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Harte Gold Reports Second Quarter 2018 Results

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TORONTO, Aug. 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HARTE GOLD CORP. ("Harte Gold" or the "Company") (TSX:HRT, OTC:HRTFF) is pleased to announce its 2018 second quarter ("Q2") and first half ("H1") results ended June 30, 2018.

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Mr. Stephen G. Roman, President and CEO of Harte Gold stated, "2018 is a catalyst rich year for Harte Gold.  So far we have tripled our resource, published a new PEA for mining the Sugar and Middle Zone deposits, secured financing to fully fund development, announced an IBA with our proximal First Nation Band and completed construction of an 800 tpd mill.  The Company is now looking forward to the transition into a cash flowing, gold producing business."

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Completion of eight months of site construction without a lost time injury.
  • Confirmed commercial production in Q4 2018 on schedule.
    • Construction of the mill complex is complete and ready for "power on".
    • Commissioning components of the crusher and mill complex has started.
  • Full permitting for commercial production is sufficiently advanced.
  • Near mine drilling is well underway and is expected to add significant resource to the mine plan and improve overall modelled grade.
    • 70,260 metres has been drilled for 2018, as at the end of July.
    • A new mineralized zone named the "Fox Zone" was discovered 700 metres northwest of the Wolf Zone. 
    • Mineralization at the Wolf Zone was extended significantly down dip.
    • High grade areas at the Sugar Zone and Middle Zone have been significantly expanded with infill drilling.
    • Footwall Zone drilling at the Middle Zone returned higher grades and widths than previously estimated.
    • Definition drilling at the Upper Zone area of the Sugar Zone have returned high grade sections, expected to improve modelled assumptions for stope production.
    • Strike length from the Sugar Zone to the Fox Zone has been extended to 5 kilometres.
  • Debt financing was secured with a US$70 million financing package including Sprott Private Resource Lending (Collector), L.P. ("Sprott") and Appian Natural Resources Fund ("Appian").
    • As at June 30, 2018, the Company has drawn US$20 million from the Appian facility and US$20 million from the Sprott facility.
    • $55 million in capital expenditures has been incurred on the ore processing facility and related surface infrastructure, with approximately $16 million estimated remaining costs.

OUTLOOK

  • Commissioning will be completed over the month of August.
  • Commercial production permitting is targeted for September.
  • Mine site will transition to grid power in September.
  • Drilling at high priority targets, the Eagle and Highway Zones, is expected to start in September.
  • Declaration of commercial production is targeted for Q4 2018.
  • An updated National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate is targeted for early 2019.
    • Report will incorporate approximately 130,000 metres of additional drilling expected for 2018.
    • Mineral Resources at the Sugar and Middle Zones are expected to be upgraded from Inferred to Indicated.
    • An initial Mineral Resource Estimate is expected for the Footwall Zone area at the Middle Zone.
    • An initial Mineral Resource Estimate is expected for the Wolf Zone.
  • Updated mine plan, final technical report and declaration of Mineral Reserves are targeted for Q1 2019.

SURFACE CONSTRUCTION AND COMMISSIONING

Construction of the crushing spread and mill complex is finished.  Minimal piping and instrumentation work remains and will be completed during August.

Pole installation to site is complete and electrical wiring is underway.  Delivery of a 13.8 kV transformer for underground mining is targeted for end of August.  The Company will temporarily use 600 volt generators to continue underground development.  The Company plans to energize the site with grid power in September.

The majority of commissioning can be accomplished ahead of final permitting and energizing of the power line.  The following will be completed during the month of August:

  • Full commissioning of the crushing system for stockpiling ore ahead of the mill feed
  • Testing of interlocks and communication systems
  • Power-up of motors and running the plant with recirculating water
  • Testing of all systems for leaks and any other operational issues

A temporary 4 kV generator has been mobilized to site to support mill commissioning activities.  For further information on construction and commissioning, please see press release dated August 8, 2018.

PERMITTING

Permit applications are significantly advanced with no material issues raised by the respective Ministries to date (see press release dated August 8, 2018).  Harte Gold signed an IBA (Impact Benefits Agreement) with Pic Mobert First Nation, who are proximal to the Project (see press release dated May 2, 2018).  Pic Mobert and Pic River First Nation are situated in the same watershed as the Project and have confirmed no outstanding concerns related to the Project.

The Ontario Government is engaged in "low level" consultation with three other First Nation Bands, which have asserted aboriginal and/or treaty rights in the vicinity of the Project.  These First Nation Bands are situated outside the Project watershed and their assertions are opposed by the two proximal First Nation Bands.  Harte Gold has supported the Crown's efforts by providing information regarding the Project at several meetings.  Harte Gold anticipates this process will come to a close by the end of August.

EXPLORATION

Near Mine Exploration

Six drill rigs are currently active. Two drill rigs are at the Sugar Zone, two at the Middle Zone, one at the Wolf Zone and one at the Fox Zone.

