Steppe Gold Publishes ATO Feasibility Study; Mine and Stream Life Extended by 10.5 years from 2024 to 2034

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Nov 01, 2021 07:30 am

Triple Flag Precious Metals Corp. (with its subsidiaries, “Triple Flag”) (TSX:TFPM, TSX:TFPM.U) is pleased to report that its partner Steppe Gold Ltd. (TSX: STGO) (OTCQX:STPGF) (FSE:2J9) (“Steppe Gold”) announced on October 26 the positive results of the Feasibility Study on the ATO gold mine in Mongolia, focused primarily on the 10.5 year expansion from the fresh rock ore (“Phase 2 Expansion”) following depletion of the producing oxide phase in 2 years (the “Feasibility Study”). The Phase 2 Expansion materially extends the life of Triple Flag’s gold and silver stream by more than a decade, for no incremental investment by Triple Flag.

All dollar references are in United States dollars.

The Phase 2 Expansion is a low-risk project with construction already underway (a new 2.5 million tonnes per annum crusher is currently being installed) and existing permitting and infrastructure in place. After constructing the ATO oxide phase heap leach project that went into production in 2020, Steppe Gold boasts a proven management team well versed in constructing a mine in the region. Steppe Gold has reported that it is in advanced discussions with project lenders for debt financing.

Triple Flag’s Founder and CEO, Shaun Usmar, commented, “We want to extend our gratitude and congratulations to the entire Steppe Gold team on the excellent Phase 2 Expansion results and the rapid progress made on this exciting project. This project will bring further significant investment to the region, generating more jobs and providing economic benefits to the local region and Mongolia, while creating strong returns for Steppe Gold and Triple Flag shareholders. This stream showcases Triple Flag’s ability to source and secure transactions on high-quality mining projects led by great partners around the globe, deploy our broad technical and commercial expertise, and work hand-in-hand with mining companies to deliver value to all stakeholders. We are working with the Steppe Gold management team to meaningfully contribute to their impressive community programs in education and beyond.”

Summary of the Feasibility Study1

Stepp Gold announced the following highlights from its Feasibility Study:

  • Pre-Tax NPV (5%) of $320 million with an IRR of 109% and a Post-Tax NPV (5%) of $232 million with an IRR of 67%, driven by payback of three years from initial capital outlay.
  • Total gross revenue of $1.72 billion and EBITDA of $584 million over 12.5 years, with first concentrate production anticipated in Q4 2023.
  • Average annual production of 106,000 gold equivalent ounces in years 1-5 of the Phase 2 Expansion, following depletion of the oxide zone.
  • Average site all-in sustaining costs of $853/gold equivalent ounce.
  • Initial capital expenditure, prior to optimizations, is expected to be $128 million (including a $12 million contingency).
  • Phase 2 Expansion assumes processing 2.2 million tonnes per annum of ore incorporating crushing, grinding and flotation of concentrates.
  • Gold recovery is forecast to be 79% with further recoveries of up to 10% estimated through CIP/CIL plant in later years.
  • Numerous plans underway to further optimize the Phase 2 Expansion, including planned connection to grid power, optimization of construction and engineering costs, and further exploration and drilling to support higher conversion of resources to reserves.
  • Further information can be found at:

Triple Flag Stream

  • Triple Flag was the cornerstone financing partner in 2017 to support Steppe Gold in its acquisition and development of ATO, investing $28 million2 in the ATO stream.
  • As of September 30, 2021, we have realized $16 million in stream cash flow from ATO.
  • The stream terms are: 25% gold stream rate and 50% silver stream rate until the milestone deliveries are met, after which Triple Flag deliveries are capped annually.

- Once 46,000 ounces of gold have been delivered to Triple Flag, the gold stream is capped at 7,125 ounces annually.

- Similarly, once 375,000 ounces of silver have been delivered to Triple Flag, the silver stream is capped at 59,315 ounces annually.

  • Based on Steppe Gold’s guidance, we expect to hit the gold delivery milestone in late 2024 (brought forward by increased production, driven by new crusher installation noted above), coinciding with the start of fresh rock production.
  • Triple Flag’s initial investment was primarily predicated on the oxide zone Mineral Reserves. The ATO fresh rock Phase 2 Expansion is strongly accretive to our net asset value, represents attractive returns and provides robust long-life gold equivalent ounce growth included in our long-term outlook.
  • Exploration upside at ATO remains robust including potential at the Mungu deposit and we look forward to seeing continued strong results from this deposit as Steppe Gold continues expanding the scope, scale and economics of the project.

