Aya Gold & Silver Announces Robust Mineral Resource Estimate at Boumadine

MONTREAL, April 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aya Gold & Silver Inc. (TSX: AYA; OTCQX: AYASF) (“Aya” or the “Corporation”) is pleased to announce a Mineral Resource Estimate (“MRE”) prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) at its Boumadine Project in the Kingdom of Morocco. The MRE contains an Inferred Mineral Resource of 23.6 million tonnes (“Mt”) at 85 grams per tonne (“g/t”) silver (“Ag”), 2.62 g/t gold (“Au”), 2.32% zinc (“Zn”) and 0.84% lead (“Pb”) containing an estimated 64.7 million ounces (“Moz”) of Ag, 1.98 Moz of Au, 546 thousand tonnes (“kt”) of Zn and 198 kt of Pb and an Indicated Mineral Resource of 2.0Mt at 113 g/t Ag, 2.51 g/t Au, 4.32% Zn and 1.07% Pb containing an estimated 7.4 Moz of Ag, 165 koz of Au, 88 kt of Zn and 22 kt of Pb.


  • Indicated Mineral Resources of 2.0Mt at 113 g/t Ag, 2.51 g/t Au, 4.32% Zn and 1.07% Pb containing an estimated 7.4 Moz of Ag, 165 koz of Au, 88 kt of Zn and 22 kt of Pb.

  • Inferred Mineral Resources of 23.6 Mt at 85g/t Ag, 2.62 g/t Au, 2.32% Zn and 0.84% Pb containing an estimated 64.7 Moz of Ag, 1.98 Moz of Au, 546 kt of Zn and 198 kt of Pb.

  • 41% of the Inferred Mineral Resource is pit-constrained and reported above a cut-off net smelter royalty (“NSR”) value of $95/t, and 59% deemed for underground development NSR cut-off value of US$125/t.

  • Additional Mineral Resource potential exists to expand the deposit in all directions for future Mineral Resource estimation. Less than 10% of the Boumadine land package has been drilled, and new targets are being generated by the ongoing geophysical airborne survey.

“We are thrilled to announce a Mineral Resource update at Boumadine, which represents a significant milestone for the Corporation,” said Benoit La Salle, President & CEO. “In under two years, we have delivered 72 Moz of silver and 2.1 Moz of Au or 352 Moz AgEq at 427 g/t AgEq in all classifications from a mineralized footprint that continues to grow and remains open in all directions. This result implies presence of 4.1 Moz AuEq at 5 g/t AuEq. Additionally, drilling has focused solely on the mining permit, a small portion of the overall mineralized footprint. We will continue to consolidate the area and aggressively drill the extensions of the main trend with a view to growing the Mineral Resource.

I am extremely pleased with the improvement of the most important metric, silver oz per share (AgEq/share), which has increased from 0.12 AgEq per share in April 2020 to 3.5 AgEq per share following this Mineral Resource Estimate. This Mineral Resource Estimate clearly demonstrates that Boumadine has the potential to become a generational asset.”

Boumadine Mineral Resource

The MRE has an effective date of April 15, 2024, and incorporates drilling from 2018 until December 7, 2023, with the addition of 4 later drill holes with results received in early 2024. The MRE database consists of 336 surface diamond drill holes totalling 96,301m.

Historical mining was not depleted from the MRE since the exact position and physical extent could not be measured accurately. From the historical production reports, approximately 261 kt of mineralized material were extracted and processed (approximately 1% of the current MRE), therefore it is considered not material. Historical tailings were excluded from the MRE since the bulk density, volumes and grades were not properly evaluated at this phase. Molybdenum was excluded both from the cut-off and AgEq / AuEq calculation since the process recoveries were not evaluated at this stage.

