Denver, Colorado, May 19, 2021 – Vista Gold Corp. (NYSE American and TSX: VGZ) (“Vista” or the “Company”) today announced assay results for drilling at the Company’s Mt Todd gold project (“Mt Todd” or the “Project”). Two additional holes have been completed on an east-west section approximately 500 meters north of the limits of the Batman deposit resource model. Both holes drilled through mineralized structures as projected, with some intercepts in both holes showing significantly higher grades than historic drilling in the Batman deposit.
- VB21-004 intersected the same structure as VB20-001 and drilled 42 meters @ 0.80 grams gold per tonne (“g Au/t”), including 12 meters @ 1.46 g Au/t;
- VB21-005 was drilled up-dip from VB21-002 and intersected 29 meters @ 2.65 g Au/t, including 0.31 meters @ 161.80 g Au/t;
- Both holes confirm the lateral continuity of mineralized structures with drill intercepts 500 meters north of the Batman deposit; and
- VB21-005 confirmed the vertical continuity of the definable high-grade zone intersected in hole VB21-002.
Frederick Earnest, President and CEO commented, “In these drill results, we see vertical and horizontal continuity of mineralization just as we did in our very successful development and expansion of the Batman deposit. The results of this program confirm our strong belief in the potential to increase the gold resources of the Mt Todd Project with additional drilling. The significantly higher-grade intercepts encountered in both VB21-004 and VB21-005 suggest the potential importance of these parallel structures as part of the feeder system that helped create the Batman deposit. Presently, two drills are drilling in the general vicinity of VB21-002 and VB21-005 to further define this structure, which is an extension of the Batman Core Zone. Following this, we plan to drill the parallel structure intersected in VB21-004 300 meters to the east, which aligns with the Golf-Tollis target. We are focused on understanding the geology and structural conditions that helped form these narrower, but apparently higher-grade, mineralized structures and their relationship to the Batman deposit approximately 500 meters to the south. We believe this will allow us to refine our exploration model prior to stepping out further to the north. We are very pleased with these results and look forward to the results of future drilling.” Vista Gold CEO Video
Holes VB21-004 and VB21-005 were drilled on Section 8436400N targeting differing, yet parallel mineralized structures. Hole VB21-005 was drilled to test the vertical continuity of mineralization discovered in hole VB21-002 (results announced March 24, 2021). This hole intersected 10 meters averaging 6.50 g Au/t, including 0.31 meters with 161.80 g Au/t. Hole VB21-004 was drilled approximately 300 meters to the east targeting a mineralized structure in line with the Golf-Tollis target and intersected 6 meters averaging 2.48 g Au/t, including 1.0 meter with 11.10 g Au/t. Please refer to the following table for a detailed summary of the assay results for these two holes and to Figure 1 on the following page for a map showing the locations of these drill holes.
Table 1 – Summary of Assay Results
- Results are based on ore grade 50g fire assay for Au.
- Intersections are from diamond core drilling with half-core samples with 1 metre representative samples.
- Core sample intervals were constrained by geology, alteration or structural boundaries, intervals varied between a minimum of 0.2 metres to a maximum of 1.2 metres.
- Mean grades have been calculated on a 0.4g/t Au lower cut-off grade with no upper cut-off grade applied, and maximum internal waste of 4.0 metres.
- All intersections are downhole intervals, and reflect approximate true widths.
- All downhole deviations have been verified by downhole camera and or downhole gyro.
- Collar coordinates surveyed by Earl James & Assoc., an independent surveyor, using Trimble R8 GNSS.
- The Company maintains a QA/QC program, as further described below.
- The assay laboratories responsible for the assays were Northern Analytical Laboratories Pty. Ltd. ("NAL"), an independent ISO 9000 certified lab, Pine Creek, NT and Genalysis Laboratory Services Pty Ltd, Perth, WA, which is also independent from Vista.
