Steppe Gold partner advances to Ato phase 2 expansion, Mongolia

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Steppe Gold Ltd. [TSX-STGO; OTCQX-STPGF; FSE-2J9] updated phase 2 expansion at the 100%-owned Ato gold mine, Mongolia.

The company’s engineering, procurement and construction partner Hexagon Build Engineering LLC, an experienced engineering and construction company headquartered in Mongolia, has now contracted with leading engineering and professional services firm WSP Canada Inc. to advise on detailed engineering and design of the Ato phase 2 expansion.

WSP is a member of the WSP Global group, a globally recognized professional services firm providing strategic advisory, engineering and design services to clients in the transportation, infrastructure, environment, building, energy, water and mining sectors. In 2021, WSP completed the acquisition of Golder Associates Ltd., a global firm specialized in Earth sciences, engineering and environmental consulting services.

Specifically, WSP will provide the following services in respect of the Ato phase 2 expansion: overall process design; plant layout optimization; detailed engineering; and procurement support.

The parties have agreed to complete detailed engineering design for the new flotation plant in 15 months starting from July 1, 2024. Procurement and construction are expected to proceed concurrently with continuing design development.

Hexagon will place orders for long-lead items within the third quarter of 2024 following receipt of the latest milestone payment from Steppe Gold.

Early works are already under way, which include a feasibility study, geotechnical studies and trade-off studies to optimize the grinding circuit and use of Jameson cells versus conventional flotation. These activities are expected to be completed by end of September 2024.

Hexagon will then mobilize to the Ato site to begin civil works. Hexagon is preparing to mobilize to the Ato site in the coming months. Hexagon has completed an initial geotech study and is now working on an ore study.

Commissioning of the Ato phase 2 expansion remains on track for the first half of 2026.

Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract and the purchase plan for long lead items and milestone schedule, the contractor is delivering grinding and regrind mills, flotation cells, cyclone clusters, thickeners, filtration systems and concentrate and tailings pumping systems.

Equipment manufacturers have been shortlisted and Hexagon will start a bid process after trade-off studies are completed.

Steppe Gold is Mongolia’s premier precious metal company.

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