PREMIER GOLD MINES LIMITED (TSX:PG) is pleased to announce that drilling has begun on its Rahill-Bonanza and East Bay joint venture projects in the Red Lake Mining District of Northwestern Ontario. Both projects are operated by joint venture partner Red Lake Gold Mines Limited (“RLGM”), an affiliate of Goldcorp Inc.
The 2010 programs will focus on exploration for new discoveries and on testing extensions of known gold zones and/or deposits (Please see figure: 1 for reference). Primary targets to be tested include:
- A favourable ultramafic unit identified at the Rahill-Bonanza Project in 2009
- The potential southern extension of the Bruce Channel Deposit horizon
- Potential high grade gold structures at depth at the Bonanza Deposit
- Several major structural breaks within the East Bay ultramafic trend
Ewan Downie, President and CEO of Premier said, “With the commencement of the deep underground tram development and increased drilling on our joint venture projects, we expect substantial news flow from our Red Lake programs in 2010. Exploration for, and discovery of, high grade gold deposits continue to be the focus of our efforts.”
The Rahill-Bonanza Project (PG:49%) is strategically located in the heart of the prolific Red Lake gold mining district between the world class Red Lake Gold Mines complex to the east, and the Cochenour (Bruce Channel) Project to the west. Though drilling in 2009 was limited, the program discovered a potential new gold zone associated with a favourable ultramafic rock unit. This new discovery shares similarities with, and is located in close proximity to, the Bruce Channel Deposit (BCD) that is currently being developed by RLGM. Initial drilling will test down dip of the discovery hole and will also test for major structures including the potential southern extension of the BCD.
Drilling in 2010 will also test the down-dip potential of the Bonanza Deposit that is host to a NI43-101 compliant and inferred mineral resource of some 1,589,000 tonnes grading 7.60 grams per tonne gold (g/t Au), containing nearly 400,000 ounces of gold within 500 metres of surface. Indications are that at depth, the Bonanza Deposit is trending into a more favourable geologic environment for hosting bonanza-grade mineralization. Additional drilling will attempt to confirm potential for a significant gold resource within the nearby West Granodiorite Zone and expand mineralization down-plunge.
Late in 2009, Goldcorp announced plans to construct a high-speed tram to connect the Red Lake Gold Mines complex and the Cochenour (Bruce Channel) Mine complex in order to develop its Cochenour Deposit. Planning and development are underway. A portion of this tram is expected to pass through, or in close proximity to, the joint venture project providing an excellent exploration platform. This tram will intersect several kilometres of some of the highest potential and untested geology along the main Red Lake “Mine Trend”. The Red Lake Gold Mine is considered to be one of the world’s richest gold mines with production of more than 18 million ounces of gold and nearly 10 million ounces of mineral resources.
The East Bay Project (PG 35%) is located on the East Bay ultramafic trend along strike to the north of Rubicon’s F2 Zone discovery at it’s Phoenix Gold Project, and is host to the GAZ gold deposit. Drilling in 2010 will focus on testing several major structures believed to have potential to host mineralization similar to the F2 Zone.
In addition to the joint venture projects, Premier holds several additional highly prospective projects that will be subject to major exploration programs in 2010. Three drills will be active throughout the year on the Company’s Hardrock Project (Premier holds a 70% interest) where approximately 70,000 metres of drilling is planned. In 2009, drilling at Hardrock successfully identified multiple open pit and underground style gold zones including the discovery of the High-Grade North Zone with intercepts as high as 1,141.5 g/t Au (33.3 oz/ton) across 2.0 metres (6.6 feet) . Premier expects to release a NI43-101 compliant resource estimate relating to the near-surface (open pit) zones on this project in the first quarter. Two drills are currently active on the Company’s 100%-owned PQ North Property that is strategically located on the PQ limb of the key iron formation that is host to Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Gold Mine. Drilling in 2009 discovered mineralization with grades and widths comparable to those at Musselwhite, within a near-identical geological setting. Initial results from 2010 drilling, where numerous mineralized zones have been intersected, are expected in the near future.
Figure 1: Map of Red Lake
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.
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, an affiliate of Goldcorp Inc. 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.