PREMIER GOLD MINES LIMITED (TSX:PG) is pleased to provide an update of its 2009 exploration plans for its Northwestern Ontario projects. Major drill programs are planned for the Hardrock, Rahill-Bonanza, and PQ-North Properties. Key highlights include:
- Approximately $15 Million in exploration is planned on the company’s Northwestern Ontario projects, making Premier one of the industry’s largest explorers.
- Resource definition drilling at Hardrock and Red Lake gold projects.
The Hardrock Project, operated under a joint venture with Roxmark Mines Limited (TSX-V:RMK) (Premier earning a 70% interest), will be the focal program with more than 50,000 metres of drilling planned beginning in early January. The Hardrock Project is host to several past-producing mines which collectively produced more than 2.0 Million ounces of gold from the same deposits to relatively shallow depths of approximately 2000 feet (600 metres) from 1938-1968. The mined zones remained wide open at depth at the time mining ceased and developed historical resources were left in place within the existing mine workings (a qualified person has not done sufficient work to verify the historical resource, the company is not treating the historical resource as a current resource and the historical rescource should not be relied upon) . Importantly, the Hardrock Project has the potential for defining several styles of mineralization capable of hosting resources, with grades and widths similar to many of Ontario’s major gold mines including:
- Open pit style mineralization with grades exceeding 1.5g/t Au (Timmins, Hemlo)
- Broad zones of mineralization with grades averaging 5.0+g/t Au (Musselwhite)
- Narrow vein zones with higher gold grades often exceeding 7.0g/t (Red Lake, Pickle Lake)
Initial drilling will focus on delineating both open pit and underground resources with the goal of defining a multi-million ounce gold resource that can be moved quickly towards development (Although existing historical resources have been used as a basis for confirming target potential, there is been insufficient exploration data to define a mineral resource and it is not certain that further exploration will result in discovery of a mineral resource.) The Project offers development advantages with the Trans-Canada highway, Trans-Canada pipeline, and major power lines running through the center of the property. Significant potential exists for developing resources in several areas including: 1) Open pit-style mineralization at the site of the original discovery where a resource containing several hundred thousand ounces of gold was partially drilled off by previous operators; 2) Several newer high-grade discoveries have been made throughout this large property package that have received little to no follow-up; 3) Resource blocks reported to remain within the mine workings; and, 4) The main mined zones which remain open below the 600m Level.
The Hardrock Project is located in the heart of the Beardmore-Geraldton Greenstone Belt, a highly prospective high-grade gold district that has seen relatively little exploration over the past several decades. The Project area covers some of the most prospective geology in the region and is host to several past-producing mines and numerous exploration targets in a district that has seen historic production of more than 4.1 Million ounces of gold.
Rahill-Bonanza (Red Lake) Project
The Rahill-Bonanza Project is located in the heart of the prolific Red Lake district and is operated under a joint venture with RED LAKE GOLD MINES LIMITED (“RLGM”), an affiliate of Goldcorp Inc. The 2009 exploration program will include a delineation drill program proximal to the workings of the Wilmar Gold Mine, and deep drilling to test the primary deep targets on the Properties.
The initial focus of the program will be to complete a detailed drill program in the vicinity of the Wilmar Gold Mine, a relatively near-surface past-producer on the joint venture property from which, during the final years of operations at Cochenour, 203,256 Tons at an average grade of 0.3 oz/ton Au (10.3 g/t) was mined. This Phase I Program will provide support for a previously announced de-watering program that will be part of a planned advanced-exploration program to be completed on several known deposits in the vicinity of the workings of the Cochenour-Wilmar Gold Mines.
At the time of closure in 1971, significant resources were reported to remain at Wilmar. According to a report completed by Wilmar Mines Limited in 1973 (authored by D.A. Hutton), the deposit had the potential to host resources as follows (please note that these potential resources were completed by previous operators, are historic, and are not NI43-101 compliant):
- 431,500 tons @ 0.21 oz/ton (7.2 g/t) Au within the mine workings - 1300-2050 (feet) Levels
- 821,700 tons @ 0.24 oz/ton (8.2 g/t) Au - surface to the 1300 foot Level
- 5,700,000 tons @ 0.1-0.15 oz/ton (3.4-5.1 g/t) Au - Wilmar West (Granodiorite)
The Phase I drill program, slated to begin in January, will test several of the areas noted in 1) and 2) above in addition to potential down-plunge extensions.
A presentation detailing the potential of this area is available on the Premier Gold Mines Limited website www.premiergoldmines.com.
Further drilling will test a target relating to favourable ultramafic rock units. This deep drilling is designed to test down-dip from Wilmar where recent drilling performed by the joint venture has intersected a major zone of deformation that is interpreted to represent the main “Mine Horizon”, with rock units similar to those at the RLGM complex and the Bruce Channel Zone.
The Rahill-Bonanza Project is a strategically located property that covers several kilometres of the main Red Lake “Mine Trend” that is host to the world class Red Lake Gold Mines to the east, and the “Bruce Channel” discovery to the west of the Joint Venture Property.
Premier’s 100%-owned PQ North Property is strategically located on the PQ limb of the key iron formation that is host to Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Gold Mine. Recently, Goldcorp indicated that gold mineralization has been extended to the north with intersections on structures trending in close proximity to Premier’s PQ North Property. These results include a drill intercept of 15.5 grams per tonne (gpt) gold across a true width of 4.5 metres (m) in hole 07-NSD-005 (see Fig. 1 below). Goldcorp also indicated that gold mineralization had been intersected as far as 6 kilometres north along strike of the main mine facilities. To date, the Musselwhite Mine has produced more than 2.0 million ounces of gold and has reserves and resources totalling in excess of 3.30 Million ounces at the end of 2007.
The PQ North Property encompasses a major fold structure along strike from and within the main rock unit (Northern Banded Iron Formation) that hosts the gold-bearing ore zones at Musselwhite. Previous drilling has returned numerous significant intersections and has identified structural units similar to those at the mine. Exploration to date has included an airborne geophysical survey, which identified major folding and several untested structures similar to those at the Musselwhite Mine. A grid has been cut and a camp has been constructed on the property.
Premier previously announced that it had signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the North Caribou Lake First Nation (“NCLFN”) that paves the way for a major exploration program on the PQ North Property in Northwestern Ontario. The LOI forms the basis of a cooperative relationship between Premier and NCLFN that will guide the early phase of exploration on the property, including line cutting, geophysics and diamond drilling, as well as lead to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the near future.
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 well financed Canadian-based mineral exploration and development company with several projects and deposits in Northwestern Ontario and a joint venture in Mexico. In the Red Lake gold mining camp, two of these are operated in joint venture with Red Lake Gold Mines. The company also owns a strategic project located on the main Musselwhite Gold Mine trend and recently signed an agreement to acquire mineral properties in Geraldton area from Barrick Gold.