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Press release from Marketwire

December 31st Reserve & Resources Update; Steady Increases for the SMC and Mine Wide in Key Categories

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

December 31st Reserve & Resources Update; Steady Increases for the SMC and Mine Wide in Key Categories02:00 EDT Wednesday, May 30, 2012KIRKLAND LAKE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 30, 2012) -Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. (TSX:KGI)(AIM:KGI) (the "Company") presents its annual gold reserve and resource estimates (as at December 31, 2011) for its operations in Kirkland Lake, Ontario on both the historic Main Break and the high grade South Mine Complex (SMC) discovered in 2005. During 2011, the Company concentrated its exploration efforts on expanding the SMC and replacing the ounces mined in the Main Break. In this exploration, the Company completed 179,000 feet of underground exploration drilling and 68,000 feet of surface exploration drilling which was reconnaissance in nature. An additional 99,000 feet of underground production drilling was completed during this period as well. "Notwithstanding the property and area constraints that we operated under, the exploration team added quantity as well as quality to the Company's resource and reserve picture - in addition to drilling the highest grade 47 foot true width intercept in the camp's history!" said Company President, Brian Hinchcliffe. "Note that the resource and resource figures in this release were as at the end of December 2011 and do not include the very high grade ounces to be acquired in the recently announced joint venture acquisition."Exploration Manager Stewart Carmichael commented: "The purchase of Queenston's interest in the South Claims will allow us to fully exploit the potential of these properties from both surface and underground exploration drilling." He added, "We now have two underground rigs out of a total of six and one surface rig out of a total of three currently exploring these claims with the likelihood of adding an additional surface drill later this summer. We feel that significant additional resource ounces will be forthcoming from these properties over the next few years."Highlights of the Current Reserve and Resource EstimatesThe highlights of the reserve and resource estimates, as at December 31, 2011, include:The goal for the past calendar year was to replace SMC reserves while at the same time expanding the SMC by increasing the key measured and indicated resources. This goal was achieved; proven and probable reserves in the SMC increased by 7.7% and were 1,273,000 tons at a grade of 0.64 ounces of gold per ton (opt) for a total of 816,000 ounces. Measured and indicated resources increased by a substantial 34.9% and were 1,242,000 tons at a grade of 0.63 opt for a total of 780,000 ounces. Inferred resources decreased by 8.4% to 1,000,000 tons at a grade of 0.66 opt or 662,000 ounces. The decrease in inferred resources was due in large part to the conversion of this category to indicated resources. During the past calendar year approximately 69,000 ounces were recovered from the SMC. The increases in proven and probable reserves along with increases in the measured and indicated resources outpaced production at a rate of 3.8 times depletion. In addition, approximately 25,000 ounces were produced from the '04 Break area of the mine. Increases in proven and probable reserves along with increases in measured and indicated resources outpaced production at a rate of 4.8 times depletion from this area. Proven and probable reserves for the entire mine were 2,884,000 tons at a grade of 0.51 opt or 1,473,000 contained ounces, a small increase of 0.6% over the preceding year. Measured and indicated resources were 3,433,000 tons at a grade of 0.47 opt or 1,623,000 contained ounces, an increase of 22.2% over the preceding year. Inferred resources decreased by 3.7% and were 1,971,000 tons at a grade of 0.51 opt or 1,003,000 contained ounces. As with the SMC, the goal was to maintain the current reserve base while increasing the measured and indicated resource categories. For the first time since purchasing the Macassa mine in 2002, the reserve cutoff grade has been lowered to 0.18 opt from the historic 0.30 opt. This is due to the increase in the price of gold from 2002 to the current gold price levels. The resource cutoff grade was correspondingly lowered to 0.15 opt. The lowering of the cutoff grades resulted in incorporating lower grading mineralization for both reserves and resources. This has resulted in the decreasing of the average grades for most of the reserve and resource categories. The estimates do not include Queenston's portion of ounces in the South Claims joint venture to be purchased by the Company pursuant to that agreement with Queenston Mining Inc. These additional ounces, which include an indicated resource of 66,000 tons at a grade of 1.17 opt (77,000 contained ounces) and an inferred resource