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Ascendant Resources Announces 2019 Exploration Program at Its Lagoa Salgada Project in Portugal

  • Files Technical Report for the updated Mineral Resource Estimate announced February 2019

TORONTO, April 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ascendant Resources Inc. (ASND.TO) (OTCQX: ASDRF; FRA: 2D9) ("Ascendant" or the "Company”) announces the commencement of its 2019 exploration program at the high-grade Lagoa Salgada volcanic massive sulphide Project (“Lagoa Salgada”) located on the Iberian Pyrite Belt (“IPB”) in Portugal. This follows on the back of last year’s successful exploration program which increased the scale of the project by doubling total tonnes in an updated Mineral Resource Estimate completed by Micon International Limited (“Micon”) in February 2019.

The 2019 exploration program will include an Induced Polarization (“IP”) survey, a soil gas survey over the northern gravity anomaly and 37 diamond drill holes totaling 15,175 metres - more than double the total metres drilled in the previous program. Diamond drilling will consist primarily of both step-out and infill drilling focused on the known North Zone (massive sulphide) and the South Zone (stockwork), located within the LS West region. Both these zones are located within the 1.6 km long IP anomaly, suggesting the deposits remain open along strike and at depth. Drilling equipment is currently being mobilized to the property and work will begin shortly.

Chris Buncic, President & CEO of Ascendant stated, “We are very pleased to continue the exploration program at Lagoa Salgada following an extremely successful exploration campaign in 2018 which grew the resource to over 20 million tonnes while improving the grade profile of the deposit.”

He continued, “We have a great degree of confidence that the 2019 program will have the ability to substantially grow the Mineral Resource further. Continued success of the exploration program this year will allow us to advance the project to a Preliminary Economic Assessment, which we expect to complete in the fourth quarter.”

As outlined in Micon International’s recently updated Mineral Resource Estimate, Lagoa Salgada currently has 1.76 million tonnes of Measured Resources at 11.02% ZnEq1, 4.29 million tonnes of Indicated Resources at 8.71% ZnEq and 7.85 million tonnes of Inferred Resources at 7.43% ZnEq in the North Zone. In the South Zone, there is 1.79 million tonnes of Indicated Resources at 4.99% ZnEq and 3.90 million tonnes of Inferred Resources at 4.50% ZnEq. An additional, 1.08 million tonnes of Inferred Resources at 5.41% ZnEq sits in the Central Zone, which lies between the other larger zones.

The Lagoa Salgada Project represents a potentially high-grade, polymetallic zinc-lead-copper exploration opportunity in a low risk, established and prolific jurisdiction. The Project covers 10,700 hectares with numerous gravity anomalies identified with only the LS West area having been significantly tested.

With improved commodities pricing, the Company will look to fund exploration work at Lagoa Salgada with income from operations. The program described within this release is an optimal program that can be adjusted at the Company’s will to reflect changing market conditions and balance sheet requirements.

Targeted Drilling Campaign Details

The Company’s planned drill program consists of 37 diamond holes totaling of 15,175 metres. This will focus primarily on both step-out and infill drilling on the known North Zone (massive sulphide) and the South Zone (stockwork) located within the LS West region. Both these zones are located within the 1.6 km long IP Chargeability anomaly, suggesting the deposits remain open along strike and at depth. Ascendant anticipates this focused drilling program will return similar results as the previous program. Equipment is currently being mobilized to the property and work will begin shortly.


Figure 1: Plan view of the 2019 planned drill holes:
 http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/07c4effd-918f-4ded-8213-f2323a45e6ea

Extended IP Survey

The Company’s 2019 exploration program will also include both additional IP and soil gas surveys covering the gravity anomaly across the northern portion of the property and look for new targets along this prospective trend. This follows the success of the IP work carried out in 2018.


Figure 2: Proposed 2019 IP Survey:
 http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/1461b203-544a-4657-a323-28f6c57bf702

Metallurgical Test Work

In addition to drilling, the Company has commenced detailed metallurgical test work.

Filing of the Technical Report for the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate

The Company has filed on SEDAR the Technical Report for the updated Mineral Resource Estimate announced on February 13, 2019. The Technical Report, titled “NI 43-101 Technical Report Resource Estimate for the Lagoa Salgada Project Setubal District Portugal” was prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) and the CIM Standards for mineral disclosure by Micon and can be found on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and the Company’s website (www.ascendantresources.com).

The Mineral Resource Estimate incorporates all historic drilling and results of re-assaying of some historic drilling, the exceptional high-grade drill results from the 2018 exploration program announced in the Company’s January 14, 2019 press release as well as the 4 remaining holes that complete the 20-hole program at Lagoa.

