Bluestone Provides an Update on Cerro Blanco
September 19, 2022 – VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Bluestone Resources Inc. (TSXV:BSR | OTCQB:BBSRF) ("Bluestone" or the "Company") is focused on the development of the Cerro Blanco Gold Project. A recently completed Feasibility Study (see press release February 22, 2022) demonstrated a robust, rapid pay-back, high-grade operation that will produce 2.6 million ounces of gold over the life of mine at a first quartile all-in sustaining cost.
Bluestone has made significant progress in advancing the Cerro Blanco Project and as a result has drawn attention from certain anti-mining groups, that are known in the region for spreading misinformation on the impacts of development projects, such as Cerro Blanco. The Company is aware of a referendum that was held yesterday in the Municipality of Asuncion Mita that was organized by anti-mining advocates.
These anti-mining groups formed a biased commission (the “Commission”) to organize a referendum that unfairly portrayed public opinion on future mining activities within the municipal limits.
The Commission responsible for the vote is fully comprised of individuals with an anti-mining agenda. During the referendum process several biased and illegal activities were observed. Bluestone has been advised by its legal counsel that the referendum will not be legally binding. Furthermore, a legal injunction was filed against the referendum and a Judge in department of Jutiapa, where the project is located, ruled that it be suspended. Regardless of this ruling, the Commission holding the illegitimate vote continued to proceed against the orders of the court. Due to the injunction against the vote, the Company did not actively participate.
The referendum is against the recommendations of the Central Government, no entity other than the relevant federal governmental agencies have the legal jurisdiction over mining licenses in Guatemala. The governing electoral body of Guatemala (Supreme Electoral Tribunal) has refused to participate and has even refused to provide a registered list of voters.
Furthermore, it is believed that voting results contained a number of votes from unregistered individuals residing outside of the area of influence. Additionally, the Commission that was comprised of individuals with anti-mining agendas was responsible for counting the votes. International accepted standards for a vote of this nature were not followed or considered. The results reflect an outcome that is not transparent or in line with the Company’s understanding of the sentiment towards the project.
Jack Lundin, President and CEO, commented “This referendum is clearly unconstitutional and filled with irregularities. We are disappointed with the actions of these groups who use these biased referendums to create doubt and uncertainty around responsible mining projects such as Cerro Blanco. Our goal is to continue to develop Cerro Blanco and provide socioeconomic benefits that transform communities through employment and economic opportunity, while operating in an environmentally safe and socially responsible manner. We at Bluestone, do not believe the results of this referendum reflect the overall community sentiment towards the project.”
The Company will provide further information on this matter as it becomes available.
About Bluestone Resources
Bluestone Resources is a Canadian-based precious metals exploration and development company focused on opportunities in Guatemala. The Company’s flagship asset is the Cerro Blanco Gold Project, a near surface mine development project located in Southern Guatemala in the department of Jutiapa. The Company released the results of a Feasibility Study for the Project, outlining an asset capable of producing over 300 koz/yr at head grades of +2.0 g/t gold. The Project will produce 2.6 million ounces of gold over the life of mine at an all-in sustaining cost of $629/oz (as defined per World Gold Council guidelines, less corporate general and administration costs) over an initial 14-year mine life. The Company trades under the symbol “BSR” on the TSX Venture Exchange and “BBSRF” on the OTCQB.
On Behalf of Bluestone Resources Inc.
Jack Lundin | Chief Executive Officer & Director
For further information, please contact:
Bluestone Resources Inc.
Stephen Williams | VP Corporate Development & Investor Relations
Phone: +1 604-757-5559
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the
TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events, or developments that Bluestone Resources Inc. (“Bluestone” or the “Company”) believes, expects, or anticipates will or may occur in the future including, without limitation: the anticipated approval of an environmental permit amendment by the end of the year and expected project timelines; expectations relating to social acceptance of the Cerro Blanco Project (the “Project”) and the nature of community opposition; the Company’s intention to hire and train local employees and the initiation of training programs; the Project’s expected economic benefits to Guatemala; the expected timing of the completion of offsite infrastructure and potential benefits; and the estimated value of the Project.. These forward-looking statements reflect the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to Bluestone and often use words such as “expects”, “plans”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “intends”, “may”, or variations thereof or the negative of any of these terms.