of 87,000 tons at a grade of 0.99 opt (87,000 contained ounces) will be included in next year's estimates. SOUTH MINE COMPLEX RESERVES & RESOURCESAs at December 31, 2010As at December 31, 2011Tons (Tonnes)Grade Opt (g/t)OuncesTons (Tonnes)Grade Opt (g/t)Ounces% Change (in total ounces)Reserves:Proven171,000 (155,000)0.65 (22.3)111,000229,000 (208,000)0.52 (17.8)119,000+7.7%Probable859,000 (779,000)0.75 (25.7)647,0001,044,000 (947,000)0.67 (23.0)697,000Resources:Measured7,000 (6,000)0.36 (12.3)2,00014,000 (13,000)0.24 (8.2)3,000+34.9%Indicated*857,000 (777,000)0.67 (23.0)576,0001,228,000 (1,114,000)0.63 (21.6)777,000Inferred*911,000 (826,000)0.79 (27.1)723,0001,000,000 (907,000)0.66 (22.6)662,000-8.4%Due to rounding there may be some small discrepancies in the numbers.* Doesnot include Queenston Mining's portion of resources. These will be included in calendar 2012.Resources do not include mineral reserves.PROPERTYWIDE RESERVES & RESOURCES(Including the South Mine Complex)As at December 31, 2010As at December 31, 2011Tons (Tonnes)Grade opt (g/t)OuncesTons (Tonnes)Grade Opt (g/t)Ounces% Change (in total ounces)Reserves:Proven1,187,000 (1,077,000)0.45 (15.4)532,0001,269,000 (1,151,000)0.42 (14.4)539,000+0.6%Probable1,460,000 (1,324,000)0.64 (21.9)932,0001,615,000 (1,465,000)0.58 (19.9)934,000Resources:Measured992,000 (900,000)0.39 (13.4)391,0001,070,000 (971,000)0.40 (13.7)424,000+22.2%Indicated *1,768,000 (1,604,000)0.53 (18.2)937,0002,364,000 (2,145,000)0.51 (17.5)1,199,000Inferred *1,740,000 (1,579,000)0.60 (20.6)1,043,0001,971,000 (1,788,000)0.51 (17.5)1,004,000-3.7%Due to rounding there may be some small discrepancies in the numbers.* Does not include Queenston Mining's portion of resources. These will be included in calendar. 2012.Resources do not include mineral reserves.The above reserve and resource estimates have been audited and verified, and the technical disclosure in this press release has been approved, by the Company's independent reserve and resource engineer, Glenn R. Clark, P. Eng., of Glenn R. Clark & Associates Limited. He is a 'qualified person' under National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, of the Canadian Securities Administrators. His report detailing the December 31, 2011 reserve and resource estimates will be filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) within 45 days of this press release. See 'Notes for Reserves and Resources' below for key assumptions, parameters and methods used to estimate the foregoing reserves and resources. Exploration Plans for Fiscal 2012Although reserves and resources for the Company will be based on a calendar year end, the exploration budget will continue to be based on the Company's fiscal year end (April 30th). The Company will present its exploration plans and budget shortly after completion of the current fiscal year. There are currently 15 rigs on the property including 12 (6 exploration, 6 production) underground at the Macassa mine and 3 rigs on surface.Notes for Reserves and Resources:The reserves and resources are estimated using the polygonal method. Resources do not include mineral reserves. All intersections are calculated out to a 6.0 foot minimum horizontal mining width for structures dipping greater than 45 degrees. The minimum mining height for structures dipping less than 45 degrees is 9.0 feet. Dilution is added to reserves at varying rates depending on mining method, and the width of the ore. The average dilution of the reserves at December 2011 is 22% at 0.02 opt, down from an average of 33.7% the previous year. The increase in the minimum vertical mining height from 8.0 feet to 9.0 feet, and the corresponding increase in the minimum horizontal mining width from 5.0 feet to 6.0 feet has decreased the dilution rates. Long-hole stopes are diluted by 32-100%, mostly 50%. Cut and fill stopes are diluted 15-50%. All higher grades are cut to 3.50 opt. Based on a statistical analysis completed by Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. in 2007, the Company has implemented various higher grade cutting factors for four zones in the South Mine Complex. These four zones are the New South Zone (7.2 oz gold/ton), Lower D North (9.3 opt), Lower D North Footwall (4.8 opt), and the #7 and #7 HW Zones (6.4 opt). The cut-off is 0.15-0.18 opt over the horizontal or vertical mining width. Cut-off grades of 0.15 opt and 0.18 opt are used for reserve and resource calculations, depending on the location, and economics of the block. Generally, a cut-off of 0.18 opt is required on a whole-block basis to achieve profitability. It is possible to have sub-blocks within an ore reserve block that assay less than any cut-off which have been incorporated for mining or geotechnical reasons. Ore blocks that grade between 0.15 opt and the cut-off of 0.18 opt has been classified as resource. The area of influence of the proven and measured categories are 30 feet from development chip samples, probable and indicated categories are 50 feet of radius from a known sample point (drill holes) and inferred is another 50 feet of influence. A 94% tonnage recovery is used. Continuity of the veins appears very good. The assumptions used include US $1,255.29 per ounce of gold, and an exchange rate of C$1.054 = US $1.00 averaged from January 1st, 2009 to December 31, 2011. The Company is not aware of any environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other issue that may materially affect its estimate of mineral resources. Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. About the CompanyThe Company purchased the Macassa Mine and the 1,500 ton per day mill along with four former producing gold properties - Kirkland Lake, Teck-Hughes, Lake Shore and Wright Hargreaves - in December 2001. These properties, which have historically produced some 22 million ounces of gold, extend over seven kilometres between the Macassa Mine on the west and Wright Hargreaves on the east and, for the first time, are being developed and explored under one owner. This camp is located in the Abitibi Southern Greenstone Belt of Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada.Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking StatementsThis Press Release may contain statements which constitute 'forward-looking, including statements regarding the plans, intentions, beliefs and current expectations of the Company, its directors, or its officers with respect to the future business activities and operating performance of the Company. The words "may", "would", "could", "will", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect" and similar expressions, as they relate to the Company, or its management, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future business activities or performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that the Company's future business activities may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Such risks, uncertainties and factors are described in the periodic filings with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, including the Company's Annual Information Form and quarterly and annual Management's Discussion & Analysis, which may be viewed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Although the Company has attempted to identify important risks, uncertainties and factors which could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be others that cause results not be as anticipated, estimated or intended. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements.Glossary of TermsNational Instrument 43-101 Definitions of Resources and ReservesThe Reserve and Resource estimation classifications as prescribed in National Instrument 43-101 are given here for clarity. Mineral Resource Mineral Resources are sub-divided into 3 categories depending on the geological confidence. The highest level with the most confidence is the 'Measured' category. The next level of confidence is the 'Indicated' category and the lowest level, or the resource with the least confidence, is the 'Inferred' category. Inferred Mineral Resource An 'Inferred Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified, geological and grade continuity. The estimate is based on limited information and sampling, gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes. Indicated Mineral Resource An 'Indicated Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and physical characteristics, can be estimated with a level of confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical and economic parameters, to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. The estimate is based on detailed and reliable exploration and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that are spaced closely enough for geological and grade continuity to be reasonably assumed. Measured Mineral Resource A 'Measured Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and physical characteristics are so well established that they can be estimated with confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical and economic parameters, to support production planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. The estimate is based on detailed and reliable exploration, sampling and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that are spaced closely enough to confirm both geological and grade continuity. Mineral Reserve Mineral Reserves are sub-divided into 2 categories. The highest level of Reserves or the level with the most confidence is the 'Proven' category and the lower level of confidence of the Reserves is the 'Probable' category. Reserves are distinguished from resources as all of the technical and economic parameters have been applied and the estimated grade and tonnage of the resources should closely approximate the actual results of mining. The guidelines state "Minerals Reserves are inclusive of the diluting material that will be mined in conjunction with the Mineral Reserve and delivered to the treatment plant or equivalent facility." The guidelines also state that, "The term 'Mineral Reserve' need not necessarily