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San Roque Gold Project

Rio Negro Province (epithermal zinc-lead-copper-gold-silver-indium)

San Roque is an advanced stage exploration project located in southern Argentina in the Province of Rio Negro. It is Iconic Gold’s flagship property. The property is near the Atlantic coast in a region of developed infrastructure. It is relatively flat desert terrain averaging about 200 meters in elevation and is accessible by vehicle year-round. It contains a drill defined bulk tonnage base metal deposit comprising gold, silver, lead, zinc, and indium for which a National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”(standards of disclosure for mineral projects)) technical report with an Inferred Mineral Resource estimate was completed in 2019 by an independent contractor, Tetra Tech Canada Inc. (“Tetra Tech”). Additionally, nearby the area of the NI 43-101 Mineral Resource are a series of extensive undrilled epithermal precious metals bearing quartz veins with an associated bulk tonnage epithermal gold-silver target associated with (the “NW Vein System”). 

Mining rights (collectively known as concessions, Minas, pertinencias and cateos) comprise the 73,907.28 hectares of the San Roque property, and include 14 mineral tenures, 3 of which are granted concessions (Minas) containing 95 mining claims (pertinencias) of approximately one square kilometers each that total 9,449 hectares. The other 11 are temporary exclusive exploration permits (cateos). The Company has the exclusive right to carry out exploration works on those cateos. The Minas are federal real estate for which the state has granted mineral concessions to the Company. The Company effectively owns a franchise for the mineral exploitation and extraction rights so as long as it pays the annual real estate taxes (canons) on them and complies with a general investment program registered with the Rio Negro Department of Mines. Under provisions of the Argentine Mining Code the Company would be exposed to losing the concessions should it leave the property dormant, or inactive, for more than four years. The pertinencias of the Mina are core area claims that securely cover all the known mineralization on the property. 

Epithermal polymetallic sulphide mineralization in the drill defined deposit occurs as zones of multiple narrow, sheeted banded-textured quartz-carbonate veins, and as linear breccias. These veins and breccias are surrounded by broader zones of stock work and disseminated sulfides. Mineralization is hosted by Jurassic age volcanic and sedimentary rocks as well as Paleozoic age basement quartz mica schist. Steeply-dipping northwest and northeast-striking faults exert a strong control on the mineralization, and porphyritic syenite stocks may be associated with zones of mineralization.


On March 8, 2006, the Iconic signed an agreement with M.I.M. Argentina Exploraciones (MIM) to acquire the property. The Company committed to spending US$50,000 annually on it over the next four years (incurred). In addition, the Company had the right until June 5, 2012 to purchase 100% of the property by making cash payments of US$400,000, which was done on behalf of the Company by NovaGold Resources Inc. (“NovaGold”) during June 2011.


On June 22, 2010, the Iconic and NovaGold signed the San Roque Option Agreement. This effectively created a joint venture whereby NovaGold could earn up to 70% equity in the San Roque project. NovaGold relinquished its right to earn that 70% equity when the partnership, under terms of the Option Agreement, was converted to a Shareholders Agreement on March 13, 2016. Mina San Roque S.A. (“MSRSA”) was henceforth incorporated, as required by the Shareholders Agreement, as a private Argentinean company to hold the San Roque mining rights. On May 4, 2018, the Shareholders Agreement was amended to include an approved budget for the 2018 drill program and for the independent NI 43-101 report which was later completed in July of 2019.

At the time, MSRSA was jointly owned by the Company’s wholly-owned Argentinian subsidiary Marifil S.A. and NovaGold Resources Inc.’s wholly-owned subsidiary, NovaGold Argentina Inc. Marifil S.A. held 51% of the shares of MSRSA and NovaGold Argentina Inc. had the 49% balance. The activities and equity interests of and in MSRSA were governed by the Shareholders Agreement, which provided for ownership dilution of either party not financially contributing to an approved budgeted work program on the property. Marifil S.A. acted as the San Roque project operator and managed MSRSA. All the San Roque mine rights that were held by the Iconic or its agents have been ceded to MSRSA.


On November 3, 2021 Iconic Gold signed an acquisition agreement to acquire NovaGold Argentina, Inc.’s 49% equity interest in Minas San Roque S.A., which was the holding company for the advanced exploration stage San Roque property. The purchase price was US$2,000,000 of which $250,000 was paid upon signing. The remainder of the purchase is secured by two promissory notes: the first being for $750,000 which is repayable on or before November 1, 2022, and the second for $1,000,000 which is repayable on orbefore November 1, 2023. Reference is made to the Company’s News Release: “Iconic Gold Increases Ownership in Minas San Roque SA”, dated November 4, 2021, and filed on on November 8, 2021.  Until the purchase advancement of the San Roque property had been stalled in part by changes in NovaGold’s corporate objectives which directed it to be strictly a development company and not an exploration company, with further stated objectives to monetize non-applicable assets. Management initiated and negotiated this purchase in the belief that Iconic Gold’s 100% ownership of the San Roque property will enhance its possibilities of securing financing for continued exploration of the property either by an equity offering or through an industry partner. 