Table 1 –Boumadine MRE, as of April 15, 2024 (1-12)

Average GradeContained Metal
NSR US$/t(kt)(g/t)(g/t)(%)(%)(%)(g/t)(g/t)(koz)(koz)(kt)(kt)(kt)(koz)(koz)
  1. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of Mineral Resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues. There is no certainty that Mineral Resources will be converted to Mineral Reserves.
  2. The Inferred Mineral Resource in this estimate has a lower level of confidence than that applied to an Indicated Mineral Resource and must not be converted to a Mineral Reserve. It is reasonably expected that the majority of the Inferred Mineral Resource could be upgraded to an Indicated Mineral Resource with continued exploration.
  3. The Mineral Resources in this news release were estimated in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (the “CIM”) Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Definitions (2014) and Best Practices Guidelines (2019) prepared by the CIM Standing Committee on Reserve Definitions and adopted by the CIM Council, as may be amended from time to time.
  4. A silver price of US$21/oz with a process recovery of 89%, a gold price of US$1,900/oz with a process recovery of 85%, a zinc price of US$1.20/lb with a process recovery of 72%, a lead price of US$1.00/lb with a process recovery of 85%, and a copper price of US$4.00/lb with a process recovery of 75% were used in establishing the MRE.
  5. AgEq = Ag(g/t) + (Au(g/t) *Au price/oz*Au recovery)/(Ag price/oz*Ag recovery) + Zn(%)*Zn price/lb* Zn recovery/(Ag price/oz*Ag recovery)*685.7147973 + Pb(%)*Pb price/lb* Pb recovery/(Ag price/oz*Ag recovery)*685.7147973 + Cu(%)*Cu price/lb* Cu recovery/(Ag price/oz*Ag recovery)*685.7147973
  6. AuEq = Au(g/t) + (Ag(g/t) *Ag price/oz*Ag recovery)/(Au price/oz*Au recovery) + Zn(%)*Zn price/lb* Zn recovery/(Au price/oz*Au recovery)*685.7147973 + Pb(%)*Pb price/lb* Pb recovery/(Au price/oz*Au recovery)*685.7147973 + Cu(%)*Cu price/lb* Cu recovery/(Au price/oz*Au recovery)*685.7147973.
  7. The constraining pit optimization parameters were US$3/t for mineralized material mining. US$2/t for waste mining US$89/t for processing and US$6/t for G&A totalling US$95/t for a cut-off and 50-degree pit slopes.
  8. The out-of-pit parameters used a US$30/t mining cost, US$89/t processing cost and US$6/t G&A totalling US$125/t for a cut-off The out-of-pit Mineral Resource grade blocks were quantified above the US$125 NSR cut-off, below the constraining pit shell and within the constraining mineralized wireframes. Out–of-pit Mineral Resources exhibit continuity and reasonable potential for extraction by the long hole underground mining method.
  9. Individual calculations in tables and totals may not sum due to rounding of original numbers.
  10. Grade capping of 800 g/t Ag, 30 g/t Au, 28% Zn, 10% Pb and 1.4% Cu was applied to composites before grade estimation.
  11. Bulk density was evaluated separately for each individual vein with values ranging from 3.20 to 4.00 t/m3 determined from drill core samples and used for the MRE. For oxidized and transitional material, a bulk density of 2.65 t/m3 was used.
  12. 1.0 m composites were used during grade estimation.

Table 2 – Cut-Off Sensitivity MRE (1-12)

Indicated Out-of-Pit Resources
CutoffTonnes AgAg AuAuCuPbZnAgEqAgEqAuEqAuEq
NSR US$/t (kt) (g/t) (koz) (g/t) (koz) (%)(%)(%)(g/t) (koz) (g/t) (koz)
Inferred Out-of-Pit Resources
CutoffTonnes AgAg AuAuCuPbZnAgEqAgEqAuEqAuEq
NSR US$/t (kt) (g/t) (koz) (g/t) (koz) (%)(%)(%)(g/t) (koz) (g/t) (koz)

Indicated In-Pit Resources
Cutoff Tonnes Ag Ag AuAu PbZnAgEqAgEqAuEqAuEq
NSR US$/t (kt) (g/t) (koz) (g/t) (koz) (%)(%)(%)(g/t) (koz) (g/t) (koz)
Inferred In-Pit Resources
NSR US$/t(kt)(g/t)(koz)(g/t)(koz)(%)(%)(%)(g/t)(koz)(g/t)(koz)