The plan view in Figure 1 shows the locations of drill holes VB21-004 and VB21-005 relative to previously announced drill holes. Holes VB21-004 and VB21-005 were drilled on Section 8436400N (labeled as Section A-A’). VB21-004 was targeting mineralization in line with the Golf-Tollis target, which is believed to be the same structure as previously drilled in VB20-001. Figure 1 also shows the locations of all released holes from the 2020-2021 drilling.
Figure 2 shows the downhole assay results for the two drill holes detailed in this release, plus previously announced VB21-002 and the spatial relationship of the holes west to east when viewed looking north.
The drilling on section 8436400N has confirmed that some of these structures host higher grades with widths up to 30 meters. Currently, two northeast striking structures have been intersected and they extend over several kilometers. There are also indications of additional structures proximal to Batman.
The mineralization in VB21-002 and VB21-005 parallels the orientation of the Batman-Driffield corridor and is an extension of the mineralization within the Batman deposit.
Figure 1 – Plan View of Drill Holes and Cross Section Locations
Figure 2 – Section 8436400N View of VB21-004 and VB21-005 with VB21-002 Assay Results
Figure 3 shows the assay results for VB21-005 and its relationship to VB21-002 and the historic drilling completed by others.
Figure 3 – Section 8436400N Enlarged View of VB21-005 and VB21-002 Drilling Assay Results
Figure 4 shows the relationship of VB 21-004 to the historic, more shallow drilling. The mineralized zones in VB21-004 align vertically with mineralization in the historic drill holes.
Figure 4 – Section 8436400N Enlarged View of VB21-004 and Historic Drilling
Figure 5 is a plan view interpretation of the results of Vista soil and grab samples that have been collected. This demonstrates over 400 meters of strike length on the surface with anomalous gold values that align well with projected mineralized intercepts in VB21-002 and VB21-005.
Figure 5 – Plan view of Surface Geochemistry, including Soil and Rock Chip Samples in the Vicinity of VB002 and VB21-005.
The sampling method and approach for the surface geochemistry and grab samples is as follows:
- Soil samples are planned on a regular grid and a sample sheet is generated.
- GPS is used to locate sample positions and a pelican pick is used to clear debris and any topsoil from the sample location 3.
- The hole is dug to the B horizon and 7 to 10 kg of soil is collected and coarse sieved to remove stones etc., a fine mesh is then employed and the entire sample recovered post sieving is bagged.
- Soil sampling is usually undertaken in the dry season, however if wet samples are obtained, they are dried in the logging shed prior to sieving.
- Sample bags are calico and purchased pre-numbered, these are then packaged in groups of 5 for transportation to Northern Analytical Laboratories Pty. Ltd (“NAL”), an independent ISO 9000 certified lab, Pine Creek, NT and Genalysis Laboratory Services Pty Ltd, Perth, WA, which is also independent from Vista.
- As the site is closed to public access, no special security measures are undertaken.
- A sample submission sheet is sent to the lab, detailing required methodology, and number of samples.
- No identifying data relating to sample location is recorded on the bags submitted or the paperwork beyond bag numbers.
Rock chip and soil geochemical samples are routinely collected to determine if the potential exists for anomalous gold values below the surface. The presence of anomalous gold grades is not a guarantee of subsurface mineralization. While both rock chip and soil samples have sampling procedures, it is not considered rigorous enough to be relied upon for use in the estimation of resources. Surface soil and rock chip samples are merely considered to be potential indicators of subsurface mineralization. Since the rock chip and soil assays are not used in resource estimation, it is rare that any additional QA/QC or check assaying would be completed. The data are used on an as received basis.
It is the QP’s opinion (as defined below) that the sample preparation methods and quality control measures employed before dispatch of samples to an analytical or testing laboratory ensured the validity and integrity of samples taken.
John Rozelle, Vista’s Sr. Vice President, a Qualified Person (“QP”) as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, has verified the data underlying the information contained in and has approved this press release. The information contained in this press release does not change any of the mineral resources or reserves estimates contained in Vista’s October 7, 2019 NI 43-101 Technical Report, Mt Todd Gold Project, 50,000 tpd Preliminary Feasibility Study, Northern Territory, Australia. The information contained in this press release is provided to inform the reader of the growth of our geologic understanding of the Project. There has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource with respect to the exploration target areas and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the exploration target areas being delineated as a mineral resource.
