SSRM is planning approximately 18,000m (59,000’) of drilling for the property during 2018, with 10,000m (33,000’) scheduled to commence immediately and continue throughout the winter months. SSRM is in the second year of a four-year option agreement whereby SSRM may earn up to an 80% interest in the 34,000 ha property by completing $4M in exploration expenditures and making $3.3M in cash payments to EPL. SSRM expenditures to date on the project are approximately $1.5M. The Fisher Project is contiguous to the north, south and east with SSRM’s Seabee Gold Operation.

During 2017, SSRM conducted detailed exploration activity including 1:10,000 scale geologic mapping, 571 grid till/soil samples, 276 till samples and widespread prospecting and rock sampling activity. Fieldwork was followed-up in the fall with a detailed UAV aeromagnetic survey. Results were encouraging, with numerous areas of elevated gold in soils documented within Fisher property boundaries. SSRM geologists have traced the extension of the Santoy shear structure southward from the Santoy deposit (currently in production) over 7km within Fisher property boundaries, noting visible gold mineralization in two areas. Three areas have been targeted for winter drilling. 

Forest fire activity in the area during 2017 did not significantly hamper exploration activity, but provided the unintended benefit of burning off significant areas of overburden cover, greatly enhancing outcrop exposure over broad areas of interest.

The 2017-2018 exploration programs are designed to target a Mineral Resource discovery on the Fisher property. To achieve this objective, the SSRM exploration team is expected to focus on improving and refining the geological and structural framework of the Fisher property, further evaluating and testing historical mineral occurrences and identifying additional mineralization in a setting similar to the Seabee Gold Operation. 

The Seabee Gold Operation has been in continuous production since 1991 and has produced approximately 1.2M ounces of gold from the Seabee and Santoy deposits. As reported by SSR Mining in its news release dated September 7th, 2017, as at December 31, 2016, the Seabee Gold Operation includes the following estimated Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources: Proven and Probable Reserves of 1.37Mt at an average gold grade of 8.19 g/t Au; Measured and Indicated Resources (inclusive of Mineral Reserves) of 2.07Mt at an average grade of 8.02 g/t Au; and Inferred Resources of 2.50Mt at a grade of 7.66 g/t Au. SSRM earlier reported uncut drill intercepts grading up to 1,004 g/t gold over 1.6m including 3,887 g/t gold over 0.4m (true widths) at its Santoy Gap deposit, located approximately 3km northwest of the Fisher property boundary.Management cautions that past results or discoveries on proximate land are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be achieved on the subject properties.

Ore geology at the Seabee Gold Operation consists of high-grade vein mineralization associated with shear zones that transect mafic meta-volcanic and intrusive rocks, as well as granitic rocks emplaced during the regional deformation events impacting the Pine Lake greenstone belt during the Proterozoic. The Seabee Gold Operation and the Fisher Project occur within the Pine Lake greenstone belt. Mineralization at the Seabee Gold Operation occurs at the Seabee and Santoy mines, which are located approximately 14kms apart. The former is affiliated with the more westerly-oriented Laonil Lake shear zone, while the latter is hosted on a regional north-trending shear zone that has been traced over much of the Fisher property. Field and underground observations at the Seabee Gold Operation suggest that shear structures nucleated at contacts between granodiorite and meta-volcanic lithologies, with high-grade zones forming at minor flexures.

Details of the Fisher Option Agreement

To earn a 60% interest over four years, SSR Mining paid $100,000 to Eagle Plains on signing of the option agreement, has agreed to complete $4,000,000 in exploration expenditures and make annual cash payments of $75,000 for each of the four years of the option period. SSRM has now made the first annual cash payment of $75,000 and funded the $400,000 exploration program completed by Eagle Plains in 2016 (see news releases dated July 18, 2016 and September 12, 2016), which is included in the $4,000,000 exploration expenditures. Once the 60% earn-in has been completed, SSRM has a 90-day, one-time option to earn an additional 20% interest (for a total of 80%) by making a cash payment of $3,000,000 to Eagle Plains, at which time an 80/20 joint venture will be formed to further advance the property. Eagle Plains will retain a 2.5% Net Smelter Return (“NSR”), subject to reduction on certain claims by underlying NSR agreements. Eagle Plains’ NSR may be reduced by 1% at any time upon payment of $1,000,000 by the joint venture. In addition, Eagle Plains will receive advance royalty payments of $100,000 annually from the joint venture until commencement of commercial production.

Proposed Plan of Arrangement-Taiga Gold Corp.

As announced on October 23rd, 2017, Eagle Plains intends to spin-out specific Saskatchewan gold exploration properties in the Seabee/Santoy area, including the Fisher Project, to a new publicly-listed entity named Taiga Gold Corp. through a plan of arrangement expected to be completed in early 2018.