Figure 1 – Location of Zones included in Boumadine Mineral Resource Estimate, with drill holes and magnetic data (residual total field)

Figure 1

Figure 2 – Surface Plan of Boumadine with mineralized envelope included in the Mineral Resource Estimate

Figure 2

Figure 3 – Longitudinal projection of the block model of Boumadine Mineral Resource Estimate

Figure 3

Figure 4 – Typical vertical cross-section of the Central Zone of Boumadine (Section 8850N)

Figure 4

Figure 5 – Typical vertical cross-section of the South Zone of Boumadine (Section 6525N)

Figure 5

Resource-supporting Information

Geology and Geological Interpretation

The Boumadine Project is located within the Anti-Atlas belt, on the northwest side of the Ougnat Massif. The geology of the Ougnat Inlier is formed by late-Precambrian (PIII) predominantly calc-alkaline volcanic and intrusive rocks. Mineralization is hosted within polymetallic massive Au-Ag-Zn-Pb sulphide vein systems oriented N340. Mineral assemblage is characterized by high concentration of pyrite and variable amounts of arsenopyrite, sphalerite, and galena with local trace of chalcopyrite. Veins are sub-vertical to steeply dipping (>70°) with thickness generally varying from 1 to 5 m; locally reaching over 10m.

Mineralized boundaries for the current Mineral Resource Estimate have been determined using a combination of logged sulphide percentage and mineralization grade assay.3D wireframes were created using interval selection with the Seequent software Leapfrog GeoTM.

Sampling and Sub-sampling Techniques

Only DDH samples were used for the Mineral Resource Estimate of the Boumadine Deposit.

Diamond drill holes were cut and sampled at nominal 1m lengths, except where lengths were altered to match geological boundaries. Sampling was undertaken along the entire length of the DDH. Circa 2 to 4 kg samples were submitted to the laboratory for analysis.

Sample Analysis Method

Samples were prepared by African Laboratory for Mining and Environment (“Afrilab”) at its Boumadine prep-laboratory facility or at its Zgounder prep-lab. A total of 250 g of pulverized sample material was then submitted for analysis to Afrilab Marrakech. Inductively Coupled Plasma (“ICP”) spectrometry was used for Ag, Zn, Pb, Cu, Mo. Fire assaying was conducted for Au and Ag results above 200 ppm.

QA/QC samples were inserted at a 5% rate. For a batch of 25 samples: 1 certified reference material, 1 blank and 1 drill core duplicate were inserted. At the end of each month, a selection of 5% from the coarse rejects was submitted to Afrilab; and a selection of 5% of the pulp residues was sent to ALS Sevilla, Spain acting as an umpire lab.

Regular reviews of the sampling and QA/QC protocols were carried out by Aya’s project geologist under the supervision of Aya’s Qualified Person, to ensure all procedures were followed and best industry practices carried out. Monitoring of results of duplicates, blanks and certified reference materials was conducted by the database administrator each time an assay batch was imported in the Geotic database.

Drilling Techniques

Drilling was carried out by Geosond Maroc SARL using CT20 and CS140 drill rigs. Holes were drilled at HQ and NQ diameters. Surveys were completed in each hole with a first reading at 12 m and then every 25 m by reflex Ez-shot and Devico-deviflex. All drill hole collars were surveyed by a DGPS.

Drill and Data Spacing

Most of the Deposit has been drilled on a 100 x 50-meter spacing grid through N70 cross-sections. In the northern and southern sections, the spacing was extended to 200 x 100 meters. The Indicated Mineral Resource was infilled to 50 x 50-meter spacing.

Mineral Resource and Estimation Methodology

90% of the Mineral Resource Estimate is classified as Inferred, and the remaining 10% in the Indicated category.

Data was composited to 1m. Top cuts were applied to Au, Ag, Zn, Pb, Cu & Mo after review of composite log-normal histograms.

Veins were interpolated independently. For the main vein, ordinary kriging was carried out for grade estimation, while other veins with less composites were estimated by inverse square distance. Wireframe modelling was developed using Seequent Leapfrog GeoTM. Statistics, variography and estimation were completed using the Geovariances Isatis NeoTM software. Open-pit optimization was developed using the NPV SchedulerTM software.

