West Kirkland Obtains Positive Decision from BLM on Permitting Process for Hasbrouck Mine

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, March 5, 2020 – West Kirkland Mining Inc. (WKM:TSXV) (“West Kirkland” or “Company”) announces that the US Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) has accepted the Hasbrouck Gold Project’s Mine Plan of Operations (“MPO”) and will commence the analysis of the MPO under an Environmental Assessment (“EA”). Public comments on the MPO and the BLM’s analysis must be sought before the BLM will make a final decision in accordance with Code of Federal Regulation (“CFR”) Title 43 3809.411(d).

This decision follows a 28-month process involving multiple BLM specialists who analysed the MPO. Construction level drawings, plans, and schedules have been developed for the project as part of the permitting process.

The Company’s flagship Hasbrouck Gold Project consists of the 75% owned Hasbrouck and Three Hills properties. The first phase of the Hasbrouck Gold Project is the Three Hills Mine which received a federal permit in November 2015.  The BLM’s decision to analyse the MPO for the second phase Hasbrouck Mine under an EA rather than under the lengthier and more expensive Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) allows West Kirkland to expect that a federal permit for the Hasbrouck Mine may be issued in Q2 2020.

The Company is pleased to receive the BLM’s decision to commence the analysis of the Hasbrouck Mine pit and facilities under an EA and anticipates having federal permits for both the first and second phases of the Hasbrouck Gold Project in the near future. A federal (BLM) permit for the Phase 2 Hasbrouck Mine reduces project execution risk as a shovel-ready gold project in the US South-west. In an independent Pre-Feasibility Study completed for the Hasbrouck Gold Project in 2016, a sensitivity analysis at $1,500 gold resulted in an estimated after-tax IRR of 65% and a US$200M NPV(5) (see MDA’s Technical Report dated September 14, 2016, filed at www.sedar.com).

About the NEPA and EA Process

The BLM’s analysis of the Hasbrouck Mine MPO is required under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). NEPA defines the procedural requirements for all federal governmental agencies to prepare environmental assessments in response to proposed major activities on federal lands. Part of Hasbrouck Mine is on federal lands administered by the BLM, therefore NEPA requires the BLM to analyse potential environmental consequences of the planned project and any reasonable alternatives. The BLM will analyse an MPO under either an Environmental Assessment (“EA”) if it deems the project will not significantly impact the environment, or under an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) if it deems there could be a significant impact on the environment. Once the BLM has completed its analysis under an EA, it is required to publish the MPO and analysis for 30 days and respond to any comments received.

In addition to the NEPA analysis, a Reclamation Cost Estimate (“RCE”) must be submitted and approved by the BLM and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection before final approval of the MPO can be made. Nevada Division of Environmental Protection – Bureau of Mining and Reclamation (“NDEP-BMRR”) is required to review the MPO to ensure compliance with NDEP-BMRR requirements.

Various state permits and a federal eagle take permit are also required for construction and operation at Phase 2 of the Hasbrouck Gold Project. These permits will conform to the federally permitted project and are planned to be acquired during the 3 years of initial construction and mining at Phase 1 Three Hills Mine of the Hasbrouck gold project.

About the Hasbrouck Gold Project

The Hasbrouck Gold Project contains Proven & Probable Reserves of 784,000 gold equivalent oz (45,270,000 tons at 0.017 Au oz/t for 762,000 contained Au oz; 0.233 Ag oz/t for 10,569,000 contained Ag ounces) (Technical Report and Updated Preliminary Feasibility Study for The Hasbrouck and Three Hills Gold-Silver Project, Esmeralda County, Nevada, USA, Report Date: September 14, 2016 prepared by Thomas L. Dyer, P.E. and Paul Tietz, C.P.G. of Mine Development Associates (MDA)).  

Waterton Precious Metals Fund II Cayman, LP holds a 25% interest in the Hasbrouck Gold Project and is participating (pro rata) in project expenditures. 

About West Kirkland Mining Inc.

West Kirkland is focused on advancing the Hasbrouck Gold Project in Tonopah, Nevada.  The Company owns a 75% interest in, and a 1.1% net smelter return royalty over, the Hasbrouck Gold Project and is working towards completing full permitting for the project’s gold reserves while keeping corporate G&A costs lean and efficient.  

On behalf of West Kirkland Mining Inc.

R. Michael Jones
Chief Executive Officer

For further information, please see the Company’s website at www.wkmining.com or contact us by email at [email protected].

Investor Relations:
Sandy McVey, P.Eng, PMP
(778) 388 2464 / [email protected]

Authors and Qualified Persons Statement
Sandy McVey, P.Eng, Chief Operating Officer for West Kirkland, and a non-independent Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”), has reviewed the technical information contained in this news release and has verified the relevant data.  Quality Control and Assay information is as previously disclosed in the Company’s technical reports.

Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains forward-looking information or forward-looking statements (collectively "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws.  Forward-looking information is typically identified by words such as: “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “estimate”, “postulate” and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events.  Forward-looking information in this news release includes, without limitation, discussion of permitting status and the timing thereof and other statements that are not historical facts. Information about details contained in the Pre-Feasibility Study are also forward-looking statements in that they reflect a prediction of the mineralization that would be encountered, and the results of mining it, if a mineral deposit were developed and mined. Although West Kirkland believes that such information as set out in this press release is reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations and estimates will prove to be correct.  The Company cautions investors that any forward-looking information provided by the Company is not a guarantee of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking information as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, the state of the financial markets for the Company's equity securities, the state of the market for gold or other minerals that may be produced generally, significant increases in any of the machinery, equipment or supplies required to develop and operate a mine, a significant change in the availability or cost of the labor force required to operate a mine, a significant increases in the cost of transportation for the Company’s products, variations in the nature, quality and quantity of any mineral deposits that may be located, the Company's ability to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for its activities, to raise the necessary capital or to be fully able to implement its business strategies and other risks associated with the exploration and development of mineral properties.  The reader is referred to the Company's public filings for a more complete discussion of such risk factors and their potential effects which may be accessed through the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors Regarding the Use of Mining Terms
This press release has been prepared in accordance with the securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. Unless otherwise indicated, all resources and reserve estimates reported by the Company in relation to the 2016 Updated Pre-Feasibility Study have been prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. NI 43-101 is a rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators which establishes standards for all public disclosure an issuer makes of scientific and technical information concerning mineral projects. Canadian standards, including NI 43-101, differ significantly from the requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) Industry Guide 7, and resource or reserve information contained herein may not be comparable to similar information disclosed by U.S. companies. In particular, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, “resources” and “reserves” established under NI 43-101 standards may not qualify as “resources” and “reserves” under U.S. standards. Under U.S. standards, mineralization may not be classified as a “reserve” unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or extracted at the time the reserve determination is made. In addition, under U.S. standards, a “Final” or “Bankable” feasibility study is required to report reserves, the three-year historical average price is used in any reserve or cash flow analysis to designate reserves and the primary environmental analysis or report must be filed with the appropriate governmental authority. Disclosure of “contained ounces” in a resource is permitted disclosure under Canadian regulations; however, the SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute “reserves” by SEC standards as in-place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures. Accordingly, information concerning mineral deposits set forth in this press release may not be comparable with information made public by companies that report in accordance with U.S. standards.

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.

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