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Argonaut Gold appoints new chief operating officer to lead pivotal phase

Former Kore Mining COO Marc Leduc will assist with Magino Mine commissioning
Magino Mine construction (Argonaut Gold photo)

Argonaut Gold Inc. announced that Marc Leduc, P.Eng. has been appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Company.

"Marc and I worked closely at Barrick Gold and most recently in a private venture. I believe that Marc has the right skill set to facilitate Argonaut's repositioning to a lower cost North American gold company with significant organic growth opportunities," stated Richard Young, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Marc will work with our team on completing and commissioning of our flagship Magino mine in Ontario, evaluating the potential for operational improvements and the sulphide potential at Florida Canyon in Nevada and pursuing organic growth opportunities within our Mexican asset portfolio."

Mr. Leduc's career spans more than 40 years and includes all aspects of the mining cycle. He has been involved in the exploration, design, permitting, construction, commissioning, and operation of gold mines, including many complex heap leach projects. Mr. Leduc is both a professional mining engineer and a geologist. 

Since 2006, Marc has been in executive positions at several publicly traded companies, including Interim President and CEO of NewCastle Gold, one of the companies that comprised part of a three-way merger to form Equinox Gold.  At NewCastle Gold, Marc lead the design team that redesigned the Castle Mountain heap leach project in California into a mine containing 4.2 million ounces of reserve and is expected to be a 218,000 ounce a year gold producer. Marc was also an integral part of the design, permitting, construction and start-up team at Barrick Gold's Pierina Mine in Peru, a million ounce per year heap leach operation.  In addition, Marc has worked on projects throughout the Americas, including Cerro San Pedro in Mexico, and Aurizona in Brazil.  Recently, Marc was COO at Kore Mining, focused on the Imperial heap leach Project, located in California.

Marc Leduc stated: "Argonaut has significant organic growth potential as the Company transitions to a lower-cost producer in North America.  Having worked with Richard in the past, I am looking forward to the opportunity to join the Argonaut team, which is in the final stages of construction and ramping up to operations in the second quarter, as well as optimizing and growing all of our operating and development assets.  With a strong focus on open pit and heap leach gold operations, we will work together to bring further scale to our portfolio of assets."

Lowe Billingsley, the Company's current Chief Operating Officer, is resigning to pursue other opportunities but will assist in the transition and stay on as an advisor to the Company through the first quarter of this year.

"On behalf of the Company, I would like to thank Lowe for his contribution to Argonaut and wish him every success in the future," stated Mr. Young. 

Argonaut Gold is a Canadian gold company engaged in exploration, mine development and production.  The Company is in the final stages of construction of the Magino mine, located in Ontario, Canada. Magino will be the Company's largest and lowest cost gold mine. Commissioning is scheduled for the second quarter of 2023 followed by commercial production in the third quarter of 2023. In addition, the Company has four operating mines including the Florida Canyon mine in Nevada, USA, the El Castillo mine and San Agustin mine, which together form the El Castillo Complex in Durango, Mexico and the La Colorada mine in Sonora, Mexico.  The Company also holds the advanced exploration stage Cerro del Gallo project and several other exploration stage projects, all of which are located in North America.