TORONTO, Ontario, September 2, 2015 – Lydian International Limited (TSX:LYD) (“Lydian” or “the Company”) reports that results to date of its continuing metallurgical testing program and a blast fragmentation study demonstrate potential to favorably reduce initial capital costs and future operating expenses at its 100% owned Amulsar Gold Project in Armenia.
Based on the projected outcome from this year’s metallurgical testwork program and assessment of the rock quality in the ore body, Lydian plans to eliminate three of five cone crushers from the secondary and tertiary circuits and to reduce the double deck screens from five to three. The primary gyratory crusher will be replaced by a jaw crusher and the design nominal crush size will be increased from 12.5 mm to 19 mm. These revisions are expected to significantly reduce equipment requirements, the plant’s structural footprint and energy consumption, while maintaining crushing capacity at 10 million tonnes per annum.
Howard Stevenson, Lydian’s President and CEO, stated, “Value engineering has been ongoing for six months and continues to find opportunities to reduce initial capital costs and future operating expenses. Our ability to re-design the crushing plant is very positive news and is as good as we could have anticipated at this point in our value engineering program. Our most recent technical report included $75 million of direct costs for the crushing plant. Cost estimates for the re-designed crushing plant and other optimizations identified through value engineering will be completed as part of an updated technical report and will be reported as soon as they are finalized.” Mr. Stevenson added, “Increasing the crush size, reducing reagent consumption and optimizing solution flow rates will also generate positive expense reductions and environmental improvements.”
The objective of the metallurgical testwork is to provide comparative recovery and reagent consumption information for material crushed to P100 19 mm (100% passing through 19mm) and P100 12.5 mm. A total of 13 composites were defined and used for 30 column leach tests. Column test results from this ongoing program show average gold extractions are trending consistent with prior column tests performed by the Company as reported in the 2015 Amulsar NI 43-101 Feasibility Study, dated May 16, 2015 (“2015 Technical Report”), which averaged 90%. Importantly, results also indicate no statistical difference in leach kinetics or final gold extractions between composite samples crushed to P100 19 mm and P100 12.5 mm. The 2015 Technical Report assumed an optimal crush size of P100 12.5 mm.
Current testwork indicates reagent consumption will be significantly lower and solution flow rates can be reduced from previously reported amounts. Preliminary solution assay results confirm a rapid rate of gold extraction using lower reagent concentrations than in earlier test programs. The majority of gold was extracted within 14 days with maximum extraction typically occurring in less than 60 days. SGS North America Inc. is performing the testing at its laboratory in Tucson, Arizona.
A blast fragmentation study and subsequent classification of rock quality distributed in the geo-metallurgical model of the deposits indicate 65% to 95% of the ore is highly fractured with a “poor” rock quality, and less than 5% of the ore is of “good” rock quality. Rock quality classification was not included in the 2015 Technical Report, and all ore was assumed to be of “good” rock quality. The outcome of this study supports Lydian’s plans to re-design the crushing plant and is also expected to contribute to reducing future blasting and crushing operating expenses.
A revised technical report will be issued upon completion of the Company’s value engineering program which is to be completed during fourth quarter 2015.
About Lydian International
Lydian is an emerging gold developer, focused on its 100% owned Amulsar Gold Project, located in Southern Armenia. The Company’s current mine development and construction plan for Amulsar is aimed at achieving average production of 200,000 ounces of gold per year and establishing the Company as a high cash-flow producer. The Company is committed to best practices in all aspects of its operations including production, sustainability, and good corporate citizenry. For more information on Lydian please visit www.lydianinternational.co.uk.
Caution regarding forward-looking information
This news release contains certain information that constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as “plan,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “believe,” “opportunity”, “potential”, “anticipate” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including statements with respect to the ability of the Company to optimize and/or enhance the base case as set out in the 2015 Technical Report, including with respect to capital costs and operating costs, the ability of the Company to potentially include the results of the value engineering process in a new or updated technical report, feasibility study or any future financial analysis of the Amulsar Gold Project, the timing of any such reports, studies or analysis, the ability of the Company to carry forward and incorporate into future studies of the Amulsar Gold Project any redesign, work that will evaluate and optimize the project configuration and capital costs and operating costs, the potential development of any mine at the Amulsar Gold Project, business and financing plans and business trends are forward-looking statements. Information concerning mineral reserve/resource estimates and the economic analysis thereof contained in the feasibility study also may be deemed to be forward-looking statements in that it reflects a prediction of the mineralization that would be encountered, and the results of mining it, if a mineral deposit were developed and mined. Although the Company believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, mine site planning and development, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, fluctuating metal prices, permitting and licensing and other factors described above and in the Company’s most recent annual information form under the heading “Risk Factors”, which has been filed electronically by means of the Canadian Securities Administrators’ website located at www.sedar.com. The Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change except as is required by applicable law. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.