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Plan view of Pretium's underground drilling.

Pretium Pops on More Drill Results, More Bonanza Grades

It seems like investors are eager to respond to Pretium’s news and each release has resulted in a significant price pop. For Pretium’s part, they have continued to stay on course and have published results consistent with their previous estimates and predictions.

Disclaimer: This is an editorial review of a public press release and not an endorsement. It may include opinions or points of view that may not be shared by the companies mentioned in the release. The editorial comments are highlighted so as to be easily separated from the release text and portions of the release not affecting this review may be deleted.  Please view original release here.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – Dec. 2, 2013) Pretium Resources Inc. (TSX:PVG)(NYSE:PVG) (“Pretivm”) is pleased to report the remaining assay results from underground exploration drilling in the Valley of the Kings. These results include 8 intersections grading greater than 1,000 grams per tonne gold uncut from 6,164 meters of drilling in 46 holes. (See Table 1 below for assays.)

Pretium’s Brucejack Gold Project is located in Northern BC, Canada. The company’s last few news releases resulted in some serious pops in their stock price, but they still haven’t bounced back to their pre-bulk-sampling-scandal prices of early October. If you’re not familiar with what happened back then you read a little more here.

At the time we thought that the concerns over grade would linger with investors for some time, regardless of the news from Pretium. However it seems like investors are eager to respond to Pretium’s news and each release has resulted in a significant price pop. Perhaps this is because there aren’t a lot of mining company stocks to root for these days.

For Pretium’s part, they have continued to stay on course and have published results consistent with their previous estimates and predictions. Let’s review this latest news.

Selected drill highlights include:

  • Hole VU-365 intersected 328.91 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 20.50 meters, including 13,400 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 0.50 meters;
  • Hole VU-369 intersected 96.71 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 44.95 meters, including 7,700 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 0.50 meters;
  • Hole VU-384 intersected 331.99 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 8.00 meters, including 5,210 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 0.50 meters;
  • Hole VU-390 intersected 179.14 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 13.50 meters, including 4,780 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 0.50 meters;
  • Hole VU-397 intersected 175.44 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 10.78 meters, including 3,770 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 0.50 meters;
  • Hole VU-385 intersected 1,200 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 0.50 meters;
  • Hole VU-383 intersected 1,095 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 0.50 meters;
  • Hole VU-391 intersected 1,040 grams of gold per tonne uncut over 0.50 meters.

The bonanza-grade gold intercepts noted above were encountered in drilling to the east and west, as well as above and below the area of the Valley of the Kings Bulk Sample Program (the “Program”).

Underground exploration drilling has expanded the defined Valley of the Kings high-grade gold mineralization to the east, and mineralization remains open in all directions.

In 2013 a total of 38,830 meters of underground drilling was completed in the Valley of the Kings, comprising 16,789 meters of Program drilling and 22,041 meters of exploration drilling. Assay results from 2013 drilling include a total of 69 intercepts grading over 1,000 grams per tonne gold uncut (of which 15 were in the Cleopatra Vein).

Processing of the approximately 1,500 wet tonnes of bulk sample material remaining from the Program is expected to be completed this week, with final results reported after the completion of assaying.

The results both from the 38,830 meters of underground drilling and from milling will be incorporated into the updated Mineral Resource estimate for the Valley of the Kings expected later this month.

Part of the “controversy” surrounding Pretium’s deposit is well demonstrated in these drill results: Intervals of low grade gold interspersed with bonanza grade intervals.

For example, consider hole #VU-365. If we remove the highlights, the remaining intervals hold grades of:

  • 9.87 meters of 0.93 g/t gold
  • 8.07 meters of 1.65 g/t gold
  • 20.00 meters of 4.66 g/t gold
  • 1.32 meters of 23.10 g/t gold

There grades are not particular good and it’s easy to see why a small sample might lead one to conclude that there is nothing to mine here.

However, the high grade highlights are what make this interesting. In this deposit the company has consistently demonstrated an extremely high grade nugget effect with grades often in excess of 1000 g/t gold!

In addition, the high grade “nuggets” are not outliers or occasional occurrences – they consistently occur.

In some ways, the deposit is more akin to a diamond deposit where the large tonnages of material are required to assess the economic value. Arguments over this process and the approach to bulk sampling are what led to the fallout with Strathcona minerals in October.