A summary of the Mineral Resource Estimate is set out in the tables below:

Lagoa Salgada Total Mineral Resource Estimate

      Average Grade
Category Mineralized
Zones
Tonnes ZnEq Cu Zn Pb Sn Ag Au
    kt % % % % % g/t g/t
Measured All 1,761 11.02 0.38 3.09 3.19 0.15 62.41 0.84
Indicated All 6,082 7.61 0.50 2.09 1.84 0.09 48.61 0.40
M + I All 7,843 8.38 0.47 2.31 2.15 0.10 51.71 0.50
Inferred All 12,823 6.37 0.36 1.68 1.63 0.04 38.62 0.61

North Deposit Mineral Resource Estimate

      Average Grade
Category Mineralized Tonnes ZnEq Cu Zn Pb Sn Ag Au
   Zones kt % % % % % g/t g/t
Measured GO 177 11.65 0.15 0.65 4.12 0.40 54.14 1.55
MS 1,584 10.95 0.40 3.36 3.09 0.12 63.33 0.76
Total 1,761 11.02 0.38 3.09 3.19 0.15 62.41 0.84
Indicated GO 451 7.86 0.13 0.52 3.07 0.30 35.10 0.67
MS 3,842 8.81 0.51 2.37 2.12 0.10 61.51 0.52
Total 4,293 8.71 0.47 2.18 2.22 0.12 58.73 0.54
M + I GO 628 8.93 0.14 0.56 3.37 0.33 40.47 0.92
MS 5,426 9.43 0.48 2.66 2.40 0.11 62.04 0.59
Total 6,054 9.38 0.44 2.44 2.50 0.13 59.80 0.63
Inferred GO 1,546 7.03 0.10 0.43 3.69 0.14 32.44 0.67
MS 5,911 7.78 0.36 2.31 1.96 0.05 57.08 0.58
SW 390 3.68 0.39 1.42 0.42 0.03 19.14 0.09
Total 7,847 7.43 0.31 1.90 2.22 0.07 50.34 0.58

Central Deposit Mineral Resource Estimate

      Average Grade
Category Mineralized Tonnes ZnEq Cu Zn Pb Sn Ag Au
   Zone kt % % % % % g/t g/t
Inferred Total 1,078 5.41 0.11 0.17 0.06 0.00 12.15 2.89

South Deposit Mineral Resource Estimate

      Average Grade
Category Mineralized Tonnes ZnEq Cu Zn Pb Sn Ag Au
  Zones  kt % % % % % g/t g/t
Indicated SW2 1,789 4.99 0.58 1.88 0.95 0.00 24.33 0.07
Inferred SW2 3,899 4.50 0.52 1.65 0.89 0.00 22.36 0.06

Notes to all tables and highlight point:
Mineralized Zones, GO=Gossan, MS=Massive Sulphide, SW=Stringer, SW2=Stockwork
Cut-off: Zn-Eq ≥ 3.00%
Zn-Eq = [Zn%]+([Cu%]*2.652)+([Pb%]*0.913)+([Au g/t]*1.585)+([Ag g/t]*0.025)+([Sn%]*7.565)
Densities: GO = 3.11, MS = 4.85, SW = 2.91, SW2 = 2.91

Mineral Resource Estimate

The Mineral Resource Estimate was prepared by MICON INTERNATIONAL LIMITED (“Micon”). The effective date of this Mineral Resource Estimate is February 8, 2019, and it is based on 3 contiguous areas (North, Central and South zones) of VMS style mineralization defined by 50 diamond drill holes up to December 31, 2018.

Review of Technical Information

The scientific and technical information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Robert Campbell, P.Geo., Vice President, Exploration for Ascendant Resources Ltd, who is a Qualified Person as defined in National Instrument 43-101.

About Ascendant Resources Inc.

Ascendant is a Toronto-based mining company focused on its 100%-owned producing El Mochito zinc, lead and silver mine in west-central Honduras and its high-grade polymetallic Lagoa Salgada VMS Project located in the prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt in Portugal.

After acquiring the El Mochito mine in December 2016, Ascendant spent 2017 and 2018 implementing a rigorous and successful optimization program restoring the historic potential of El Mochito, a mine in production since 1948, to deliver record levels of production with profitability restored. The Company now remains focused on further cost reduction and operational improvements to drive profitability in 2019 and beyond. With a significant land package of approximately 11,000 hectares in Honduras and an abundance of historical data, there are several near-mine and regional targets providing longer term exploration upside which could lead to further Mineral Resource growth.

Ascendant holds an interest in the high-grade polymetallic Lagoa Salgada VMS Project located in the prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt in Portugal. The Company is engaged in exploration of the Project with the goal of expanding the already-substantial Mineral Resource Estimate of over 20 million tonnes and testing additional known targets as defined by the 2018 exploration program. The Company’s acquisition of its interest in the Lagoa Salgada Project offers a low-cost entry point to a potentially significant exploration and development opportunity. The Company holds an additional option to increase its interest in the Project upon completion of certain milestones.

