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Artisan Vehicle Systems continues to expand its fleet of battery powered mining equipment at Kirkland Lake Gold’s Macassa Mine

Monday April 3, 2017

For more than five years, Kirkland Lake Gold has been utilizing Artisan’s zero emission battery powered equipment to expand its flagship operation, the Macassa Mine, located in Northeastern Ontario. The Macassa Mine is one of the highest-grade gold mines in the world with district scale exploration upside in a prolific mining camp. The Macassa Mine is also the first mine in the world to use Lithium Iron Phosphate battery operated trucks and scoop trams designed by Artisan, allowing the Company to maintain tonnage rates while mining at depth.  What was once an experiment in alternative methods for faster development and lower capital costs, has become an essential ingredient for this innovative and rapidly growing mining icon.   The Mine has experienced the benefits of battery power and is doubling down on its future.  Seen by many as the worldwide leader in the practical application of battery powered haul trucks and loaders, mining companies from around the world flock to this small Ontario town to see how the Company has pulled it off and find out what they plan to do next.

“It’s about picking the right partners” said Tony Makuch, CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold.  “To achieve the highest level of performance as a mining company, we need partners that are equally dedicated to the highest standards of quality, reliability, and performance.  I’m looking for OEMs that are creative, problem solvers, and in lockstep with our mission.  Artisan is definitely one of those OEMs.”

Artisan has designed the 153 around its high performance electric powertrain, battery and advanced operator control system.  The 153 is modernized vehicle which is smaller in all dimensions than a comparable diesel loader, but has 300% of the power.  It loads quicker, hauls up steep grades faster, and is more precise and responsive to operator commands. Operators prefer Artisan’s battery powered units over diesel because of their higher productivity, more tons moved per shift, zero diesel emissions, extremely low heat, and quiet operation.  Moreover, the total cost of ownership is comparable, and in many cases lower, than diesel.

“Kirkland Lake Gold has been an extraordinary customer for us.” said Mike Kasaba, Artisan’s CEO.  “For years, they have guided us on how to design for maximum productivity.  They have stood by us as we solved problems and implemented important system improvements to our technology.  Artisan, as well as the entire mining industry, would not be on the cusp of a major transformation without their leadership.  We will always listen closely and do our very best to enable their objectives and long term success. The 153 is a huge step forward in this regard and I’m confident that it will have a major impact on the Company’s future success.”

About Artisan

Based in California, the heart of electric vehicle technology, Artisan Vehicle Systems Inc. is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of zero emission battery powered mining vehicles.  Its core technology is its proprietary battery packs, electric motors, power electronics, software and control systems.  Artisan’s underground mining machines are designed from the ground up around high powered, highly reliable, field-proven battery electric powertrains.

About Kirkland Lake Gold

Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (TSX:KL) is a mid-tier gold producer targeting +500,000 ounces in Tier 1 mining jurisdictions of Canada and Australia. The production profile of the company is anchored from two high-grade, low-cost operations, including the Macassa Mine located in northeastern Ontario and the Fosterville Mine located in the state of Victoria, Australia. Kirkland Lake Gold’s solid base of quality assets is complemented by district scale exploration potential, supported by a strong financial position with extensive management and operational expertise.

Left to Right:  Andrew Schinkel (KL Gold), Brian Huff (Artisan), Michael Shuman (KL Gold), Mike Byrne (KL Gold), James (Jim) McLean (KL) Gold, Aaron Coumbs (KL Gold)