Premier Gold Mines Limited (“Premier” or “the Company”) is pleased to provide an update of active exploration and development programs at the South Arturo Mine, located in the Carlin Trend of Nevada. Highlights include the development of two new deposits planned in 2018, along with multiple high-grade in-fill drill results from these deposits as highlighted below.
El Nino Upper Zone
In-fill drilling in the upper zone demonstrates high grades that may have a positive effect on the resources and incentive to develop this project into the production schedule. Results include:
- 140 feet grading 0.33 oz/ton Au (42.7 metres of 11.20 g/t Au) including 25 feet grading 0.95 oz/ton Au (7.6 m of 32.47 g/t Au) in hole ELN17-MX-06
- 200 feet grading 0.20 oz/ton Au (61.0 m of 6.96 g/t Au) including 50 feet grading 0.46 oz/ton Au (15.2 m of 15.94 g/t Au) in hole ELN17-MX-14
El Nino Near-Pit
Near surface in-fill and expansion drilling also resulted in better than expected grades that provide additional incentive and upside to develop these resources. Results include:
- 225 feet grading 0.46 oz/ton Au (68.6 m of 15.92 g/t Au) including 35 feet grading 1.88 oz/ton Au (10.7 m of 64.57 g/t Au) in hole EL17-10
- 150 feet grading 0.63 oz/ton Au (45.7 m of 21.68 g/t Au) including 45 feet grading 1.28 oz/ton Au (13.7 m of 43.84 g/t Au) in hole EL17-12
Phase 3 Pit Zone
Results included exceptional widths and excellent grades that indicate additional upside and incentive to develop the next phase. Results include:
- 118.8 feet grading 0.23 oz/ton Au (36.2 m of 7.95 g/t Au) in hole ART17-01C
- 261.6 feet grading 0.15 oz/ton Au (79.7 m of 5.21 g/t Au) in hole ART17-04C
- 117.0 feet grading 0.48 oz/ton Au (35.7 m of 16.54 g/t Au) including 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
Near-Surface Mineralization at the South Hinge Target
- 27.7 feet grading 0.07 oz/ton Au (8.4 m of 2.23 g/t Au) in hole BD17-06C
- 77.5 feet grading 0.03 oz/ton Au (23.6 m of 1.17 g/t Au) in hole BD17-08C
The South Arturo Mine is a series of deposits that is operated under a joint venture between Premier (40% ownership) and Barrick Gold Exploration Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corporation (“Barrick”). Barrick is the operator and processes ore from South Arturo at their Goldstrike facility located 5 kilometres to the south.
Processing of stockpiled ore from the Phase 2 pit has been accelerated in 2018 with gold production for the year having already exceeded annual guidance of 5,000 to 10,000 ounces. In addition to processing of stockpiled ore, efforts have shifted towards further exploration on the greater property package and the development of two new mining operations on the property beginning in 2018; the Phase 1 open pit and the El Nino underground mine.
“This project continues to deliver positive results and these high grade intercepts are some of the best the company has ever achieved,” stated Ewan Downie, President & CEO. “Results-to-date support our belief that this joint venture, made up of several deposits in the heart of the Carlin Trend, will continue to provide a solid operational future. Premier has already realized a significant return on our investment with no dilution to our shareholders on upcoming phases of development. These deposits remain open for expansion and we expect South Arturo to remain a critical component of the Premier’s production profile”.
Phase 1 Open Pit Project
Development of the Phase 1 open-pit is scheduled to begin in mid-2018 and will be one of the first North American mines operated by Barrick that will test autonomous haul trucks that could lead to reduced mining and maintenance costs and improved safety.
In addition to ore that will be processed at Goldstrike, work will continue to advance a potential run-of-mine (ROM) heap leach opportunity. Column leach testing to verify ROM recoveries will be completed in 2018 to validate and strengthen recovery curves. Additional drilling may be considered to potentially add additional mineralization in the eastern portion of the pit.
El Nino Underground Project
The El Nino deposit is located down-plunge of the Phase 2 pit that was mined in 2016-17. Development of the El Nino underground mine is expected to begin in H2-2018. During 2017 core drilling from surface was completed in the Upper Zone and Cubex RC drilling was completed from within the pit to test mineralization near the pit, in-fill gaps in the Upper Zone, delineate potential voids, and condemn areas around planned underground development. Drilling results in the Upper Zone confirmed the mineral inventory; see Table 1 highlights.
The Cubex drill program has confirmed continuity of mineralization near the pit with higher than expected grades encountered near the planned portal. The Cubex drilling could not reach target depths to fully test the Upper Zone and additional surface drilling or drilling from underground will be completed in the future. Table 2 provides highlight results from the Cubex drill program.
Phase 3 Open Pit Project
Phase 3 is an additional potential open pit at South Arturo and the 2017 drill program returned numerous positive results. Continuity of the mineralization was confirmed, higher-than-expected grades were encountered in the southern extent of the current pit design, and new mineralization was also intersected below the current pit design. Drilling in 2018 is planned to define the extents of the high-grade breccia zone and the potential for expansion. Table 3 provides highlight results from the Phase 3 - 2017 drill program.
South Arturo - Exploration
In addition to continued development activities, exploration initiatives are aimed at adding additional resources and testing new target areas on the property. In 2018, activities will continue to advance the South Hinge and East Dee targets.
South Hinge is one of the primary exploration targets owing to its proximity as a potential link between the Phase 2 and Phase 3 pit designs that could lead to potential expansion of the planned Phase 3 pit. The deep high-grade target at South Hinge was not reached in the 2017 drill program, however mineralization was encountered above the target with the results highlighted in Table 4.
East Dee is a target located to the east of the Phase 1 pit believed to be located on the east side of the Bootstrap Formation; a similar structural setting to El Nino. Drilling at East Dee is planned in 2018 and the Ardent target which is a generative exploration target on the property where drilling in 2017 intersected favourable structure and strong and continuous alteration with the potential to host Carlin-style mineralization.
All abbreviations used in this press release are available at this link. (download abbreviation list (.PDF))
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.