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Artemis Gold says Blackwater feasibility delivers 'industry leading' NPV of C$2.15B

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(Kitco News) - Artemis Gold today announced that the results of its 2021 feasibility study for the staged development of its Blackwater gold project in central British Columbia delivered an industry leading after-tax NPV of C$2.15 billion.

The company said that base case after-tax NPV5% of C$2.15 billion reflecting current market consensus long term forecast gold price of US$1,600/oz and 0.79 USD/CAD exchange rate, increasing to C$2.76 billion at a US$1,800/oz gold price.

The project's base case after-tax IRR is 32%, approximating the 2020 PFS after-tax IRR of 35% after incorporating higher initial development capital and ESG investments, whereas levered after-tax IRR is 43%.

The company added that an initial development capital cost is C$645 million to develop a 6Mtpa Phase 1 open pit mining and processing operation (up from a 5.5Mtpa operation in the 2020 PFS), with "exceptional" after-tax payback period on initial capital cost of 2.3 years.

Artemis noted that an optimized mine plan increases average grade to 1.62 g/t Au over the first five years of production, up from 1.57 g/t Au in the 2020 PFS, which, combined with average throughput of 6.6Mtpa, increases average annual gold production by 29% (compared with the 2020 PFS) to 321,000 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cash cost of C$732/oz generating annual free cash flow of C$301 million.

Chairman and CEO Steven Dean commented, "Since the release of the 2020 PFS, Artemis has been focused on optimizing and de-risking the Blackwater project, which has culminated in the compelling economics outlined in the FS."

With the FS now completed, Blackwater said it continues to target a start of construction in Q2 2022, which puts the project on track to develop into a new tier 1 gold operation in Q1 2024.

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