The Fox Zone is a newly discovered area of mineralization that appears to be increasing with depth.  The Company will continue to drill down dip to test the extent of mineralization at this zone.

Wolf Zone mineralization continues to expand down dip.  The high grade zone is now defined as approximately 200 metres along strike by 800 metres down dip and remains open at depth.  The company will continue to drill at 100 metre spacings to test down dip extension of this area.

Sugar Zone infill drilling below the Indicated Resources outline has returned several high grade intersections that is expected to increase modelled grade below the Sugar Zone North Ramp.  The Company expects to upgrade significant amount of Inferred Mineral Resources at the Sugar Zone to the Indicated Mineral Resources category.  The Sugar Zone remains open at depth.

Middle Zone infill drilling has been successful in expanding:

  • The high grade mineralized zone at the north end of the ramp; and
  • The Footwall Zone, an area of mineralization discovered approximately 50 metres into the footwall of the Middle Zone and that was previously encountered off the Sugar Zone.

Definition drilling of the Upper Zone through underground workings of the Sugar Zone has returned high grade intersections and will improve the Company's understanding of grade control during stope production.  The Upper Zone is one of the first areas that will be targeted in the Sugar Zone mine plan.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a6f1c566-a062-41a8-acb3-6493c745cee5

Downhole IP Survey

Abitibi Geophysics has completed a four hole downhole IP survey at the Middle-Wolf Zone area.  The results have been compiled and are currently being interpreted by the Company.

Property Wide Exploration

The Company is waiting for drill permits for high priority targets – Eagle Zone to the west and the Highway Zone at the south end of the property.  Drilling is expected to start in September.

FINANCIAL CONDITION, LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

In Q2 2018, the Company completed two debt financings.  On May 11, 2018, the Appian debt facility of US$20 million was closed and drawn down in its entirety.  On June 1, 2018, the Sprott debt facility of US$50 million was closed, with an initial draw down of US$20 million.

The remaining US$30 million of the Sprott debt facility is available for draw down, subject to certain conditions including receipt of permits.  Combined with existing cash and near cash assets, such funding is expected to be sufficient to bring the mining operations into commercial production.

QA/QC Statement
The Company has implemented a quality assurance and control ("QA/QC") program to ensure sampling and analysis of mine and exploration work is conducted in accordance with industry standards. Drill core is sawn in half with one half of the core shipped to Actlabs Laboratories located in Thunder Bay, ON, while the other half is retained at the Company's core facilities in White River, ON, for future verification. Certified reference standards and blanks are inserted into the sample stream on a regular interval basis and monitored as part of the QA/QC program. Gold analysis is performed by fire assay using atomic absorption, gravimetric or pulp metallic finish.  The Mineral Resource Estimate was prepared in compliance with NI 43-101 guidelines.  Robert Kusins, P. Geo., Harte Gold's Senior Mineral Resource geologist, is the Company's Qualified Person and has prepared, supervised the preparation, or approved the scientific and technical disclosure in this news release.

About Harte Gold Corp.
Harte Gold Corp. is focused on the exploration and development of its 100% owned Sugar Zone Property where it completed a 70,000 tonne Advanced Exploration Bulk Sample, mined 30,000 tonnes under its Phase I Commercial Production Permit and is permitted and built an 800 tonne per day processing plant. The Sugar Zone Property is located 80 kilometres east of the Hemlo Gold Camp in Ontario.  Using a 3 g/t Au cut-off, the Mineral Resource Estimate dated February 15, 2018 contains an Indicated Mineral Resource Estimate of 2,607,000 tonnes grading 8.52 g/t for 714,200 ounces of contained gold and an Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate of 3,590,000 tonnes, grading 6.59 g/t for 760,800 ounces of contained gold. Harte Gold also holds the Stoughton-Abitibi property located on the Destor-Porcupine Fault Zone, east of Timmins, Ontario, and adjacent to the Holloway Gold Mine.

For further information, please contact:
Stephen G. Roman                                                                                          
President and CEO                                                                                          
Tel: 416-368-0999                                                                                             
Email: sgr@hartegold.com                                                                           

Shawn Howarth
Vice President, Corporate Development
Tel: 416-368-0999
E-mail: sh@hartegold.com

This presentation contains forward-looking information under Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to completion of any financings; Harte Gold's development potential and timetable of its operating, development and exploration assets; Harte Gold's ability to raise additional funds necessary; the future price of gold; the estimation of mineral reserves and mineral resources; conclusions of economic evaluation; the realization of mineral reserve estimates; the timing and amount of estimated future production, development and exploration; costs of future activities; capital and operating expenditures; success of exploration activities; mining or processing issues; currency exchange rates; government regulation of mining operations; and environmental and permitting risks. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". All information contained in this news release, other than statements of current and historical fact, is forward looking information. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Harte Gold to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those risks described in the annual information form of Harte Gold and in its public documents filed on SEDAR from time to time.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. 

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