Lion One Metals begins mechanized production at Tuvatu mine, Fiji

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Lion One Metals Limited [TSXV-LIO; OTCQX-LOMLF; ASX-LLO] reported the start of mechanized production at Tuvatu and reports significant new high-grade gold results from Zone 5 infill and grade control drilling at its Tuvatu Alkaline Gold Project in Fiji.

Mechanized production mining has commenced at Tuvatu. The first remote bogging at Tuvatu occurred on May 16, and the first long hole stope blast occurred on May 18. Both are also firsts for the country of Fiji. This is a major milestone for the company as it represents the transition from predominantly development mining to predominantly production mining.

The processing plant can now also sustainably process over 400 TPD, which is above the plant’s name plate capacity of 300 TPD. The increased throughput is possible due to the successful implementation of operational improvements and debottlenecking initiatives completed by the mill team.

Assay results are also presented here for infill and grade control drilling in the Zone 5 area of Tuvatu. Drill results include multiple bonanza grade gold assays such as 1,568.55 g/t, 215.86 g/t, 143.95 g/t, and 134.68 g/t. These results are all located proximal to underground development in the near-surface portion of the mine. Drilling was focused on two locations; to the north and south of the Cabex fault, which is a carbonate healed, deposit scale structure. The primary targets for these drillholes were the downdip and southern extensions of the UR2 and URW3 lodes.

The Zone 5 area of Tuvatu is located along the main decline and includes the principal north-south oriented lodes (UR1 to UR3), the principal northeast-southwest oriented lodes (UR4 to UR8), and several of the western lodes (URW2, URW2A, URW3). The system remains open at depth with the deepest high-grade intersects occurring below 1000 m depth.

The drilling reported in this news release was focused on the near-surface portions of the UR2 and URW3 lodes. These areas are scheduled to be mined throughout the next 12 months. Drilling was separated into two focus areas; to the north of the Cabex Fault, and to the south of the Cabex Fault. The Cabex Fault is a post-mineralization fault that strikes approximately ESE and dips approximately 65° to the SSW.

The purpose of the Zone 5 infill and grade control drill program is to enhance the mine model and inform stope design in advance of mining. Drilling to the north of the Cabex primarily targeted the down dip extension of the UR2 lode below the 1120 level. Drilling to the south of the Cabex targeted both the down dip extensions of the UR2 and URW3 lodes below the 1100 level, as well as the southern extension of the lodes above and below the 1120 level.

Mill operations are also advancing successfully. Operational improvements and debottlenecking projects completed by the mill operations team have successfully increased throughput at the mill. These bottlenecking projects include upgrading the process water recycle system, upgrading the thickener pumps and piping, and reducing the tailings filter press cycle times. As a result of these upgrades the processing plant can now achieve a sustained throughput of over 400 TPD, with peak daily throughput of over 450 TPD.

Lion One Metals has new operations established in late 2023 at its 100%-owned Tuvatu Alkaline Gold Project. The Tuvatu project comprises the high-grade Tuvatu Alkaline Gold Deposit, the Underground Gold Mine, the pilot plant, and the assay lab. The company also has an extensive exploration license covering the entire Navilawa Caldera, which is host to multiple mineralized zones and highly prospective exploration targets.

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