront investment and is expected to generate average annual net pre-tax cash flow of over C$20 million once in commercial production,” Marc-Andre Pelletier, president, CEO and director of Bonterra, commented.

The company plans to use cash flow generated from the Barry open pit to develop the underground part of the deposit, which contains another 525,000 oz. of measured and indicated resources (3.18 million tonnes grading 4.94 g/t gold) and 687,000 oz. of inferred resources (4.36 million tonnes grading 4.9 g/t gold).

“It is also important to highlight that approximately C$30 million of the total LOM capital is shared infrastructure and is expected to also benefit the development of the Barry and Gladiator underground deposits. Specifically, the upgrades to the Bachelor mill and tailings are expected to increase the throughput of the mill to 1,200 tonnes per day and establish a solid foundation for future expansion up to 8 million tonnes of tailing storage capacity,” Pelletier added.

To better understand the potential of an underground mining scenario, Bonterra has started to undertake infill and definition drilling underground at the Barry deposit. A total of 41,500 metres of drilling is planned for the Barry deposits this year.

The Barry deposit is a shear-hosted gold deposit with multiple parallel, sub-vertical shear zones and a second set of veins dipping to the southeast. It has been delineated over 1.4 kilometres along strike and 700 metres vertical, and remains open for expansion.

Combining the open pit and underground portions, the Barry deposit currently has measured and indicated resources of 5.1 million tonnes at 4.21 g/t gold for 690,000 oz. and inferred resources of 4.38 million tonnes at 4.89 g/t gold for 688,000 oz.

Expansion and infill drilling is also underway at the nearby Gladiator deposit, which has indicated resources totalling 1.41 million tonnes at 8.61 g/t for 391,000 oz. gold and inferred resources of 4.17 million tonnes at 7.37 g/t for 989,000 oz. gold.

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