Data Verification and QA/QC
The sampling method and approach for the drillholes are as follows:
- The drill core, upon removal from the core barrel, is placed into plastic core boxes;
- The plastic core boxes are transported to the sample preparation building;
- The core is marked, geologically logged, geotechnically logged, photographed, and sawn into halves. One-half is placed into sample bags as one-meter sample lengths, and the other half retained for future reference. The only exception to this is when a portion of the remaining core has been flagged for use in metallurgical testwork;
- The bagged samples have sample tags placed both inside and on the outside of the sample bags. The individual samples are grouped into “lots” for submission to NAL, a certified lab, for preparation and analytical testing; and
- All of this work was done under the supervision of a Vista geologist.
Processing of the core included photographing, geotechnical and geologic logging, and marking the core for sampling. The nominal sample interval was one meter. When this process was completed, the core was moved into the core cutting/storage area where it was laid out for sampling. The core was laid out using the following procedures:
- One meter depth intervals were marked out on the core by a member of the geologic staff;
- Core orientation (bottom of core) was marked with a solid line when at least three orientation marks aligned and used for structural measurements. When orientation marks were insufficient an estimated orientation was indicated by a dashed line;
- Geologic logging was then done by a member of the geologic staff. Assay intervals were selected at that time and a cut line marked on the core. The standard sample interval was one meter, with a minimum of 0.2 m and a maximum of 1.2 m;
- Blind sample numbers were then assigned based on pre-labeled sample bags. Sample intervals were then indicated in the core tray at the appropriate locations; and
- Each core tray was photographed and restacked on pallets pending sample cutting and stored on site indefinitely.
The core was then cut using diamond saws with each interval placed in sample bags. At this time, the standards and blanks were also placed in plastic bags for inclusion in the shipment. A reference standard or a blank was inserted at a minimum ratio of 1 in 10 and at suspected high grade intervals additional blanks sample were added. Standard reference material was sourced from Ore Research & Exploration Pty Ltd and provided in 60 g sealed packets. When a sequence of five samples was completed, they were placed in a shipping bag and closed with a zip tie. All of these samples were kept in the secure area until crated for shipping.
Samples were placed in crates for shipping with 100 samples per crate (20 shipping bags). The crates were stacked outside the core shed until picked up for transport and shipped to NAL in Pine Creek, Northern Territory, for standard fire assays. At the lab, the samples are pulverized and split down to 50-gram assay samples prior to assaying. The industry-standard 3 assay-ton fire assay is followed by an atomic absorption (AA) finish, except where results report a result of greater than 3 g Au/tonne, and then a gravimetric finish is used to report final results.
The QP is satisfied that sample security measures meet industry standards. Statistical analysis of the various drilling populations and quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) samples has not identified or highlighted any reasons to not accept the data as representative of the tenor and grade of the mineralization estimated at the Batman deposit.
About Vista Gold Corp.
The Company is a gold project developer. Our principal asset is our flagship Mt Todd gold project in Northern Territory, Australia. Mt Todd is the largest undeveloped gold project in Australia.
