Steppe Gold… An Action-Packed Expansion Story to Watch
Steppe Gold is Mongolia’s premier precious metals company. The Steppe team commenced production in 2020 from the ATO Gold Mine, Phase 1 oxide zone. This fully commissioned and permitted gold mine is estimated to produce ~160,000 ounces of gold, and a further 1,237,000 oz Au Eq from its Phase 2 operations. Earlier this year, Steppe updated its Phase 2 expansion project at its 100%-owned flagship gold mine, ATO, to approximately 103,000 ounces of gold per annum. This Mongolian gold mine now has been updated with a 12 year mine life, for a total of 14 years to 2036.
Steppe Gold, as a leading Mongolian gold miner, has had an exciting three years since production commenced in the midst of a global pandemic!
A strong gold mining foundation was laid in 2021, when Steppe was able to: double its resources to close to approximately 2.45M Gold Equivalent ounces, release robust Feasibility Study results that added another 10.5 years of mine life at double the current production profile, launch its Phase 2 infrastructure plans, secure a landmark US $65 million financing package and was awarded Mongolia Bloomberg’s 2021 Development of the Year.
The last 12 months have continued to be dynamic and fruitful. Through 2022, Steppe had paid-for inventory and a healthy cash flow, and made rapid progress in their Phase 2 expansions infrastructure at the flagship ATO gold mine. Steppe’s team installed a boiler house that enabled winter production, and a new fixed crusher that will increase the Company’s production capacity by 4 times, up to 4Mt per annum/ at 50% of its power.
Last year, Steppe Gold also furthered its plans to create a new, multi-million ounce exploration potential, gold district in Bayankhongor province, achieved a 180% increase in gold production from 2021 at low costs (~$850 AISC), and entered a landmark power agreement to drive significant operational energy savings to reduce cash costs in excess of $100/oz for Phase 2. Steppe Gold ended 2022 having mined 958, 288 tonnes and with 922,051 tonnes of gold crushed and stacked.
Steppe Gold: a Mongolian Gold (and Silver) Success Story
The Steppe story has been remarkable for a young company: a vision starting in 2016. The team was able to acquire their first two assets in 2017, lay the groundwork for local confidence in their company‘s vision and by 2018 they were able to successfully raise $25 Million and list on the mainboard of the Toronto Stock Exchange – in a year where no other mining company was able to achieve an IPO.
Achieving and maintaing strong social licence continues to be at the core of Steppe’s corporate vision and culture.
Steppe Gold is proudly Mongolian: a success story built on the strong history and identity of the steppes of Mongolia, in a modern, investment-friendly jurisdiction that starts with their team. Steppe‘s executive team has a proven track record in capital markets and the mining sector, including delivering on a $500 Million exit in Mongolia. Starting with their Chairman and CEO, the team has deep relationships with all levels of government, while half of Steppe‘s Board and 99% of their entire team is comprised of Mongolian nationals. 75% come from the local communities, and the Company has already provided 1,000 scholarships to local youth. Moreover, over 60% of this leading Mongolian gold mining company’s management team is female. As Steppe Gold develops, so does their local community, and in turn, the talent pool of the Mongolian nation.
Steppe Gold has supported the preservation of local wildlife and Mongolia‘s heritage and culture, through their rigorous ESG efforts. Steppe achieved 92.9% on implementing their Environmental Management Plan in 2021, which was developed in consultation with stakeholders and local, Mongolian impacted communities.
Mongolia: An Exciting and Investment-Friendly Jurisdiction
Mongolia’s mining news and potential continues to gain the interest of global investors, as its government solidifies its commitment to being an ‘open-for-business‘ jurisdiction. The success of Oyu Tolgoi has reinforced Mongolia’s mining value proposition, as a highly prospective, relatively under-explored region.
The Mongolian government has supported the mining industry, especially leading gold miners, through programs such as the Gold-2 National Program. This program was created very specifically to ensure the sustainable development of Mongolia’s mining sector, increase exploration efforts, maintain legal stability, and promote environmentally responsible gold mining.
As a leading gold mining company in Mongolia, Steppe Gold was proud to be one of the first signatories of this Program in 2017, receiving an initial tranche of project financing of ~US $10.5 Million in 2020. In 2021, Steppe received additional tranches of financing from Mongolia’s Gold-2 National Program, that enabled the company to keep moving forward with its Phase 2 expansion plans.
The Mongolian government’s support at a pivotal time for a young and leading gold producer, validates that Mongolia values its assets, talent and the importance of its gold mining sector.
Mongolian mining news has also been replete with examples of global interest in the jurisdiction, starting with Rio Tinto’s partnerships, successful relationships with the government and its ultimate bid for the valuable mining asset in Oyu Tolgoi. The Oyu Togoi bid is the single largest investment in Mongolia’s history. This leading piece of mining news has highlighted the attractiveness of Mongolia’s mining sector. It has also helped the Mongolian nation advance its interests through more revenues and infrastructure commitments, that will ultimately benefit Mongolians, other mining companies and the economic growth strategy for the nation.
Steppe Gold: A Global Story to Share
The Steppe Gold team is adept at sharing their growing gold story, far and wide, through many channels. Their team and Steppe’s operational progress is regularly profiled through videos on their YouTube channel here and across all of their social media channels: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Steppe continues to travel globally to raise its profile and share its value proposition. Their executive team is always available to meet with investment firms and their members, for webinars, investor Q&As and fireside chats like this one with Alliance Global Partners. The company’s successful investor relations with institutions like Alliance Global Partners and Fidelity Investments, has resulted in endorsements by leading investors including the world-renowned mining investor, Eric Sprott.
Most recently, Steppe Gold has made efforts to further build its profile in the US market, through an educational piece on the Viewpoint Project, hosted by Dennis Quaid. To educate US investors, this feature segment is being aired across various US main broadcasting channels, as well as on Public TV (PTV) affiliates, to share our remarkable Mongolian gold mining story and highlight the compelling value proposition of Mongolia as a mining jurisdiction.
Steppe Gold: 2023 and Beyond!
The Steppe team kicked off 2023, with focus and determination to continue to de-risk and unlock the company’s potential across all of their licences in Mongolia, while seeking out new opportunities. They originally thought that Steppe would continue on a steady path of progress, to maximize gold production from their strong inventory on hand, and complete discussions with international lenders to finance their Phase 2 expansion plans.
Merely weeks into the year, and the mining news coming out of this company demonstrates the strength of their vision. Steppe Gold has announced an updated life of mine for their flagship, ATO gold mine in Mongolia, comprising a further 1.5 years in their Phase 2 Expansions, for a 12 year aggregate mine life. They have also announced an increase in proven and probable gold mineral reserves from the 2021 mineral reserve and resources summary by 2.7 million tonnes, from 26.4 million to 29.1 million tonnes.
Steppe Gold is confident that the ATO gold mine will provide significant value to all shareholders, with an estimated gross revenue of $2.2 Billion over the next 14 years.
On the heels of this update, Steppe announced its plans to pursue a dual primary listing of its common shares on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of the HKEx (Hong Kong Exchange Limited), the premier listing venue for Asia-based companies. This listing is anticipated to occur later this year. As a proudly Mongolian gold mining company, Steppe Gold is delighted to recognize the strength of its Asian shareholder support: ~40% of their shareholders are now based in Asian time zones. By increasing the accessibility to Steppe’s shares, they will become not only one of a handful of mining companies on the HKEx, but the first Mongolian precious metals company to become listed on the Hong Kong Exchange.
Most recently, Steppe Gold has shown that its expansion vision is one that will transform them into a multi-asset, multi-jurisdiction gold mining company. Steppe has entered into a binding agreement with Anacortes Mining, which will add the Tres Cruces project in Peru to their company’s growth pipeline. Moreover, it provides Steppe Gold entry into one of the world’s most prolific gold mining belts in Peru. The new combined company will have a potential development profile of over 200,000 ounces and a resource base of over 4.5 Million gold equivalent ounces.
With these new and exhilirating developments for a fairly young gold producer, Steppe Gold will inevitably become a leading diversified mining entity.
Steppe Gold’s will continue to be a fast-paced news story to watch in the mining sector, with its global expansions, strong local social licence, solid executive team with burgeoning successes, and an ever-growing pipeline of highly prospective assets.