Technical information on the property comprises records containing the results for 1,500 meters of trenching, approximately 2,000 surface rock and soil samples, 42 km of ground magnetics, 90 km of IP-Resistivity and 16,683.5 meters of mineral exploration drilling as 112 holes. This drilling includes 11 reverse circulation holes for 1,604 meters by MIM; the rest is diamond core drilling – mostly HQ size core. All drill holes, save one MIM vertical rotary hole, are angle downwards, most at -60° but with a few at -55° and -45°.

The mineral exploration drilling involved three companies and seven campaigns:


  • 2001 & 2002: MIM drilled 19 holes in two campaigns totaling 2,728 meters.

  • 2007: The Company drilled 55 holes in two campaigns totaling 5,292 meters.

  • 2010 & 2011: NovaGold drilled 34 holes in two campaigns totaling 7,817 meters.

  • 2018: Iconic drilled 4 holes in one campaign totaling 846.5 meters.


In 2007, the Company also did ground water exploration drilling. Five holes in search of water were drilled at various locations about the San Roque Ranch. This program was done in conjunction with advisement from the Ranch owner as the intended water use was jointly for livestock and for diamond core drilling. In all, 317 meters comprised of 50 meters of standard rotary plus 267 meters of diamond core were drilled. No usable water was found. Drilling water is purchased in the town of Valcheta and trucked about 15 kilometers to the drill sites.

A mechanized (backhoe) trenching program was completed concurrent with the 2018 drilling campaign. Nine trenches for a total 303 meters were completed, geologically mapped and continuously channel sampled. This trenching focused on tracing and sampling the newly discovered quartz veins of the NW Vein System.


The discovery of the NW Vein System was initially announced in the Company's news release titled "Marifil Recommences Drilling at Flagship Property in Argentina”, dated June 6, 2018. The results of the 2018 field work greatly enlarged and increased the importance of this zone to the ultimate success of the project, as presented in the Company’s news release “Marifil Mines Reports New Gold System Discovery at the San Roque Gold Project”, dated November 5, 2018. 


Every mineral exploration drill hole of every aforementioned drill campaign encountered some degree of mineralized rock, indicating a very large, complex, and variously mineralized sulphide system containing gold, silver, indium, lead, zinc and some copper and molybdenum. Notably, the large NW Vein system of precious metals bearing epithermal quartz veins discovered in 2018, although trenched, has not yet been drill tested. Simply put, an extensive system of mineralization scattered over some 20 square kilometers is recognized on the San Roque property. Mineralization, where drilled, is everywhere open in all directions and at depth. It frequently starts at surface and has been followed to the bottom of the deepest drill holes at vertical depths of up to 200 meters.


Accordingly, the Company retained the services of Tetra Tech to produce a NI 43-101 report containing estimated mineral resources, as announced by the news release: “Marifil Commences NI 43-101 Technical Report and Updates San Roque Progress”, dated March 21, 2019. Tetra Tech is a prominent, global consulting firm with a reputation for high quality scientific and engineering work. Their results are published in the News Releases of “Marifil Reports a Positive Opening NI 43-101 Resource at San Roque”, dated July 22, 2019 and “Marifil’s NI 43-101 Report on San Roque Confirms Positive Results”, dated September 12, 2019.


The San Roque Tetra Tech NI 43-101 technical report was posted on on September 12, 2019. The 2018 exploration drilling results are summarized in two news releases: “Marifil Announces Final Drilling Results at Its Flagship San Roque Property”, dated October 16, 2018, and “Marifil Mines Reports New Gold System Discovery at the San Roque Gold Project”, dated November 5, 2018. 


By the end of 2018, all technical, environmental and good practices reporting were completed and filed as required with the Rio Negro Department of Mines, keeping the Company in full Federal and Provincial mining laws compliance.


No field programs have been conducted on San Roque since 2019 when verification sampling by Tetra Tech for the purpose of the NI 43-101 technical report was done as well as the taking a limited series of rock outcrop and drill core specimens for metallogenetic research purposes. 


The Company received and accepted the finalized San Roque NI 43-101 technical report from Tetra Tech on September 10, 2019 and published a summary of its results in the news release dated September 12, 2019 referenced above. There were no disagreements between management and Tetra Tech.


Tellingly, the Tetra Tech technical analyses gauged the San Roque property to host about 33 million tonnes with a grade of about 1.4 g/t gold equivalent for about 1.5 million ounces of gold equivalent mineralization. Sustaining reference is made to the Table below and its qualifying footnote stating parameters used for this gold equivalency. (Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves, and do not have demonstrated economic viability.)

San Roque Estimated Mineral Resources by Zone – Contained Metal

(Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves, and do not have demonstrated economic viability.)


Effective July 22, 2019

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Tetra Tech concluded the San Roque mineralization constitutes an intermediate sulphidation epithermal polymetallic deposit with elevated concentrations of gold (Au) (occasional visible gold), silver (Ag), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), and Indium (In) with a note that significant amounts of copper (Cu) and molybdenum (Mo) are locally present. Also importantly, they observed that mineralization has been drill intercepted from surface to a maximum depth of 250 meters, where it remains open to extensions at depth.