signify that extraction facilities are in place or operative or that all government approvals have been received. It does signify that there are reasonable expectations of such approvals." Probable Mineral Reserve A 'Probable Mineral Reserve' is the economically mineable part of an Indicated and in some circumstances a Measured Mineral Resource demonstrated by a least a Preliminary Feasibility Study. This study must include adequate information on mining, processing, metallurgical, economic, and other relevant factors that demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that economic extraction can be justified. Proven Mineral Reserve A 'Proven Mineral Reserve' is the economically mineable part of a Measured Mineral Resource demonstrated by at least a Preliminary Feasibility Study. This study must include adequate information on mining, processing, metallurgical, economic, and other relevant factors that demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that economic extraction is justified. Macassa Mine Calculation Method: Basic Information All of the assay data is plotted on plans and sections to be used for zone interpretations.The ore reserves are calculated on 20 scale (imperial measurements) longitudinal sections or plan views in the case of veins dipping less than 45 degrees. Some calculations are done on 10 scale longitudinal using a modified polygon method of blocking.Each stope area has a section or plan and a work sheet that is kept on file.The calculated grade, zone width, area of influence and resource or reserve category for each data set (ie. Drill hole or chip sample assays) is entered into a spread sheet. For reserves the expected dilution based on the assumed mining method is included. A separate page for each stope area is maintained. Minimum Width The minimum mining width for steep-dipping structures has been increased in 2011 from 5.0 feet to 6 feet.The minimum mining height for flat structures dipping less than 45° has been increased in 2011 from 8.0 feet to 9.0 feet. Minimum Strike Length The minimum strike length for a block is 21 ft (3 sets of chip assays). Areas of Influence The radius of influence from a sampled heading is 30 feet for Measured Resource/Proven Reserve (MR/PV)A MR/PV Block must be exposed by at least one drift and tested between drifts by drilling in a 25 to 30 foot pattern. Where continuity is proven with the drilling, the intervening polygons that are based on the 25 to 30 foot drill pattern may be considered as MR/PV blocks. Drill holes that are only used for MR/PV blocks when the block is otherwise very well defined. This only occurs below the 57 level where there is development on all 4 sides of a massive sheet of continuous ore.For and Indicated Resource/Probable Reserve (IR/PB) block the radius of influence is an additional 50 feet (30-80 feet from the data). This applies to blocks sampled on two sides by workings a maximum of 150 feet apart where no drilling exists, or above and below a drift where drill hole spacing is greater than 100 feet. For blocks with only drilling a 50 foot radius is used.Inferred Resource blocks are an additional 50 feet from the IR/PB block (from 80 to 130 ft. from the data). This applies to blocks bounded on one side by a MR/PV or IR/PB. Blocks on a proven mineralized trend that are drilled on a spacing of greater than 100 feet but less than 200 feet are included as an Inferred Resource.Raises that have been bored are usually ignored in the calculations. Most of the raises are only 42-60" in diameter, and are not representative of the ore width.Test hole and drift muck data is not used for ore reserve calculations. Density of Ore The density or tonnage factor used to convert the volume of the blocks to tons is 11.7 cu ft/ton for all the zones except the Lower D.The Lower D Zone volumes were converted at a density of 11.5 cu ft/ton due to the additional sulphides that are present.The density traditionally used in the camp was 12.0 cu ft/ton. There have been a number of studies that suggest that the traditional number was too high and consequently gave an underestimated tonnage. The difference in the tonnage estimate is only about 2.5% between the density used in the past and the current density being used. As this has been applied to all blocks the changed density does not affect the reserve grades.In 2007 a total of 95 samples was used to measure the density of the SMC zones. These samples confirmed that the density used for the Lower D of 11.5 cu ft/ton was realistic. The other SMC zones varied and it appears that the 11.7 cu ft/ton used overall at Macassa is reasonable. The tonnage difference between 11.5 and 11.7 is less than 2%. This difference is well within the estimation accuracy of the resources and reserves.The assays of the samples varied from 0.1 ounces of gold per ton (opt) to 42.6 opt and the densities varied from 12.1 cu ft/ton to 10.5 cu ft/ton, however there was no correlation between the grade and the density. Gold Price The average gold price from Jan. 1/2009 to