For further information, please contact Pamela Solly, Vice President of Investor Relations, at (720) 981-1185.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future, including such things as our belief that there is tremendous opportunity over the next 12 months to close the gap between our market cap and the intrinsic value of Mt Todd by completing a feasibility study and drilling to demonstrate the potential for resource growth north of the Batman deposit; our plan to achieve a structure that provides appropriate opportunity for value creation by recognizing the intrinsic value of Mt Todd and minimizes the potential for future dilution; our belief that there is tremendous opportunity for significant resource growth at Mt Todd and the potential to significantly extend the life of mine; our belief that the South Cross Structure is a connection between the Batman and Golf-Tollis structures; our belief that the Batman North Extension intercepted veining, mineralogy and gold grades are comparable to the Batman deposit and suggest no material differences in metallurgical behavior; our belief that the results of the six drill holes targeting the Batman North Extension present opportunity to develop classified resources both within the planned Batman pit from material currently interpreted as waste and externally to the north; our belief that the results of the first step-out hole drilled 500 meters north-northeast demonstrate the strong potential for continuity of gold mineralization along the Batman-Driffield Structural Trend; and our belief that Mt Todd is the largest undeveloped gold project in Australia are forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. The material factors and assumptions used to develop the forward-looking statements and forward-looking information contained in this press release include the following: our approved business plans, exploration and assay results, results of our test work for process area improvements, mineral resource and reserve estimates and results of preliminary economic assessments, prefeasibility studies and feasibility studies on our projects, if any, our experience with regulators, and positive changes to current economic conditions and the price of gold. When used in this press release, the words “optimistic,” “potential,” “indicate,” “expect,” “intend,” “hopes,” “believe,” “may,” “will,” “if,” “anticipate,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Such factors include, among others, uncertainties inherent in the exploration of mineral properties, the possibility that future exploration results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations; there being no assurance that the exploration program or programs of the Company will result in expanded mineral resources; uncertainty of resource and reserve estimates, uncertainty as to the Company’s future operating costs and ability to raise capital; risks relating to cost increases for capital and operating costs; risks of shortages and fluctuating costs of equipment or supplies; risks relating to fluctuations in the price of gold; the inherently hazardous nature of mining-related activities; potential effects on our operations of environmental regulations in the countries in which it operates; risks due to legal proceedings; risks relating to political and economic instability in certain countries in which it operates; uncertainty as to the results of bulk metallurgical test work; and uncertainty as to completion of critical milestones for Mt Todd; as well as those factors discussed under the headings “Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in the Company’s latest Annual Report on Form 10-K as filed February 25, 2021 and other documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Although we have attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements or forward-looking information; whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) limits disclosure for U.S. reporting purposes to mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. The technical reports referenced in this press release uses the terms defined in Canadian National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (the “CIM”) – CIM Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the CIM Council, as amended (the “CIM Definition Standards”). These standards are not the same as reserves under the SEC’s Industry Guide 7 and may not constitute reserves or resources under the SEC’s newly adopted disclosure rules to modernize mineral property disclosure requirements (“SEC Modernization Rules”), which became effective February 25, 2019 and will be applicable to the Company in its annual report for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021. Under the currently applicable SEC Industry Guide 7 standards, a “final” or “bankable” feasibility study is required to report reserves, the three-year historical average price is used in any reserve or cash flow analysis to designate reserves and all necessary permits and government approvals must be filed with the appropriate governmental authority. Additionally, the technical reports uses the terms “measured resources”, “indicated resources”, and “measured & indicated resources”. We advise U.S. investors that while these terms are Canadian mining terms as defined in accordance with NI 43-101, such terms are not recognized under SEC Industry Guide 7 and normally are not permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC. Mineral resources described in the technical reports have a great amount of uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. The SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute SEC Industry Guide 7 compliant “reserves” as in-place tonnage and grade, without reference to unit measures. “Inferred resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that any or all part of an inferred resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. U.S. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into SEC Industry Guide 7 reserves.
Under the SEC Modernization Rules, the definitions of “proven mineral reserves” and “probable mineral reserves” have been amended to be substantially similar to the corresponding CIM Definition Standards and the SEC has added definitions to recognize “measured mineral resources”, “indicated mineral resources” and “inferred mineral resources” which are also substantially similar to the corresponding CIM Definition Standard. However there are differences between the definitions and standards under the SEC Modernization Rules and those under the CIM Definition Standards and therefore once the Company begins reporting under the SEC Modernization Rules there is no assurance that the Company’s mineral reserve and mineral estimates will be the same as those reported under CIM Definition Standards as contained in the technical reports prepared under CIM Definition Standards or that the economics for the Mt Todd project estimated in such technical reports will be the same as those estimated in any technical report prepared by the Company under the SEC Modernization Rules in the future.