The mineralization occurs primarily as sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite and tetrahedrite along with pyrite within two styles of veinsystems. The first of these are structurally controlled epithermal polymetallic veins, and the second are broad gently dippingpolymetallic quartz stockworks within tuff units. These stockworks zones form relatively broad and gently dipping bodies of mineralization along the intersections of steeply dipping “feeder” structures, and porous tuff units. The veins range in thicknessfrom centimeter scale to approximately 1-2 meters in width, but can occur in succession, whereas quartz stockwork zones can be upto 25 meters in thickness. These are hosted within broad, fault-bounded structural corridors which typically contain silicifiedbreccias and quartz-sulphide veins and disseminated sulfides.


According to Tetra Tech, four distinct zones of resource mineralization on the San Roque mining concessions have so far been established by 112 drill holes totaling 16,586 meters (15,082 m diamond drill core plus 1,504 m of reverse circulation) together with 58 trenches for 1,509 meters, all of which generated 10,755 samples used in the Tetra Tech estimated resource calculation. These are Zone 33 (also referred to as Del Indio/Griselda), Zone 25, Zone 34, and Zone 51.

In the third quarter of 2021, Iconic Gold initiated a preliminary metallurgical program for its flagship San Roque with the intent the findings would be used as a key component in producing a Preliminary Economic Assessment of the San Roque inferred mineral resources as outlined above. Two service companies were retained to conduct the Program. The primary contractor is SGS Canada,Inc. (“SGS”), who has been engaged by the Company to conduct the bench-scale metallurgical tests and report those findings, andsecondarily, again, Tetra Tech Canada Inc., whose contract is to provide technical oversight of SGS’ test work as it progresses on behalfof the Company. This details of this activity is addressed in two Company news releases: “Iconic Gold Engaged in Extractive Metallurgical Testing at its Flagship Wholly Owned San Roque Project”, dated November 16, 2021, and “Iconic Gold Highlights its Current Resource Findings and Geometallurgical Program for San Roque”, dated November 29, 2021. These were filed on on November 18 and December 1, 2021, respectively.


The Company provided SGS with 215 kilograms of San Roque drill core samples for this Early-Stage metallurgical program. Thismaterial consisted of 61 length-split core splits of original assay sample run intervals obtained from 19 widely spaced drill holes.These samples were selected in such a way so as to fairly represent all four Inferred Mineral Resource zones depicted in the table above as well as the down hole oxidized, transition oxide to sulfide, and sulfide portions of each of those mineral zones, save onewhere the transition section could not be clearly defined. The program is referred to as a geometallurgical program because it includes spatially distinct mineralized bodies of varying geology of as well as the states of oxidation of the sulfide bearing rock contained in them. The above Inferred Mineral Resource table does not include an oxide to sulfide transition classification as that is an ill-defined gradational zone wherein accurate boundaries between oxide dominant verses sulfide dominant boundaries could not be confidently gauged for tonnage and grade calculations; so some portions of each are included in the oxide or sulfide zones represented in the table. Overall, the transition zone represents a relatively minor portion of the deposit usually being 10 to 15 meters thick.


SGS blended all 61 of those samples into 13 composite samples to be used as feed for individual bench scale tests aimed atcharacterizing the geometallurgical extractive characteristics of the various oxidized and unoxidized portions in each of the fouridentified inferred mineral resource zones. The key program deliverables of the study include: bulk mineralogy, bond ball work indexes, gravity concentration, bottle roll cyanide leaching of the gravity tails, coarse whole ore cyanide leaching on selected oxidecomposites, rougher and cleaner open circuit metallic mineral flotations, and a modified Acid Based Accounting (potential for waste rock acid generation).


The SGS early-stage metallurgical evaluation program was initially scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021. However, the ravages of COVID-19 adversely affected all companies involved, particularly SGS where understaffing of assay laboratory technicians continually held up progress as timely assays were generally needed prior to advancing to another deliverable of the program. The program is now forecasted to be completed by mid-April of 2022. 


The final SGS report will be submitted for review and signed-off by an SGS and a Qualified Person (QP), according to NI 43-101 standards. This review process ensures the accuracy of the data and that the test work done was performed to industry recognized standards.


The Company has been informed of some interim results of the program. In Management’s opinion those preliminary results are basically positive for the advancement of the San Roque project. Overall, the oxide zone efficiently respond to cyanide leaching of the gold and acceptable precious metal bearing lead and zinc flotation concentrates were obtained. A Company news release detailing the program results awaits a QP endorsed final report by SGS metallurgists. 


The total cost of the early-stage metallurgical evaluation program is expected to be about CAD$165,000.


The Company estimates that about US$8,800,000 has been invested in the acquisition, exploration and initial 43-101 technical report resource assessment of the San Roque property since and including MIM’s earliest discovery program in 2000 until its above referenced purchase by Iconic Gold in November of 2021 which when completed in November of 2023 would bring the total to at least US $11,000,000.

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