Bulk density measurements were collected systematically within mineralized zones and outside boundaries of mineralized zones. Different bulk density values were allocated by veins based on the vein average bulk density value. Transitional materials were also allocated a different bulk density value.

Cut-off Grades

The geological domain boundaries were determined using a cut-off grade of 100 g/t Ag equivalent. Mineral Resources are reported using NSR values of US$125/t for the out-of-pit and US$95/t for the open-pit.

NSR, Ag equivalent and Au equivalent are calculated using the following parameters and formulas (Table 3).

Table 3 – Parameters and formulas used to calculate NSR, Ag equivalent & Au equivalent

 Au (oz)Ag (oz)Zn (lb)Pb (lb)Cu (lb)
Prices in $USD$1,900$21$1.20$1.00$4.00
Recovery in %85.2%89.1%72.0%84.5%75.3%
NSR ($/t)(Pb% x $10.74) + (Zn% x $13.59) + (Au g/t x $50.89) + (Ag g/t x $0.56) +
(Cu% x 63.08)
Ag Equivalent (g/t)Ag(g/t) + (Au(g/t) *Au price/oz*Au recovery)/(Ag price/oz*Ag recovery) + Zn(%)*Zn price/lb* Zn recovery/(Ag price/oz*Ag recovery)*685.7147973 + Pb(%)*Pb price/lb* Pb recovery/(Ag price/oz*Ag recovery)*685.7147973 + Cu(%)*Cu price/lb* Cu recovery/(Ag price/oz*Ag recovery)*685.7147973
Au Equivalent (g/t)Au(g/t) + (Ag(g/t) *Ag price/oz*Ag recovery)/(Au price/oz*Au recovery) + Zn(%)*Zn price/lb* Zn recovery/(Au price/oz*Au recovery)*685.7147973 + Pb(%)*Pb price/lb* Pb recovery/(Au price/oz*Au recovery)*685.7147973 + Cu(%)*Cu price/lb* Cu recovery/(Au price/oz*Au recovery)*685.7147973

Mining and Metallurgical Parameters

The mineralization at Boumadine starts at surface and continues down to more than 600 m in depth, making the MRE appropriate for a combination of open pit and underground mining.

Mining dimensions or mining dilution were not considered as part of the Pit Optimization work, and a block dimension of 2.5m x 5m x 5m was used, which is considered acceptable in terms of a potential smaller selective mining unit. Similarly, a crown pillar has not been accounted for between the Open Pit and the Underground Mineral Resources.

The preliminary metallurgical recoveries that have been used for the NSR calculation are presented (Table 3) along with the NSR calculation formula, and are 85.2% for Au, 89.1% for Ag, 72% for Zn, 84.5% for Pb, and 75.3% for Cu.

The NSR US$/t value was based on estimated metallurgical recoveries derived from a series of testwork, assumed metal prices, and smelter terms, which include payable factors, treatment charges, penalties, and refining charges.

Next Steps

Prior to 2020, the Boumadine Project had seen limited near-mine drilling and no regional exploration. Since 2022, the Aya team has conducted over 94,000 m of DDH programs on the mining permit with the goal of delivering a Mineral Resource Estimate.

Significant upside potential exists to expand the Boumadine Main Trend, which currently covers 4.2 square km and remains open in all directions. Through 2024, the Corporation plans to mobilize seven drill rigs to complete the 120,000 m drilling program. Half of the program will test the continuation of the known trend and infill. The remaining 50% will focus on geological targets generated by 2023 work and will be informed by the ongoing hyperspectral and high-resolution geophysical surveys. A total of 12 new permits have been acquired in the vicinity of the Boumadine permits since June 2023 (Figure 6). Hyperspectral and the geophysical surveys began in early 2024 and results are expected in late Q2-2024. The results from ongoing geology work will determine additional development work.

