Ascot poised for first gold pour at Premier project in B.C.

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Ascot Resources Ltd. [AOT-TSXV, AOTVF-OTCQX] said construction of the Premier gold project in the prolific Golden Triangle area of northwestern British Columbia is nearing completion and early commissioning is now under way.

First ore delivery to the mill is expected by the end of March and first gold pour is anticipated in April. Ascot President and CEO Derek White said the recently closed $50 million financing package with Sprott Streaming and Nebari Credit Fund 11 would be sufficient to progress from construction to first gold pour, and ramp-up commercial production and steady state operations.

Capital costs, including mining costs incurred as of December 31, 2023, were $292 million. The remaining project construction capital required to achieved first gold pour is about $47 million.

This implies a total project capital cost of $339 million, which is slightly higher than the most recently total project budget of $334 million as reported in the last quarter.

Ascot shares were unchanged at 56 cents on Wednesday. The shares currently trade in a  52-week range of 73 cents and 33.5 cents.

The Premier-Dilworth project is located 25 kilometres north of Stewart in the Golden Triangle area. The project is separated into two separate properties, including the northern Dilworth area and the southern Premier area, which contains what was once the largest gold mine in North America. The Premier underground mine closed in 1952 after producing 2.0 million ounces of gold and 45 million ounces of silver.

The Premier gold project covers a land position of 8,133 hectares with three key deposits and a number of exploration targets. The key deposits are Premier, Silver Coin and Big Missouri, which all had historical mining activities and underground access. Two smaller resource areas area known as Martha Ellen and Dilworth.

Total inferred resources currently stand at 1.18 million ounces of gold, 4.7 million ounces of silver or 1.2 million ounces of gold equivalent (AuEq). Total indicated resources stand at 1.06 million ounces of gold, 4.7 million ounces of silver or 1.09 million ounces of AuEq.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, once the Big Missouri Portal infrastructure and mine services were re-established, underground development was re-commenced. The company’s underground mining contractor Procon advanced underground waste and ore development including the decline, which will eventually connect to the Silver Coin deposit.

In advance of mill start-up in the first quarter of 2024, Ascot is stockpiling mineralized material from Big Missouri in the Diego pit, ready for processing.

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