First Mining Gold Corp. is pleased to report that Auteco Minerals Ltd (“Auteco”) (ASX:AUT) has completed the Stage 2 earn-in requirements with respect to the Pickle Crow Gold Project (“Pickle Crow”) located in northwestern Ontario, Canada. As per the earn-in agreement with First Mining (see news release dated March 12, 2020), Auteco has incurred $5 million in qualifying exploration expenditures, paid $1 million in cash to First Mining and has granted First Mining a 2% net smelter return (“NSR”) royalty on Pickle Crow of which 1% can be bought back by Auteco for US$2.5 million.
Auteco, through one of its subsidiaries, has now increased its ownership in PC Gold Inc. (“PC Gold”), the joint venture entity that owns Pickle Crow, to a 70% interest (from 51%). At any time following August 26, 2021, Auteco has a right to acquire a further 10% interest in PC Gold by paying First Mining $3 million in cash to increase its total interest in PC Gold to 80% (the “Buy-In”). First Mining currently owns 125,000,000 shares of Auteco.
“First Mining is very excited about Auteco completing this stage two milestone at Pickle Crow” stated Dan Wilton, CEO of First Mining. “This milestone formally provides First Mining with a royalty on Pickle Crow and an additional $1 million in cash to enhance our strong balance sheet. Our partnership with Auteco continues to surface value for First Mining shareholders as demonstrated by the success of Auteco’s first phase 45,000 m drilling program, followed by the commencement of a second phase, 50,000 m drilling program. First Mining looks forward to the ongoing exploration success at Pickle Crow that our partners at Auteco continue to deliver.”
Auteco has a cash balance of A$21.8 million as of June 30, 2021 and is well-funded to execute the 50,000 m drill program planned for the next 12 months. First Mining’s interest in PC Gold remains free carried until the earlier of the termination of the earn-in agreement or a decision to mine by Auteco.
About Pickle Crow
The Pickle Crow Gold Deposit is a high-grade, shear-hosted, mesothermal Archean lode gold deposit. The deposit occurs primarily within mafic volcanics and banded iron formation (BIF) units in the Pickle Crow assemblage of the Pickle Lake Greenstone belt located in the Uchi Lake Sub-province of the Superior Craton of the Canadian Shield.
Mineralization is focused around steeply north-west dipping, regional scale shear zones. Multiple mineralization styles have been identified on the property, including Quartz-Gold-Tungsten (+/-Tourmaline) Shear Veins which are the focus of the current exploration, and banded iron formation mineralization (BIF-style), which comprises structurally-controlled, sheeted vein arrays hosted within the BIF.
Pickle Crow is one of Canada’s highest-grade historical gold mines. It operated from 1935 until 1966, during which time it reportedly produced almost 1.5 million ounces of gold at an average grade of 16.14 g/t. The property consists of ~190 km2 (19,000 hectares) of tenure covering a major gold province. Auteco has increased its landholding near the Project by staking an additional 130 km2 (13,000 ha) of land contiguous to Pickle Crow, thereby increasing the combined property’s land package to over 320 km2 (32,000 ha) (see news release dated February 18, 2020). First Mining acquired Pickle Crow in November 2015 through its acquisition of PC Gold Inc.
Auteco’s development focus is on returning to first principles, completing a new geological review and applying modern exploration technologies in their advancement of the Project. Auteco has a strong focus on discovering and developing new project scale, high-grade, near surface gold resources.
Hazel Mullin, P.Geo., Director, Data Management and Technical Services of First Mining, is a “Qualified Person” for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”), and she has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical disclosure contained in this news release.
About First Mining Gold Corp.
First Mining is a Canadian gold developer focused on the development and permitting of the Springpole Gold Project in northwestern Ontario. Springpole is one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in Canada. The results of a positive Pre-Feasibility Study for the Springpole Gold Project were announced by First Mining in January 2021, and permitting activities are on-going with submission of an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) for the project targeted for 2021. The Company also holds a large equity position in Treasury Metals Inc. who are advancing the Goliath Gold Complex toward construction. First Mining’s portfolio of gold projects in eastern Canada also includes the Pickle Crow (being advanced in partnership with Auteco Minerals Ltd.), Hope Brook (being advanced in partnership with Big Ridge Gold Corp.), Cameron, Duparquet, Duquesne, and Pitt gold projects.
First Mining was established in 2015 by Mr. Keith Neumeyer, founding President and CEO of First Majestic Silver Corp.
ON BEHALF OF FIRST MINING GOLD CORP.
Daniel W. Wilton
Chief Executive Officer and Director