All forward-looking statements are made based on Bluestone’s current beliefs as well as various assumptions made by Bluestone and information currently available to Bluestone. Generally, these assumptions include, among others: the presence of and continuity of metals at the Cerro Blanco Project at estimated grades; the availability of personnel, machinery, and equipment at estimated prices and within estimated delivery times; currency exchange rates; metals sales prices and exchange rates assumed; appropriate discount rates applied to the cash flows in economic analyses; tax rates and royalty rates applicable to the proposed mining operations; the availability of acceptable financing; the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); anticipated mining losses and dilution; success in realizing proposed operations; and anticipated timelines for community consultations and the impact of those consultations on the regulatory approval process.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of Bluestone to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements and, even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, Bluestone. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things: risks related to increasing community opposition to the Project and its effect on permitting and Project timelines; potential changes to the mining method and the current development strategy; risks and uncertainties related to expected production rates; timing and amount of production and total costs of production; risks and uncertainties related to the ability to obtain, amend, or maintain necessary licenses, permits, or surface rights; risks associated with technical difficulties in connection with mining development activities; risks and uncertainties related to the accuracy of mineral resource estimates and estimates of future production, future cash flow, total costs of production, and diminishing quantities or grades of mineral resources; changes in Project parameters as plans continue to be refined; title matters; risks associated with geopolitical uncertainty and political and economic instability in Guatemala; risks related to global epidemics or pandemics and other health crises, including the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); risks and uncertainties related to interruptions in production; risks related to Project working conditions, accidents or labour disputes; the possibility that future exploration, development, or mining results will not be consistent with Bluestone’s expectations; uncertain political and economic environments and relationships with local communities and governmental authorities; risks relating to variations in the mineral content and grade within the mineral identified as mineral resources from that predicted; variations in rates of recovery and extraction; developments in world metals markets; and risks related to fluctuations in commodity prices and currency exchange rates. For a further discussion of risks relevant to Bluestone, see “Risk Factors” in the Company’s annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2021, available on the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it was made, and except as may be required by applicable securities laws, Bluestone disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results, or otherwise. Although Bluestone believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and accordingly, undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to their inherent uncertainty. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.
Non-GAAP Financial Performance Measures
The Company has included certain non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) measures in this news release that are not defined under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), including cash costs and AISC per payable ounce of gold sold and per tonne processed. Non-GAAP measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS and, therefore, they may not be comparable to similar measures employed by other companies. The Company believes that these measures, in addition to measures prepared in accordance with GAAP, provide investors an improved ability to evaluate the underlying performance of the Company and to compare it to information reported by other companies. The non- GAAP measures are intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. These measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under GAAP, and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers.
Cash operating costs and cash operating costs per ounce sold are non-IFRS financial measures and ratios. In the gold mining industry, these metrics are common performance measures but do not have any standardized meaning under IFRS. The Company follows the recommendations of the Gold Institute Production Cost Standard. The Gold Institute, which ceased operations in 2002, was a non-regulatory body and represented a global group of producers of gold and gold products. The production cost standard developed by the Gold Institute remains the generally accepted standard of reporting cash operating costs of production by gold mining companies. Cash operating costs include mine site operating costs such as mining, processing and administration, but exclude royalty expenses, depreciation and depletion, share based payment expenses and reclamation costs. Revenue from sales of by-products including silver, lead and zinc reduce cash operating costs. Cash operating costs per ounce sold is based on ounces sold and is calculated by dividing cash operating costs by volume of gold ounces sold. The most directly comparable measure prepared in accordance with IFRS is production costs. Cash operating costs and cash operating costs per ounce of gold sold should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures prepared in accordance with IFRS.
Net free cash flow
The Company calculates net free cash flow by deducting cash capital spending from net cash provided by operating activities. The Company believes that this measure provides valuable assistance to investors and analysts in evaluating the Company’s ability to generate cash flow after capital investments and build the cash resources of the Company. The most directly comparable measure prepared in accordance with IFRS is net cash provided by operating activities less net cash used in investing activities.
All-in sustaining costs
The Company believes that all-in sustaining costs (“AISC”) more fully defines the total costs associated with producing gold.
The Company calculates AISC as the sum of refining costs, third party royalties, site operating costs, sustaining capital costs, and closure capital costs all divided by the gold ounces sold to arrive at a per ounce amount. Other companies may calculate this measure differently as a result of differences in underlying principles and policies applied. Differences may also arise due to a different definition of sustaining versus non-sustaining capital.
AISC and costs are calculated based on the definitions published by the World Gold Council (“WGC”) (a market development organization for the gold industry comprised of and funded by 18 gold mining companies from around the world). The WGC is not a regulatory organization.