Premier Gold Mines Limited (“Premier” or “the Company”) is pleased to provide an update of the development programs underway at the Company’s South Arturo Property located in the Carlin Trend of Nevada. Construction of both the Phase 1 open pit and the El Nino underground mine is progressing well with mineralized material being stockpiled for future processing.
The South Arturo Property is a joint venture between Premier (40% ownership) and Barrick Gold Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Barrick Gold Exploration Inc. (“Barrick”). Barrick is the operator and processes ore from South Arturo primarily at their Goldstrike facility located approximately 5 kilometers to the south.
Construction of the Phase 1 open pit and the El Nino underground mine has started with initial gold production from operations planned in late 2019. Mining production from the El Nino mine is expected to ramp up in Q4 2019. Heap leach material from the Phase 1 open pit is now being stockpiled for potential future processing. The pre-feasibility level engineering design for the heap leach option is planned to start early 2019.
Additional work on the property in 2018 includes infill and exploration drilling (initial results expected to be released prior to year-end) and ongoing work being conducted to advance additional mining opportunities that include the Phase 3 pit.
“Multiple new mine developments are being advanced, including detailed engineering work aimed at moving the heap leach project into the South Arturo mine plan”, stated Ewan Downie, President & CEO of Premier. “Additional opportunities continue to be advanced that are expected to add to future reserves and/or resources in an effort to extend mining operations well into the future”
Phase 1 Open Pit Project
More than 1.5 million tons of material has been stripped at the Phase 1 open pit. Run-of-mine (“ROM”) heap leach material from Phase 1 is being stockpiled for potential processing at a facility that will be located on the joint venture property. If the heap leach option is approved, construction of the facility is anticipated to begin in 2020.
Drilling in 2018 has been focused on expanding near-pit mineralization and testing the nearby East Dee target that has the potential to represent an additional mining opportunity on the property. Initial assays from this program are expected to be released prior to year-end.
El Niño Underground Project
The El Nino underground deposit is the down-plunge extension of the Phase 2 pit that was mined in 2016-17. Both portals are now collared (see figure 1) and some high-grade material located proximal to the pit highwall has now been mined and stockpiled. Mining continues to be advanced such that gold production is expected late 2019.
Following development of the upper ore zones, underground exploration will be initiated to identify additional mineralization, which remains open at depth and locally along strike.
Drilling at the potential Phase 3 open-pit has been completed to further define both high-grade and heap leach material that would complement material from Phase 1. Drilling in 2017 identified mineralization below the current pit design and demonstrated continuity with higher than expected grades in the southern extent of the current resource model with intercepts including 117.0 feet grading 0.48 oz/ton Au (35.7 m of 16.54 g/t Au) with 50 feet grading 0.82 oz/ton Au (15.2 m of 28.26 g/t Au) and an additional intercept of 226.5 feet grading 0.09 oz/ton Au (69.0 m of 3.05 g/t Au) in hole ART17-10C, the final hole of the program. Additional drilling is being completed in this target area.
Stephen McGibbon, P. Geo., is the Qualified Person for the information contained in this press release and is a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101. The primary assay laboratories for the South Arturo Mine are ALS Chemex Labs (ALS Chemex) and American Assay Labs (American Assay) in Reno, Nevada. For a complete description of sample preparation, analytical methods and QA/QC procedures, refer to the technical report for the South Arturo dated March 26, 2018 (effective date December 31, 2017), entitled “Technical Report on the South Arturo Mine, Elko County, State of Nevada, USA” located on Premier’s website and at www.sedar.com.
Premier Gold Mines Limited is a gold producer and respected exploration and development company with a high-quality pipeline of precious metal projects in proven, accessible and safe mining jurisdictions in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
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This Press Release contains certain information that may constitute “forward-looking information” under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements about strategic plans, including future operations, future work programs, capital expenditures, discovery and production of minerals, price of gold and currency exchange rates, timing of geological reports and corporate and technical objectives. Forward-looking information is necessarily based upon a number of assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including the risks inherent to the mining industry, adverse economic and market developments and the risks identified in Premier’s annual information form under the heading “Risk Factors”. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. All forward-looking information contained in this press release is given as of the date hereof and is based upon the opinions and estimates of management and information available to management as at the date hereof. Premier disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.