About Triple Flag

Triple Flag’s shares are listed on the TSX under TFPM.U (USD listing) and TFPM (CAD listing). On May 26, 2021 Triple Flag closed its IPO, which was the largest TSX-listed mining IPO since 2012 by size and market capitalization, and the largest precious metals IPO globally by market capitalization since 2008. Triple Flag is a gold-focused streaming and royalty company, providing investors exposure to a long-life, diversified and high-quality portfolio of streams and royalties, that generates robust free cash flows. Our business is underpinned by a rigorous focus on asset-quality, optionality, sustainability and risk management. We offer bespoke financing solutions to the metals and mining industry. Our mission is to be a sought-after, long-term funding partner to mining companies throughout the commodity cycle. Since our inception in 2016, we have delivered sector-leading growth through the construction of a diversified portfolio of streams and royalties that provides exposure primarily to gold and silver in the Americas and Australia. We have 75 assets, including 9 streams and 66 royalties. These investments are tied to mining assets at various stages of the mine life cycle, including 15 producing mines and 60 development and exploration stage projects. References to Triple Flag mean Triple Flag Precious Metals Corp., together with its wholly owned subsidiaries.

Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “targets”, “expects”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “outlook”, “forecasts”, “projection”, “prospects”, “strategy”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or terminology which states that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might”, “will”, “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved”. Our assessments of, and expectations for, future periods (including, but not limited to, expected deliveries under the ATO stream and the benefits to us of the Phase 2 Expansion), are considered forward-looking information. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, intentions, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances contain forward-looking information. Statements containing forward-looking information are not historical facts but instead represent management’s expectations, estimates and projections regarding possible future events or circumstances.

The forward-looking information included in this news release is based on our opinions, estimates and assumptions in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that we currently believe are appropriate and reasonable in the circumstances. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is also based upon the ongoing operation of the properties in which we hold a stream or royalty interest by the owners or operators of such properties in a manner consistent with past practice; the accuracy of public statements and disclosures made by the owners or operators of such underlying properties; and the accuracy of publicly disclosed expectations for the development of underlying properties that are not yet in production. These assumptions include, but are not limited to, the following: assumptions in respect of current and future market conditions and the execution of our business strategies, that operations, or ramp-up where applicable, at properties in which we hold a royalty, stream or other interest, continue without further interruption through the period, and the absence of any other factors that could cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated, intended or implied. Despite a careful process to prepare and review the forward-looking information, there can be no assurance that the underlying opinions, estimates and assumptions will prove to be correct. Forward-looking information is also subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to, those set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in our May 19, 2021 prospectus. For clarity, mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability and inferred resources are considered too geologically speculative for the application of economic considerations.

Although we have attempted to identify important risk factors that could cause actual results or future events to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other risk factors not presently known to us or that we presently believe are not material that could also cause actual results or future events to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking information. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information, which speaks only as of the date made. The forward-looking information contained in this news release represents our expectations as of the date of this news release and is subject to change after such date. We disclaim any intention or obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. All of the forward-looking information contained in this news release is expressly qualified by the foregoing cautionary statements.

Technical and Third-Party Information

Triple Flag does not own, develop or mine the underlying properties on which it holds stream or royalty interests. As a royalty or stream holder, Triple Flag has limited, if any, access to properties included in its asset portfolio. As a result, Triple Flag is dependent on the owners or operators of the properties and their qualified persons to provide information to Triple Flag or on publicly available information to prepare disclosure pertaining to properties and operations on the properties on which Triple Flag holds stream, royalty or other similar interests. Triple Flag generally has limited or no ability to independently verify such information. Although Triple Flag does not believe that such information is inaccurate or incomplete in any material respect, there can be no assurance that such third-party information is complete or accurate.


1 Feasibility Study and reserves calculated using $1,610/oz Au, $21/oz Ag, $2,515/t Zn, and $1,970/t Pb.

2 Triple Flag’s initial investment into the stream in 2017 was $23 million. In 2019, Triple Flag provided an additional $5 million to Steppe for an amendment to stream terms.

James Dendle
Vice President, Evaluations & Investor Relations
+1 (416) 304-9770
[email protected]

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