Ascendant Resources is engaged in the ongoing evaluation of producing and development stage mineral resource opportunities, on an ongoing basis. The Company's common shares are principally listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "ASND". For more information on Ascendant Resources, please visit our website at www.ascendantresources.com.

Neither the Toronto Stock Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

For further information please contact:

Katherine Pryde
Director, Communications & Investor Relations
Tel: 888-723-7413
info@ascendantresources.com

Cautionary Notes to US Investors

The information concerning the Company’s mineral properties has been prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (“NI-43-101”) adopted by the Canadian Securities Administrators. In accordance with NI-43-101, the terms “mineral reserves”, “proven mineral reserve”, “probable mineral reserve”, “mineral resource”, “measured mineral resource”, “indicated mineral resource” and “inferred mineral resource” are defined in the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (the “CIM”) Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves adopted by the CIM Council on May 10, 2014. While the terms “mineral resource”, “measured mineral resource”, “indicated mineral resource” and “inferred mineral resource” are recognized and required by NI 43-101, the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) does not recognize them. The reader is cautioned that, except for that portion of mineral resources classified as mineral reserves, mineral resources do not have demonstrated economic value. Inferred mineral resources have a high degree of uncertainty as to their existence and as to whether they can be economically or legally mined. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of any inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Therefore, the reader is cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource exists, that it can be economically or legally mined, or that it will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Likewise, you are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a measured or indicated mineral resource will ever be upgraded into mineral reserves.

Readers should be aware that the Company’s financial statements (and information derived therefrom) have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board and are subject to Canadian auditing and auditor independence standards. IFRS differs in some respects from United States generally accepted accounting principles and thus the Company’s financial statements (and information derived therefrom) may not be comparable to those of United States companies.

Forward Looking Information

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" (collectively, "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. All information contained in this news release, other than statements of current and historical fact, is forward-looking information. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "budget", "guidance", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "strategy", "target", "intends", "objective", "goal", "understands", "anticipates" and "believes" (and variations of these or similar words) and statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "should", "might" "occur" or "be achieved" or "will be taken" (and variations of these or similar expressions). Forward-looking information is also identifiable in statements of currently occurring matters which may continue in the future, such as "providing the Company with", "is currently", "allows/allowing for", "will advance" or "continues to" or other statements that may be stated in the present tense with future implications. All of the forward-looking information in this news release is qualified by this cautionary note.

Forward-looking information in this news release includes, but is not limited to, statements regarding the exploration activities and the results of such activities at the Lagoa Salgada Project, the ability of the Company to advance the Lagoa Salgada Project to a Preliminary Economic Assessment, and the ability of the Company to fund the exploration with funds from operations. Forward-looking information is based on, among other things, opinions, assumptions, estimates and analyses that, while considered reasonable by Ascendant at the date the forward-looking information is provided, inherently are subject to significant risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors that may cause actual results and events to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. The material factors or assumptions that Ascendant identified and were applied by Ascendant in drawing conclusions or making forecasts or projections set out in the forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, the success of the exploration activities at Lagoa Salgada Project, the Company advancing the project to a Preliminary Economic Assessment, the ability of the Company to fund the exploration program at Lagoa Salgada with funds from operations , and other events that may affect Ascendant's ability to develop its project; and no significant and continuing adverse changes in general economic conditions or conditions in the financial markets.

The risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information may include, but are not limited to, risks generally associated with the mining industry, such as economic factors (including future commodity prices, currency fluctuations, energy prices and general cost escalation), uncertainties related to the development and operation of Ascendant's projects, dependence on key personnel and employee and union relations, risks related to political or social unrest or change, rights and title claims, operational risks and hazards, including unanticipated environmental, industrial and geological events and developments and the inability to insure against all risks, failure of plant, equipment, processes, transportation and other infrastructure to operate as anticipated, compliance with government and environmental regulations, including permitting requirements and anti-bribery legislation, volatile financial markets that may affect Ascendant's ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, the failure to obtain required approvals or clearances from government authorities on a timely basis, uncertainties related to the geology, continuity, grade and estimates of mineral reserves and resources, and the potential for variations in grade and recovery rates, uncertain costs of reclamation activities, tax refunds, hedging transactions, as well as the risks discussed in Ascendant's most recent Annual Information Form on file with the Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com.

Should one or more risk, uncertainty, contingency, or other factor materialize, or should any factor or assumption prove incorrect, actual results could vary materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking information. Accordingly, the reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Ascendant does not assume any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information after the date of this news release or to explain any material difference between subsequent actual events and any forward-looking information, except as required by applicable law.

1 See notes to Mineral Resource Estimate tables below for ZnEq calculation.