PREMIER GOLD MINES LIMITED (“Premier” or “The Company”) (TSX:PG) is pleased to provide an update of mining and development activities at the Company’s 40%-owned South Arturo Mine located in the Carlin Trend of Nevada. The South Arturo Mine is a joint venture between Premier and Barrick Gold Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary of Barrick Gold Exploration Inc. (“Barrick”). Barrick is the operator and processes ore from South Arturo at their Goldstrike facility located approximately 5 kilometres to the south.
Mining at South Arturo has been extended early into the third quarter in order to maximize production from the Phase 2 pit. Premier now expects its share of 2017 production to exceed 45,000 ounces and will revisit 2017 annual guidance in its upcoming quarterly production release. Ore from the current Phase 2 pit will continue to be processed at the Goldstrike facility in H2-2017 and into 2018. As a result of the extended mining of the Phase 2 pit, that included a redesigned ramp and steepened pit wall (locally), drilling of the El Nino deposit from within the pit will commence in mid H2-2017.
The joint venture continues to assess additional opportunities for future development. The proposed Phase 1 open pit development has been moved into the draft plan for detailed review. If approved, development could begin in early 2019. Drilling to complete additional metallurgical and geotechnical characterization is underway at the Phase 1 pit and the potential future Phase 3 pit.
Immediately following completion of mining in H2-2017, drilling will commence from within the pit to further define the El Nino underground deposit located down plunge of the current Phase 2 pit. During H2-2017 more than 1,200 metres of core drilling and 3,000 metres of RC drilling will be completed in the Upper Zone to increase confidence in the geological model and to support additional metallurgical work. More than 2,000 metres of Cubex drilling is also planned from the elevation of proposed underground portals to infill gaps in the Upper Zone, delineate potential voids, and condemn areas around planned underground development.
Permitting work associated with the underground ramp to be driven from the base of the Phase 2 pit is underway. Reclamation Permit Amendments and the Class II Air Quality Operating Permit have now been approved. Backfilling of the pit, required for underground infrastructure and Cubex drilling, can be completed following the current phase of mining.
“The South Arturo operation and joint venture has been a true success. We have realized a significant return on our investment and the resultant cash flows continue to support near-term development projects without dilution to our shareholders”, stated Ewan Downie, President & CEO. “Premier continues to evolve from explorer to a mid-tier producer by advancing its portfolio of advanced-stage projects in world-class mining jurisdictions”.
In addition to continued development activities in and around the Phase 2 pit, exploration initiatives elsewhere on the joint venture property include drilling beginning in Q3-2017 at the “Ardent Anticline” target, an area with favorable structures and strong anomalous soil geochemistry.
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.
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 the estimation of mineral resources and mineral reserves. 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 forwardlooking 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.