With new mineralization extending below the previously defined resource, the potential to expand the Brucejack deposit is high.
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VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – July 3, 2014) – Pretium Resources Inc. (TSX:PVG)(NYSE:PVG) (“Pretivm”) is pleased to announce that additional results from surface drilling have confirmed the continuity of mineralization in the Valley of the Kings beneath the area defined by the 2013 Mineral Resource estimate. (See Table 1 below for assays.)
[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]If there were awards for mining project branding, Pretium would most definitely get our vote. First there’s the “v” in Pretivm that for some reason makes them seem important and worldly. Then there are the deposit zone nicknames like “Valley of the Kings” and “Cleopatra Vein”. And while I doubt that Pretium CEO Robert Quartermain was hired for his name, it doesn’t hurt that it sounds an awful lot like the name of the main character from King’s Solomons Mines. Put it all together and you’ve got a brand that practically mines itself!
Pretium’s “Valley of the Kings” (VOK) is in fact part of the Brucejack Project, a high-grade, low tonnage epithermal gold deposit located in British Columbia, Canada. The VOK zone has measured and indicated resources of 15.3 million tonnes at 17.6 g/t gold and 14.3 g/t silver and another 5.9 million tonnes of inferred resources at 25.9 g/t gold and 20.6 g/t silver.
By comparison to VOK, Brucejack’s West Zone has a lower gold grade and a much higher silver content with about 5 million tonnes (measured and indicated) at 5.85 g/t gold and 267 g/t silver.
The proposed mine is expected to begin production in 2017, produce 2,700 tonnes per day and have a mine life of 18 years.
The gold mineralization intersected in the two deep geological holes SU-628 (750 meters) and SU-629 (958 meters) was encountered in the stockwork system associated with the latite dyke intersected by hole SU-627 (1,158 meters) previously reported (see news release dated June 4, 2014). Results from the three holes, all collared from the same location near the Brucejack camp and drilled to the south, confirm the vertical extension of gold mineralization below the block model for the December 2013 Valley of the Kings Mineral Resource estimate. Hole SU-629 ended in mineralization. Hole SU-630, an additional 640-meter hole drilled from the same collar, confirmed the extension of mineralization to the east.
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The company is reporting that three completed drill holes intersected mineralization below the current resource block model. Block models are used to create an accurate representation and estimate the tonnage and overall grade of an ore-body using 3D modelling software; this process is known as geostatistical modelling. It is difficult to estimate the extraction costs of an ore-body with an irregular shape so mine planners attempt to model it as a series of cubes and assign a grade to each cube. Blocks can vary in size depending on the type of equipment needed to extract the raw material and the configuration of the mine.
The company is also reporting that the gold mineralization appears to be associated with a “latite dyke”. A latite is a fine grained igneous rock that is often associated with intrusions seated below a volcano. Identification of a specific rock type associated with the gold mineralization makes future exploration that much easier.
An initial surface drill program of 5,000 meters targeting a deep zone of Indicated mineral resources in the Valley of the Kings is now underway. The underground drilling from the 1345-level access ramp is planned to commence in September after the installation of a new water treatment plant, which is in progress.
Assay results from drilling will continue to be reported as they are received.
|Table 1: Selected Valley of the Kings Drill Results, July 2014 (SU-627 to SU-630)(1,2,3)|
|(1)||True thickness to be determined.|
|(2)||Unless otherwise indicated as uncut, all gold assays over 540 g/t were cut to 540 g/t.|
|(3)||All samples were submitted for preparation and analysis by ALS Chemex at its facilities in Terrace, B.C. All samples were analyzed using multi-digestion with ICP finish and fire assay with AA finish for gold. Samples over 100 ppm silver were reanalyzed using four acid digestion with an ore grade AA finish. Samples over 1,500 ppm silver were fire assayed with a gravimetric finish. Samples with over 10 ppm gold were fire assayed with a gravimetric finish. One in 20 samples was blank, one in 20 was a standard sample, and differing one in 20 samples was a field duplicate half split core assayed at ALS Chemex in Vancouver, B.C.|
|(5)||Hole ended in mineralization.|
Kenneth C. McNaughton, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., Chief Exploration Officer, Pretium Resources Inc. is the Qualified Person (QP) responsible for the Brucejack Project exploration program.
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The Valley of the Kings at Brucejack contains widely spaced high grade gold/silver “nuggets” and veins. The extreme variation in grade has made it difficult to properly sample and define. In fact, differences of opinion on sampling led to some significant controversy during its bulk sampling program last fall and resulted in the replacement of a key consultant involved in the process. While Pretium appears to have moved on from that controversy, understanding the geology and mineralization at Brucejack is an ongoing process.
Though the grades reported in this release are lower then some of the previously reported “bonanza” grades, they are still relatively high compared to other epithermal deposits. Perhaps the more significant aspect of this news is that all three holes encountered mineralization beneath the current resource model. This indicates the potential for future VOK resource expansion at depth.
Pretium’s stock has rebounded significantly since November 2013 where it crashed to $3.08. They are currently trading at $8.77 TSX/ $8.24 NYSE.
Pretivm is advancing its 100%-owned Brucejack Project in northern British Columbia to production as a high-grade gold underground mine. Based on the results of the June 2014 Feasibility Study, Brucejack is expected to produce an average of 504,000 ounces of gold a year over the first 8 years and 404,000 ounces of gold a year over the 18-year mine life. Brucejack’s Valley of the Kings hosts Proven and Probable reserves totalling 6.9 million ounces of gold (13.6 million tonnes grading 15.7 grams of gold per tonne). Commercial production at Brucejack is targeted for 2017.
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