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Historical Background

The San Francisco mine was previously developed and operated by Geomaque from  1995 through 2000. Time during which  approximately 13.5 million tonnes of ore at a grade of 1.13 g/t gold were treated by heap leaching, and 300,834 oz of gold were recovered. Metal recovery from the pregnant solution was effectuated through carbon columns. Loaded carbon from the columns was transferred to a Zadra elution plant for precious metal extraction and the production of Doré bullion. Average gold recovery over the mine life was about 63%. Mining operations ceased in 2001 as a result of low gold prices, although leaching and rinsing of the heap continued for approximately one year after this.

In 2005 Timmins Gold entered into an agreement to fully acquire  the mine and  processing equipment. On March 31, 2008, both Micon International Limited (an independent mineral engineering firm), and Independent Mining Consultants, Inc. (an independent mineral engineering firm), produced an independent pre-feasibility study on the San Francisco Mine, later updated in January 2009. The study recommended development and re-commissioning of the mine; concluding that it was an advanced-stage exploration project with significant economic potential.

The following table sets out the Mineral Reserves of the San Francisco mine outlined through the conclusion made by Micon in that report.

Case Reserve Class Cut-off Grade
(g/t gold)
Reserve
(000 t)
Grade
(g/t gold)
Gold
(000 oz)
High Grade Crusher feed Probable 0.5 12,000 1.05 403.7
Low Grade Crusher feed Probable 0.23 4,653 0.88 132.0
Sub-total Crusher feed Probable   16,653 1.01 535.7
Low Grade ROM leach Probable 0.28 5,981 0.39 75.3
Grand Total Probable   22,634 0.84 611.0

Following Micon’s encouraging findings from the technical prefeasibility study on San Francisco, Timmins Gold began commercial operations in April of 2010. Since then, the mine has processed more than 1.2 M ounces of gold and becoming one of the most successful mining operations in terms of economic performance and operational results.

The following table shows operating performance annually.

  Processed Gold (Oz) Gold Sold (Oz) Annual Real Recovery
20101 86,054 46,090 53.6%
FY-2011 137,455 72,507 52.7%
FY-2012 150,007 94,445 63.0%
FY-2013 197,334 119,657 60.6%
FY-2014 171,421 120,027 70.0%
FY-2015 138,031 93,198 67.5%
FY-2016 142,516 100,324 70.4%
FY-2017 109,202 83,557 76.5%
FY-2018 92,984 51,387 55.3%
FY-2019 51,113 36,344 71.1%
Q1, 2020   5,224  
  1,276,117 822,760 64.5%

1 Excludes first quarter

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