Premier Gold Mines Limited (TSX-PG) is pleased to provide this update of ongoing activities at several of the Company’s project sites.
For Premier, 2015 was a transformational year with several project transactions, exceptional drilling success, and mine development at South Arturo in Nevada (See Figure 1). New partnerships at Trans-Canada (Centerra) and South Arturo (Barrick) reaffirm the focus on near-term production. Aggressive drill programs at Hasaga, McCoy-Cove and Rahill-Bonanza have resulted in multiple new discoveries and demonstrate the potential for future resource growth.
“I am proud of the efforts of the entire Premier team”, stated John Begeman, Executive Chairman of Premier on the Company’s C-Suite Blog (http://www.premiergoldmines.com/news/c-suite-blog). “We begin the year in a solid financial position that will see active exploration and development programs at five Company projects located in some of the world’s most favourable mining jurisdictions”.
Selected 2015 highlights from exploration and development programs and expected milestones for 2016 include:
South Arturo Project, Nevada:
- Barrick commenced open pit mine construction in 2015. On a 40% basis, the Phase 2 pit deposit will yield about 120,000 contained ounces of gold in 2016. Recovered gold production of about 90,000 ounces to Premier’s account is expected.
- All-in-Sustaining-Costs of approximately US$450 per ounce are expected based on a November 2015 forecast.
- Drilling at the Northeast Button Hill target returned multiple high-grade intercepts as high as 0.75 ounces per ton gold (oz/t Au) across 90 feet (25.7 grams per tonne (g/t) Au across 27.4 metres (m)).Successful drilling in 2016 could help support a future decision to develop an underground mining operation at Northeast Button Hill.
- Barrick, on behalf of the joint venture, is also assessing potential development options for the Phase 1 & 3 deposits that are host to Measured & Indicated Resources exceeding 830,000 ounces gold and 4.3 million ounces of silver on a 40% basis. (1)
(1) See press release dated July 23, 2015
Figure 1– South Arturo Property
Trans-Canada Property, Ontario (Greenstone Gold Mines L.P.):
- In 2015, Premier entered into a Partnership Agreement with Centerra Gold Inc., resulting in the formation of a 50/50 partnership (Greenstone Gold Mines L.P.) for the joint ownership and development of Premier’s Trans-Canada Property.
- Premier received cash payments from Centerra in the amount of C$96 million and Centerra agreed to make capital contributions to the partnership in the aggregate amount of C$185 million to complete a comprehensive technical and economic Feasibility Study (including an updated mineral resource estimate) for the Hardrock Project at the Trans-Canada Property. Subject to the satisfaction of certain feasibility and project advancement criteria, the remainder of the funds will be used towards Project construction and development.
- A Feasibility Study is expected to be completed in mid-2016 and the Partnership continues to advance permitting for approvals to construct a mine at Hardrock.
- Budgeted spending at the Trans-Canada Property through April, 2016 has been approved by the Joint Venture at C$11.5 million. Full year budgets for the development of Hardrock will be followed up concurrent to the finalization of the Feasibility Study. Full year 2016 exploration expenditures will be between C$2.1 and C$2.9 million. All 2016 expenditures will be funded by Centerra Gold.
Rahill-Bonanza (Red Lake) JV Property, Ontario:
Underground drilling continued to define a new structure, the Fold Target, located approximately 200 metres south of the tram. Strong veining, alteration and mineralization within a laterally extensive structure has been intersected with multiple high-grade intercepts up to 46.00 g/t Au across 11.0 m (1.34 oz/ton Au across 36.0 feet) including 121.20 g/t Au across 3.8 m (3.54 oz/ton Au across 12.3 feet).
- Drilling in 2016 will continue to define the Fold Target and will test several other.
- Surface drilling in 2015 tested the potential down-dip extension of the near-surface Bonanza deposit (assays pending).
McCoy-Cove Gold Project, Nevada:
- Several exploration and development initiatives are being advanced at the McCoy-Cove Project including reprocessing opportunities, open pit drill targets, and drilling for prospective high-grade structures in deeper areas previously untested on the property.
- Exploration drilling resulted in new discoveries and the identification of multiple favourable structures in several areas (assays pending).
- Exploration in 2016 will see continued drilling that will support a revised mineral resource estimate for the property in the second half of the year. Permitting initiatives will ensure flexibility of both surface and underground opportunities to be developed in the future.
- The 2016 exploration program at McCoy-Cove is set at $6.5 million.
Hasaga Property, Ontario:
- Premier acquired a 100% interest in the past-producing Hasaga Property, located in Red Lake, Ontario, from Goldcorp in 2015. A property swap assigned to Goldcorp Premier’s 35% participating interest in the East Bay Property (Red Lake) and its 100% interest in the PQ-North Property located near Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Mine in Ontario.
- Approximately 60,000 metres of drilling was completed in 2015, identifying two prospective areas containing wide-spread gold mineralization with intercepts up to 0.98 g/t Au over 126.0 m including 2.04 g/t Au across 49.0 m in the Hasaga Porphyry Zone and 0.94 g/t Au over 305.5 m including 1.61 g/t Au across 122.5 m in the Central Zone.
- The 2016 exploration program at Hasaga is budgeted at $6.8 million will include approximately 50,000 metres of additional drilling, designed to support an initial mineral resource estimate in H2-2016.
- Late in 2015, Premier entered into an agreement to acquire a 100% interest in a 513-hectare land package located immediately west of, and contiguous with, the Hasaga Property from Pure Gold Mining Inc. (See Figure 2). This acquisition was completed on December 29, 2015.
Figure 2– Hasaga Property Package
Premier Gold Mines begins 2016 with a strong financial position that includes some $65 million in cash and investments and no bank debt.
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. Assay results are from core samples sent to Activation Laboratories, an accredited mineral analysis laboratory in Ancaster, Ontario, or to Accurassay Laboratories, an accredited mineral analysis laboratory in Thunder Bay, Ontario, for preparation and analysis utilizing both fire assay and screen metallic methods. Assay results for the Cove Gold Project were sent to Inspectorate America Laboratories prep facility located in Elko, Nevada and analysis was performed at their Sparks, Nevada analytical facility utilizing 30 gram fire assay with an AA finish for RC samples and 30 gram fire assay with AA finish and ICP-MS 30 element scan from 4-acid digestion for Core samples. The primary assay laboratories for the South Arturo Mine were ALS Chemex Labs (ALS Chemex) and American Assay Labs (American Assay) utilizing a 30 gram fire assay with an AA finish. Results >7 ppm are reassayed by fire assay with a gravimetric finish.
Premier Gold Mines Limited is one of North America’s leading exploration and development companies with a high-quality pipeline of gold projects focused in proven, safe and accessible mining jurisdictions in Canada and the United States. The Company is well-financed with approximately $65 million in cash and investments and a portfolio of advanced-stage assets in world class gold mining districts such as Red Lake and Geraldton in Ontario and the most prolific gold trends in Nevada.