Table 1: Valley of the Kings Drill Results, December 2013 (VU-363 to VU-408)(1,2,3,4)

HoleNo. Dip/Azimuth From(meters) To(meters) Interval (meters) Gold(g/t) Silver(g/t) Capping
Exploration Drilling from Drill Bay Section 426700E (180 Azimuth)
VU-363 -44/180 55.50 62.95 7.45 7.05 6.47
incl 62.35 62.95 0.60 79.00 17.30
74.50 80.05 5.55 13.05 11.56
incl 76.26 76.76 0.50 35.30 8.80
incl 78.50 79.00 0.50 30.70 13.00
incl 79.55 80.05 0.50 23.90 15.40
104.50 113.60 9.10 11.91 12.56
105.25 105.75 0.50 207.00 160.00
VU-364 -33/180 3.00 19.50 16.50 21.80 52.67 1 Au sample cut
or 3.00 19.50 16.50 31.52 52.67 Uncut
incl 9.00 10.50 1.50 75.40 156.00
15.10 15.60 0.50 751.00 456.00 Uncut
59.50 63.50 4.00 3.97 6.40
83.55 84.05 0.50 162.00 32.80
VU-365 -18/180 1.00 12.67 11.67 9.37 12.53
incl 1.82 2.32 0.50 78.70 58.90
incl 8.06 8.86 0.80 27.30 24.50
incl 12.17 12.67 0.50 77.80 17.60
21.46 30.03 8.57 5.51 12.13
incl 26.43 26.93 0.50 67.80 47.10
50.50 71.00 20.50 12.57 118.78 1 Au sample cut
or 50.50 71.00 20.50 328.91 118.78 Uncut
incl 69.18 69.68 0.50 13,400 4,690 Uncut
69.68 71.00 1.32 23.10 6.90
VU-366 1/180 0.00 24.00 24.00 3.57 9.67
1.00 2.00 1.00 48.60 42.20
45.00 62.96 17.96 25.39 9.58
incl 48.00 49.50 1.50 283.00 88.50
incl 62.41 62.96 0.55 46.60 24.80
VU-367 24/180 18.00 30.00 12.00 2.64 5.73
VU-368 42/180 55.75 77.60 21.85 11.44 19.87 1 Au sample cut
or 55.75 77.60 21.85 17.89 19.87 Uncut
incl 55.75 56.25 0.50 712.00 577.00 Uncut
77.10 77.60 0.50 49.30 60.90
Exploration Drilling from Drill Bay Section 426700E (165 Azimuth)
VU-369 -35/165 3.55 48.50 44.95 14.10 61.96 2 Au samples cut
or 3.55 48.50 44.95 96.71 61.35 Uncut
incl 4.05 4.50 0.45 24.20 32.90
incl 7.85 8.36 0.51 251.00 90.30
incl 34.47 34.97 0.50 7,770 3,880 Uncut
incl 47.54 48.04 0.50 516.00 352.00 Uncut
68.00 76.00 8.00 29.38 46.17 1 Au sample cut
or 68.00 76.00 8.00 57.88 46.17 Uncut
incl 72.99 73.49 0.50 886.00 624.00 Uncut
VU-370 -20/165 13.50 25.25 11.75 14.63 14.15
incl 17.70 18.30 0.60 266.00 133.00
39.00 47.00 8.00 8.06 31.49
incl 41.53 42.03 0.50 88.70 56.30
VU-371 1/165 28.50 56.00 27.50 7.22 9.65
incl 52.15 52.65 0.50 344.00 280.00
VU-372 30/165 42.00 51.00 9.00 1.38 7.23
VU-373 -45/165 31.00 44.41 13.41 2.25 8.73
57.90 64.20 6.30 19.88 16.79
incl 63.70 64.20 0.50 238.00 163.00
84.40 96.94 12.54 14.10 20.21
incl 93.00 93.50 0.50 300.00 319.00
Exploration Drilling from Drill Bay Section 426700E (150 Azimuth)
VU-374 -40/150 9.00 13.74 4.74 9.10 42.69
incl 11.90 12.50 0.60 64.10 49.00
24.60 34.50 9.90 10.36 35.33
incl 26.20 26.65 0.45 22.30 6.10
incl 28.35 28.95 0.60 96.60 68.20
incl 30.37 30.87 0.50 40.20 289.00
42.77 43.27 0.50 17.05 5.80
64.50 75.50 11.00 10.31 13.94
incl 64.50 65.00 0.50 186.50 131.00
104.50 122.50 18.00 12.26 12.53
incl 112.23 112.73 0.50 175.00 79.00
incl 121.00 122.50 1.50 68.10 29.00
VU-375 -29/150 10.45 26.15 15.70 12.66 25.98
incl 10.45 11.00 0.55 26.00 68.10
incl 17.68 18.18 0.50 275.00 176.00
incl 22.00 22.50 0.50 16.30 62.90
48.70 51.25 2.55 16.02 10.65
incl 48.70 49.20 0.50 73.30 28.00
VU-377 -16/150 22.80 43.43 20.63 11.78 24.04