Dec. 31, 2011 is US$1,255.29. The exchange rate averaged over the same period is US$1.00=$1.054 CAD. Cut-Off Grade Cut-off grades of both 0.15 opt and 0.18 opt are used for resources and reserve calculations depending on the location and economics of the block. Generally a cut-off of 0.18 opt is required on a whole-block basis to achieve profitability. This cut-off is based on the 3 year gold price and the operating cost forecast. For mining or geotechnical reasons some sub-blocks below the cut-off may be included. Blocks that grade between 0.15 and the cut-off of 0.18 opt are classified as resource blocks.The resources at the #2 Shaft are blocks greater than 0.25 oz/t. Capping of Assays Macassa used to use a more complex system for cutting assays than it does now. The capping system currently in use, is based on a Kinross report by B. Davis (1995). It appears that this simpler single cap method gives much the same results as the old system. It is probably not the final answer. As new ore is found in different settings the capping procedure may need to be modified.The effect of grade capping can only be truly examined when a large tonnage has been mined and the recovered gold can be compared with forecast for that period.Grade capping or cutting is necessary at Macassa. The capping practise for the main zones has been used on some of the zones in the SMC. Assays higher than 3.5 opt are cut to 3.5 oz. This capping practise appears to be reasonable.Some of the zones in the SMC have increased grades much higher than has been normally found in the main zones. This increased grade is also associated with a different style of mineralization. Initial investigation by the Company's geological staff indicated that the historic cutting factor of 3.5 opt was understating the grade of mineralization for the SMC.The consulting firm of Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. (SWRPA) was retained to investigate, by statistical analysis, 10 of the larger mineralized zones forming part of the SMC. They concluded that there were sufficient data points for a statistical analysis of seven of the 10 zones viewed. As a result, the Company has implemented various higher grade cutting factors for four of the seven zones. These four zones are the New South Zone (7.2 opt), Lower D North (9.3 opt), Lower D North Footwall (4.8 opt), the #7 and #7 HW Zones (6.4 opt). These new capping levels are now being used on both drill hole assays and underground chip assays.These revised cutting factors, based on the mean of the assays in the zone plus one standard deviation, are considered to be conservative and are lower than those recommended by SWRPA. Accordingly, the factors may be subject to upward revision as more data points are generated. Dilution of Reserves The dilution applied to the reserves depends on the type of stope that is anticipated for the mining blocks. The dilution is added on a stope basis. All dilution is assigned a grade of 0.02 opt.Dilution has not been added to the resource blocks.The average dilution included in the Reserves of December 30, 2011 is 22%.Long hole stopes are diluted by 32-100%, mostly 50%.Cut-and-fill stopes are diluted 15-50%. These dilution factors are based on a comprehensive study by Barrick in 1994 and modified on the recent mining experience at Macassa. Mining Recovery The recovery of the ore blocks is anticipated at 94.2% of the diluted reserve. This figure has been applied to all of the reserve blocks but not to the resource blocks.December 31, 2011 Resources and Reserve: The resource estimates do not include the reserves.The reserve estimates are recoverable, diluted and in-situ.The resources and reserves only include Macassa's share. The 2011 estimates do not include Queenston Mining Inc. portion of ounces in the South Claims joint venture as the purchase agreement between Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. and Queenston Mining was announced after the close of the calendar year. These additional ounces, which include 66,000 tons at a grade of 1.17 opt (77,000 contained ounces) as an indicated resource with an additional 87,000 tons at a grade of 0.99 opt (87,000 contained ounces) in the inferred resource category will included on next year's estimates.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Brian HinchcliffeKirkland Lake Gold Inc.President1 705 567 52081 705 568 6444 (FAX)bhinchcliffe@klgold.comwww.klgold.comORLindsay CarpenterKirkland Lake Gold Inc.Director of Investor Relations1 416 840 7884416 850 1617 (FAX)lcarpenter@klgold.comORLorna Spears / Philippe PolmanPelham Bell Pottinger+44 207 861 3883pr@pelhambellpottinger.co.ukORKatherine Roe / Callum StewartNOMAD: Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited+44 20 7459 3600katherine.roe@panmure.comORGuy WilkesOcean Equities Ltd.+44 207 786 4370guy.wilkes@oceanequities.co.ukNeither the Toronto Stock Exchange nor the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange has reviewed and neither accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.