Aya Gold & Silver completes front-end technical design and updates for Zgounder expansion

MONTREAL, July 7, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Aia Gold & Argent Inc. (TSX: AYA) (OTCQX: AYASF) (“Aya” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has completed Front End Engineering Design (“FEED”) with Lycopodium, and to provide an update on the expansion of the Zgounder silver mine in the Kingdom of Morocco.

“We are pleased to announce the timely completion of FEED, which is an important first step in the expansion of Zgounder, setting the tone for the deliverables to come, in particular the procurement of long-lead items. delivery and finalization of the plant construction contract. Our updated, simplified organizational chart keeps CAPEX and OPEX costs in line with the feasibility study and improves operability,” said Benoit La Salle, President and CEO. “As we prepare to innovate, our entire team remains focused on maintaining the highest health and safety standards while moving Zgounder forward within budget and schedule.”

Zgounder Extension Update Highlights

From June 30, 2022the following steps have been completed:

  • Completion of FEED, including changes to the treatment scheme. During the FEED phase, the following results were achieved:
    • Completion of additional metallurgical test work at SGS facilities in Lakefield, Canadaand at other vendors’ test facilities.
    • Simplification of the process plant process flow sheet (see Exhibit 1 and Appendices), which was a recommendation from the Feasibility Study (“FS”). Based on the results of test work obtained during FEED and a review of the process with Lycopodium Minerals Canada Ltd. (“Lycopodium”), the Company decided to remove the flotation and CIP circuits and process the entire ore stream in a leach circuit, followed by countercurrent decantation (“CCD”) and a Merrill- Crowe for silver mining.
    • The new flowsheet for the whole ore leaching plant will allow better management and recycling of process water. Additionally, the CCD circuit will provide greater operational flexibility and leverage existing operational expertise.
    • Review and optimization of process design criteria, mass and water balances and flowsheets.
    • Initial draft of piping and instrumentation diagrams, and issuance of a preliminary process control philosophy document.

  • Quotations for 21 sets of mechanical equipment, including all key long-lead items, were received from a pre-approved list of suppliers:
    • All quotes received are firm price offers. More than 90% (by value) of the offers to purchase mechanical equipment for the new processing plant have been received and reconfirm the CAPEX and OPEX of the processing plant estimated in the FS.
    • A supplier for the entire ball mill has been selected and final terms and conditions are under negotiation. A purchase order is expected soon. Once completed, this will be a key milestone that will solidify the construction schedule for the project.

  • Update and optimization of the 3D model of the plant developed during the FE:
    • Inclusion of placeholders for additional process equipment that could increase the capacity of the new process plant from 2,000 tonnes per day (“tpd”) to 3,000 tpd with limited negative impact.

  • Awarding of a contract for the earthworks of the new processing plant and the new haulage road to a major Moroccan contractor. Mobilization on the site is planned for the second semester July 2022.
  • The Company is currently in discussions with two engineering and project delivery companies regarding the construction of the processing plant and expects to receive both offers before the end of the month. The Company expects to select the contractor and award the contract within the next few months.
  • Groupement des Consultants et Ingénieurs du Maroc (“GCIM”), a local Moroccan civil engineering company, has been awarded the contract for the detailed design of the new tailings storage facility (“TSF”). In addition, the Company has awarded the Engineer of Record (“EoR”) mandate to EPOCH Resources Pty, a well-known South African civil engineering company. The companies began collaborating on the detailed design of the first phase of the new TSF.
  • Following the successful construction of the first 60,000 m³ water storage pond, the Company and GCIM are working together to develop similar water storage facilities to ensure sufficient raw water storage capacity prior to commissioning. commissioning of the new processing plant.
  • Underground mine development on schedule and aligned with SF:
    • A total of 1,130m lateral underground mining development completed to date.
    • Mobilization of CMAC-Thyssen in July 2022 and start of vertical mine development in August 2022.

  • The Company’s internal construction team is complete.
  • From June 30, 2022Zgounder’s expansion is on budget and on schedule.

Exhibit 2 - Zgounder expansion schedule (CNW Group/Aya Gold & Silver Inc)


An animated video of the Company’s EF, including the updated flowsheet, can be viewed here.

Qualified person

The technical information contained in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Patrick PerezP.Eng, Director of Technical Services, a Qualified Person within the meaning of NI 43-101.

About Aia Gold & Argent Inc.

Aia Gold & Silver Inc. is a rapidly growing, Canada-based silver producer with operations in the Kingdom of Morocco.

The only pure silver mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Aya operates the high-grade Zgounder silver mine and explores its properties along the future South Atlas Rift, several of which have hosted historic mines and resources. in production. Aya’s Moroccan mining assets are complemented by its Tijirit gold project in Mauritaniawhich is being advanced to feasibility.

Aya’s management team has been focused on maximizing shareholder value by embedding sustainability at the heart of its operations, governance and financial growth plans.

For more information, please visit Aya’s website at www.ayagoldsilver.com.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains certain statements that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (“forward-looking statements”), which reflect management’s expectations regarding Aya’s future growth and business prospects (including the timing and development of new deposits and the success of exploration activities) and other opportunities. Where possible, words such as “enhances”, “advances”, “allows”, “offers”, “confirms”, “expects”, “potentially”, “guarantees”, “extends”, ” believes”, “intends”, “ability to” and similar expressions or statements that certain actions, events or results “could”, “might”, “would”, “could”, “will” or are” likely” to be taken, occur or be The specific forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements and information regarding the exploration and development potential of Zgounder and the conversion of inferred mineral resources. in measured and indicated mineral resources, future development enhancement opportunities at Zgounder and the timing of the Company’s disclosures in connection therewith, the Company’s ability to continue to advance its plan expansion plans on time and within budget and the Company’s ability to fund its expansion plans. The forward-looking information contained in this press release reflects the current beliefs of management based on information currently available to management and based on what management considers to be reasonable assumptions, Aya cannot be certain that actual results will be consistent with such forward-looking information. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, opinions and analyzes made by management in light of its experience, current conditions and its expectations regarding future developments that management believes are reasonable and relevant, but which may incorrect. These assumptions include, among other things, the closing and timing of equity or debt financing required for the construction of the expansion project, the ability to obtain the required governmental approvals and enter into the necessary investment agreements to facilitate investing with certain concessions, obtaining permits for site work, importation of goods and machinery and employment permits, the accuracy of mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates (including, but not limited to, tonnage and ore grade estimates), the price of silver, the price of gold, exchange rates, fuel and power costs, terms future economic conditions, expected future free cash flow estimates and action plans. Aya cautions you not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties that could affect forward-looking statements include, among others: risks inherent in the exploration and development of mineral properties, including government approvals and permits, changes in economic conditions, changes in the price global silver gold and other key factors inputs, changes in mine plans (including but not limited to throughput and recoveries being affected by metallurgical characteristics) and other factors, such as delays in project execution, many of which are beyond Aya’s control, and other risks and uncertainties which are further described in Aya’s 2021 Annual Information Form dated March 31, 2022, and in other documents filed by Aya with securities and regulatory authorities which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Aya undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements if assumptions relating to such plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy or sell Aya securities. All references to Aya include its affiliates, unless the context requires otherwise.

Appendix 1 – 3D image of the expanded Zgounder processing plant (CNW Group/Aya Gold & Silver Inc)

Appendix 2 – Revised organizational chart for Zgounder expansion (CNW Group/Aya Gold & Silver Inc)

Aya Gold & Silver Inc. Logo (CNW Group/Aya Gold & Silver Inc.)

Abdul J. Gaspar