incl 24.77 25.27 0.50 54.00 24.77
incl 31.25 31.75 0.50 285.00 197.00
incl 42.43 42.93 0.50 103.00 333.00
VU-379 1/150 36.00 65.50 29.50 0.91 5.20
VU-380 16/150 51.50 61.00 9.50 2.59 15.90
VU-382 40/150 21.00 39.00 18.00 1.25 3.54
112.00 113.50 1.50 40.50 25.70
Exploration Drilling from Drill Bay Section 426652E (80 Azimuth)
VU-384 1/80 4.07 15.50 11.43 25.46 28.34 1 Au sample cut
or 4.07 15.50 11.43 41.47 28.34 Uncut
incl 4.07 4.57 0.50 796.00 547.00
incl 14.00 15.50 1.50 48.70 19.00
57.50 72.48 14.98 8.12 13.01
incl 68.25 68.75 0.50 202.00 294.00
136.50 144.50 8.00 33.24 256.74 1 Au sample cut
or 136.50 144.50 8.00 331.99 256.74 Uncut
incl 137.00 137.50 0.50 5,210 2,570 Uncut
137.50 138.00 0.50 48.90 37.90
VU-386 -23/80 100.50 108.00 7.50 1.85 28.13
VU-388 -40/80 3.29 7.50 4.21 7.19 12.21
incl 3.29 3.79 0.50 55.00 84.50
97.50 127.50 30.00 1.47 18.79
VU-390 -52/80 20.14 32.50 12.36 1.82 1.85
94.50 108.00 13.50 18.03 114.47 1 Au sample cut
or 94.50 108.00 13.50 179.14 114.47 Uncut
incl 97.77 98.27 0.50 4,780 1,775 Uncut
VU-392 24/80 68.35 112.00 43.65 6.18 15.04
incl 68.35 68.85 0.50 411.00 99.40
Exploration Drilling from Drill Bay Section 426652E (95 Azimuth)
VU-395 -64/95 20.35 20.85 0.50 68.50 20.10
96.00 137.97 41.97 10.66 15.71
incl 105.38 105.88 0.50 403.00 543.00
incl 113.23 113.73 0.50 47.50 39.90
incl 113.73 114.23 0.50 153.50 97.10
incl 125.67 126.17 0.50 96.10 39.00
incl 133.47 133.97 0.50 21.50 67.30
VU-396 -45/95 100.95 109.00 8.05 13.44 13.50
100.95 101.45 0.50 206.00 140.00
123.40 148.40 25.00 11.09 13.49 1 Au sample cut
or 123.40 148.40 25.00 11.59 13.49 Uncut
incl 123.40 123.90 0.50 455.00 242.00 Uncut
142.02 142.52 0.50 64.40 84.40
VU-400 -23/95 3.73 4.23 0.50 44.80 27.40
27.27 28.27 1.00 92.50 28.80
Exploration Drilling from Drill Bay Section 426652E (110 Azimuth)
VU-403 -62/110 86.90 101.40 14.50 0.69 5.39
VU-404 -50/110 88.30 96.90 8.60 8.55 12.17
incl 91.40 91.90 0.50 69.40 76.40
incl 91.90 92.40 0.50 21.50 20.20
VU-406 -35/110 94.97 95.47 0.50 35.70 13.80
Exploration Drilling from Drill Bay Section 426482E (244 Azimuth)
VU-376 1/244 16.50 18.00 1.50 20.50 15.70
70.46 80.32 9.86 4.17 3.88
incl 70.46 70.96 0.50 66.20 27.70
VU-378 22/244 12.00 37.50 25.50 0.71 6.28
VU-381 40/244 65.00 78.50 13.50 1.30 22.98
VU-383 52/244 46.95 73.50 26.55 1.17 6.74
85.50 106.50 21.00 11.20 25.51 1 Au sample cut
or 85.50 106.50 21.00 27.04 25.51 Uncut
incl 102.97 103.47 0.50 1,095 786.00 Uncut
132.50 142.00 9.50 4.32 8.35
138.62 139.12 0.50 46.90 12.50
VU-385 -22/244 8.77 39.90 31.13 8.77 26.43 1 Au sample cut
or 8.77 39.90 31.13 21.14 26.43 Uncut
incl 8.77 9.27 0.50 1,200 913.00 Uncut
67.00 84.50 17.50 12.81 14.59 1 Au sample cut
or 67.00 84.50 17.50 23.27 14.59 Uncut
incl 76.79 77.29 0.50 796.00 369.00 Uncut
51.00 66.00 15.00 4.69 8.10
incl 63.15 64.85 1.70 23.46 45.94
VU-387 -38/244 13.44 13.94 0.50 18.50 14.30
Exploration Drilling from Drill Bay Section 426482E (231 Azimuth)
VU-389 1/231 23.12 41.50 18.38 8.01 9.38
23.12 23.62 0.50 271.00 152.00
77.50 79.00 1.50 33.40 30.00