Figure 6 – Location of new Boumadine permits

Figure 6

Qualified Person

The scientific and technical information contained in this press release have been reviewed and approved by David Lalonde, B. Sc, Head of Exploration, Qualified Person, and by Eugene Puritch, P.Eng., FEC, CET, President of P&E Mining Consultants Inc., and an independent Qualified Person

This Mineral Resource Estimate has been completed in accordance with NI 43-101, and the Corporation will prepare and file a Technical Report on SEDAR+ within 45 days of this press release.

P&E Mining Consultants Inc., an associate group of twenty professionals established in 2004, provides geological and mine engineering consulting reports, Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Estimates, NI 43-101 Technical Reports, Preliminary Economic Assessments, Pre-Feasibility and Feasibility Studies.

About Aya Gold & Silver Inc.

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

The only TSX-listed pure silver mining company, Aya operates the high-grade Zgounder Silver Mine and is exploring its properties along the prospective South-Atlas Fault, several of which have hosted past-producing mines and historical resources.

Aya’s management team maximizes shareholder value by anchoring sustainability at the heart of its production, resource, governance, and financial growth plans.

For additional information, please visit Aya’s website at www.ayagoldsilver.com or contact:

Benoit La Salle, FCPA, MBA
President & CEO
Alex Ball
VP, Corporate Development & IR

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains “forward-looking information” or “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are included to provide information about management’s current expectations and plans that allows investors and others to have a better understanding of the Corporation’s business plans and financial performance and condition.

All statements, other than statements of historical fact included in this news release, regarding the Corporation’s strategy, future operations, financial position, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “plan”, “expect”, “estimate”, “intend”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “secure”, “consolidate”, “exceed”, “indicate”, “continue”, “grow”, “generate”, “prospectives”, “greater”, “confirm”, “remains”, “confidence”, “potential”, “complete”, “extend”, or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might”, “will”, or are ”likely” to be taken, occur or be achieved. In particular and without limitation, this news release contains forward-looking statements pertaining to the exploration and development potential of Boumadine and the advancement of and success of the exploration program at Boumadine, notably the potential to expand the deposit in all directions.

Forward-looking information is based upon certain assumptions and other important factors that, if untrue, could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Corporation to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such information or statements. There can be no assurance that such information or statements will prove to be accurate. Key assumptions upon which the Corporation’s forward-looking information is based include the ability to obtain any requisite governmental approvals, the accuracy of Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource Estimates (including, but not limited to, ore tonnage and ore grade estimates), silver price, exchange rates, fuel and energy costs, future economic conditions, anticipated future estimates of free cash flow, and courses of action.

Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all factors and assumptions which may have been used. Forward-looking statements are also subject to risks and uncertainties facing the Corporation’s business, any of which could have a material adverse effect on the Corporation’s business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects. Some of the risks the Corporation faces and the uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements include, among others, the inherent risks involved in exploration and development of mineral properties, including government approvals and permitting, changes in economic conditions, changes in the worldwide price of silver and other key inputs, changes in mine plans (including, but not limited to, throughput and recoveries being affected by metallurgical characteristics) and other factors, such as project execution delays, many of which are beyond the control of Aya. In addition, readers are directed to carefully review the detailed risk discussion in the Corporation’s 2023 Annual Information Form dated March 28, 2024 filed on SEDAR+ at www.sedarplus.ca, which discussion is incorporated by reference in this news release, for a fuller understanding of the risks and uncertainties that affect the Corporation’s business and operations. Furthermore, Aya’s corporate update of May 28, 2020, in which it indicated that previous studies regarding assets which the Corporation considered at that time not to constitute material assets, remains applicable as of the date hereof.

Although the Corporation believes its expectations are based upon reasonable assumptions and has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can thus be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. As such, these risks are not exhaustive; however, they should be considered carefully. If any of these risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements found herein. Due to the risks, uncertainties and assumptions inherent in forward-looking statements, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements contained herein are presented for the purpose of assisting investors in understanding the Corporation’s business plans, financial performance and condition and may not be appropriate for other purposes.

The forward-looking statements contained herein are made only as of the date hereof. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable law. The Corporation qualifies all of its forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

In the foregoing, all references to Aya include its subsidiaries unless the context requires otherwise.

Figures accompanying this announcement are available at: