Ascendant Resources Achieves Its 11th Consecutive Quarter Of Metal Production Growth In Q3 2019 At Its El Mochito Mine In Honduras

Third Quarter 2019 Highlights:

  • 11th consecutive quarter of metal production growth since Ascendant acquisition

  • Contained metal production up 21% to 28.8 million ZnEq1 lbs versus Q3 2018

  • Average grade up 17% to 7.8% ZnEq versus Q3 2018

  • Milled throughput up 4% to 200k tonnes versus Q3 2018

TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ascendant Resources Inc. (TSX: ASND) (OTCQX: ASDRF; FRA: 2D9) (“Ascendant” or the “Company”) is pleased to release third quarter 2019 production results highlighted by record head grade, contained metal production and throughput since assuming ownership of the El Mochito mine in Honduras in December 2016. These results demonstrate a significant improvement in contained metal production and grade as compared to the second quarter as a result of the Company’s investment in development towards high-grade mineralization in the first half of the year.

Contained metal production for the third quarter (“Q3 2019”) was 28.8 million pounds of zinc equivalent (“ZnEq”) metal, comprised of 16.4 million pounds of zinc, 7.5 million pounds of lead and 366 thousand ounces of silver. Total contained metal production increased by 21% over Q3 2018 (23.9 Mlbs ZnEq) and 17% over Q2 2019 (24.6 Mlbs ZnEq), due to higher zinc and lead production and a substantial increase in silver grades.

Milled production of 199,944 tonnes demonstrated an improvement over Q3 2018 of 4.3% (191,738 tonnes) and Q2 2019 of 2.2% (195,706 tonnes).

The average head grade of 7.8% ZnEq for the quarter represented an increased of 17% over both Q3 2018 and Q2 2019 (6.7% ZnEq). Milled zinc grades for the quarter were 4.4% zinc, lightly lower by 1.7%, compared to Q3 2018 and flat against Q2 2019. Lead head grades of 2.1% lead demonstrated an increase of 28% over Q3 2018 and 26% over the previous quarter. Silver feed grades increased significantly by 53% to 69g/t from 45g/t achieved in the same period in 2018 and was inline (up 2%) from 67g/t in Q2 2019. The increase in silver and lead grades are a direct result of the Company focussing on extraction of various, small high-grade pillars in the upper old part of the mine which is expected to continue for the rest of the year and into 2020.

Zinc processing recoveries of 84.3% in Q3 2019 were 4% lower than the Q3 2018 results and 2% lower than that achieved in Q2 2019 (86.4%) due to the increase in complicated zinc ores from the Esperanza orebody. Lead recoveries of 80.6% was up approximately 2% against Q3 2018 and down 1% from Q2 2019. Silver recoveries were 82.7%, an increase of 6% from Q3 2018 and 1% from Q2 2019.

President and CEO Chris Buncic stated: “We are extremely pleased to have delivered such exceptional operating results in the third quarter, setting another new record for metal production and mined grade since acquiring El Mochito. With strong metal production expected to continue into the fourth quarter, we are on track to expect lowering unit costs in the second half of the year.”

He continued, “In the first half of 2019, the Company achieved better than planned metal production at El Mochito as a result of mining the higher-grade ore in the historic upper portions of the mine earlier than expected. The Company had always anticipated stronger production during the second half of the year, and the Q3 operating results have demonstrated a substantial improvement on our previous record set in the second quarter. We are confident in ending the year strongly.”

Operational performance for Q3 2019 is provided in the table below (numbers may not match due to rounding):

      2019 2018
    Units Q3 Q2 Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1
Ore Milled tonnes 199,944 195,706 192,922 184,913 191,738 192,428 186,955
Zinc % 4.4% 4.4% 4.2% 4.2% 4.5% 4.3% 4.2%
Lead % 2.1% 1.7% 1.8% 1.9% 1.7% 1.5% 1.6%
Silver g/t 69 67 62 77 45 48 46
Zinc Equivalent* % 7.8% 6.7% 6.7% 7.0% 6.7% 6.3% 6.1%
Zinc % 84.3 86.4 84.2% 84.1% 87.8% 89.7% 89.3%
Lead % 80.6 81.5 79.5% 77.6% 78.9% 79.1% 76.7%
Silver % 82.7 81.9 79.0% 76.6% 77.8% 79.4% 78.3%
Zinc 000’s lbs 16,369 16,444 15,162 14,435 16,579 16,343 15,301
Lead 000’s lbs 7,533 5,916 5,955 6,023 5,552 5,109 5,125
Silver ozs 366,168 347,784 293,287 347,251 209,622 229,043 215,599
Zinc equivalent* 000’s lbs 28,834 24,638 23,370 23,173 23,919 22,926 21,412

*Zinc Equivalent (ZnEq) grades calculated in Q3 2019 used average spot metal prices of US$1.07/lb for zinc, US$0.92 for lead, and US$17.06 Ag for silver

Third Quarter 2019 Conference Call

Ascendant plans to release third quarter 2019 financial results after market close on November 13, 2019. A conference call will be held on November 14, 2019, at 10:00am EDT to discuss third quarter 2019 operational and financial results.

Conference Call Details:
Date of Call: Thursday, November 14, 2019
Time of Call: 10:00am EDT
Conference ID: 5361206
Dial-In Numbers:
North American Toll-Free: 1-833-696-8362
International: 1-612-979-9908

Technical Disclosure/Qualified Person

All technical information contained herein has been reviewed and approved by Robert A. Campbell, M.Sc, P.Geo, Vice President, Exploration and a Director of Ascendant Resources Ltd. Mr. Campbell is a “Qualified Person” as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

About Ascendant Resources Inc.

Ascendant is a Toronto-based mining company focused on its 100%-owned producing El Mochito zinc, lead and silver mine in west-central Honduras and its high-grade polymetallic Lagoa Salgada VMS Project located in the prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt in Portugal.

After acquiring the El Mochito mine in December 2016, Ascendant spent 2017 and 2018 implementing a rigorous and successful optimization program restoring the historic potential of El Mochito, a mine in production since 1948, to deliver record levels of production with profitability restored. The Company now remains focused on cost reduction and further operational improvements to drive profitability in 2019 and beyond. With a significant land package of approximately 11,000 hectares in Honduras and an abundance of historical data, there are several near-mine and regional targets providing longer term exploration upside which could lead to further Mineral Resource growth.

Ascendant holds an interest in the high-grade polymetallic Lagoa Salgada VMS Project located in the prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt in Portugal. The Company is engaged in exploration of the Project with the goal of expanding the already-substantial defined Mineral Resources and testing additional known targets. The Company’s acquisition of its interest in the Lagoa Salgada Project offers a low-cost entry point to a potentially significant exploration and development opportunity. The Company holds an additional option to increase its interest in the Project upon completion of certain milestones.

Ascendant Resources is engaged in the ongoing evaluation of producing and development stage mineral resource opportunities, on an ongoing basis. The Company’s common shares are principally listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “ASND”. For more information on Ascendant Resources, please visit our website at

Neither the Toronto Stock Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

For further information please contact:
Katherine Pryde
Director, Communications & Investor Relations
Tel: 888-723-7413

Forward Looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” and “forward-looking information” (collectively, “forward-looking information”) within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. All information contained in this news release, other than statements of current and historical fact, is forward-looking information. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects”, “budget”, “guidance”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “strategy”, “target”, “intends”, “objective”, “goal”, “understands”, “anticipates” and “believes” (and variations of these or similar words) and statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “should”, “might” “occur” or “be achieved” or “will be taken” (and variations of these or similar expressions). Forward-looking information is also identifiable in statements of currently occurring matters which may continue in the future, such as “providing the Company with”, “is currently”, “allows/allowing for”, “will advance” or “continues to” or other statements that may be stated in the present tense with future implications. All of the forward-looking information in this news release is qualified by this cautionary note.

Forward-looking information in this news release includes, but is not limited to, statements regarding the higher silver recoveries at El Mochito mine and the Company’s ability to maintain such high recoveries, operational improvements, and the achievement of the 2019 production, cost and capital expenditures guidance. Forward-looking information is not, and cannot be, a guarantee of future results or events. Forward-looking information is based on, among other things, opinions, assumptions, estimates and analyses that, while considered reasonable by Ascendant at the date the forward-looking information is provided, inherently are subject to significant risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors that may cause actual results and events to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. The material factors or assumptions that Ascendant identified and were applied by Ascendant in drawing conclusions or making forecasts or projections set out in the forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, the ability of the Company to maintain higher silver recoveries at El Mochito mine and the Company’s ability to maintain such high recoveries, the ability of the Company to drive further operational improvements in 2019 and the ability to achieve the 2019 production, cost and capital expenditures guidance, and other events that may affect Ascendant’s ability to develop its project; and no significant and continuing adverse changes in general economic conditions or conditions in the financial markets.

The risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information may include, but are not limited to, risks generally associated with the mining industry, such as economic factors (including future commodity prices, currency fluctuations, energy prices and general cost escalation), uncertainties related to the development and operation of Ascendant’s projects, dependence on key personnel and employee and union relations, risks related to political or social unrest or change, rights and title claims, operational risks and hazards, including unanticipated environmental, industrial and geological events and developments and the inability to insure against all risks, failure of plant, equipment, processes, transportation and other infrastructure to operate as anticipated, compliance with government and environmental regulations, including permitting requirements and anti-bribery legislation, volatile financial markets that may affect Ascendant’s ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, the failure to obtain required approvals or clearances from government authorities on a timely basis, uncertainties related to the geology, continuity, grade and estimates of mineral reserves and resources, and the potential for variations in grade and recovery rates, uncertain costs of reclamation activities, tax refunds, hedging transactions, as well as the risks discussed in Ascendant’s most recent Annual Information Form on file with the Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities and available at

Should one or more risk, uncertainty, contingency, or other factor materialize, or should any factor or assumption prove incorrect, actual results could vary materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking information. Accordingly, the reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Ascendant does not assume any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information after the date of this news release or to explain any material difference between subsequent actual events and any forward-looking information, except as required by applicable law.

1 ZnEq lbs and grades in ZnEq % represent zinc metal considered together with the lead and silver expressed in zinc equivalent terms of zinc using average spot metal prices and monthly production ratios.


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