VU-391 28/231 50.80 72.50 21.70 13.23 19.74 1 Au sample cut
or 50.80 72.50 21.70 27.29 19.74 Uncut
incl 65.44 65.94 0.50 31.60 20.10
incl 67.44 67.84 0.40 33.30 36.00
incl 67.84 68.34 0.50 1,040 609.00 Uncut
111.50 130.50 19.00 1.86 5.77
VU-393 45/231 37.50 50.15 12.65 8.28 19.24
40.50 42.00 1.50 56.30 37.00
VU-394 -26/231 41.44 77.50 36.06 0.91 2.96
106.10 106.60 0.50 18.50 13.40
VU-397 13.5/231 73.51 84.29 10.78 20.52 111.85 1 Au sample cut
or 73.51 84.29 10.78 175.44 111.85 Uncut
incl 83.29 83.79 0.50 3,770 2,340
Exploration Drilling from Drill Bay Section 426482E (155 Azimuth)
VU-398 23/155 38.72 48.88 10.16 1.39 15.42
VU-399 1/155 39.50 68.00 28.50 1.06 6.19
VU-401(4) -23/155 83.92 101.50 17.58 10.57 6.25
incl 85.74 86.24 0.50 339.00 92.40
VU-402 -44/155 21.00 26.13 5.13 6.31 21.10
incl 25.50 26.13 0.63 36.40 9.20
105.33 144.00 38.67 1.33 9.28
Exploration Drilling from Drill Bay Section 426616E (100 Azimuth)
VU-405 19/100 34.90 37.90 3.00 1.40 34.20
66.20 110.00 43.80 0.96 11.11
incl 115.00 138.55 23.55 2.40 21.72
incl 120.63 121.13 0.50 40.70 20.00
incl 185.00 186.50 1.50 32.90 33.40
VU-407 43/100 98.10 110.41 12.31 7.92 61.22
incl 102.80 103.39 0.59 32.20 327.00
incl 103.39 103.89 0.50 24.80 259.00
incl 109.91 110.41 0.50 56.40 146.00
135.50 140.65 5.15 7.81 144.76
incl 137.50 138.00 0.50 13.50 197.00
incl 138.00 138.50 0.50 19.05 542.00
154.71 163.20 8.49 8.64 41.65
incl 162.70 163.20 0.50 129.50 206.00
VU-408 63/100 91.33 95.83 4.50 9.12 90.00
92.33 92.83 0.50 34.40 296.00
92.83 93.34 0.51 21.80 191.00
(1) True thickness to be determined.
(2) Unless otherwise indicated as uncut, all gold assays over 430 g/t were cut to 430 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 one-quarter split core assayed at ALS Chemex in Vancouver, B.C.
(4) Hole ended in mineralization.

 

We’ve mentioned this before when discussing Pretium drill results. Normally assays are “cut” as part of a QA/QC program in order to remove outliers from the geochemical data. Essentially the maximum reportable grade is capped at a certain level. The rationale is that if a value is too high, it may skew the overall grade averages resulting in inaccurate results. Pretivm has capped the results at 430 g/t, but has reported these very high uncut results in order to demonstrate the extremely high grades being encountered.

Kenneth C. McNaughton , M.A.Sc., P.Eng., Chief Exploration Officer, Pretium Resources Inc. is the Qualified Person (QP) responsible for the Brucejack Projectexploration program.

About Pretivm

Pretivm is creating value through gold at its high-grade gold Brucejack Project, located in northern British Columbia. Permitting of a high-grade underground gold mine at Brucejack is underway, with commercial production targeted to commence in 2016.

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About Staff @ Geology for Investors

Geology for Investors seeks to demystify mineral exploration and mining projects for mining company investors. All of our writers and contributors are experienced and educated in geology and the geosciences.