Premier Gold Mines (TSX: PG; US-OTC: PIRGF) is almost finished a 60,000-metre infill drilling program at its Hardrock deposit in the Geraldton–Beardmore district of northern Ontario, and it’s on track to incorporate the results into a resource estimate by the end of June.
President and CEO Ewan Downie describes some of the latest assay results as “stellar” and believes the intercepts show continuity within the open-pit resource, and suggest higher-grade mineralization within several lenses, including its recently identified North Wall zone.
High-grade intercepts within the primary resource area include 15.13 grams gold per tonne across 6 metres and 18.54 grams across 25.5 metres. Results from the North Wall zone — north of the primary resource area — include 1.30 grams gold over 57 metres, 80.57 grams gold over 4.5 metres and 16.73 grams gold over 3 metres.
The North Wall zone was discovered last year by condemnation drilling and remains open for expansion. Previous intercepts from the zone include 132.32 grams gold over 3.9 metres, 13.96 grams gold across 6 metres, and 3.70 grams gold across 22 metres.
In April Premier intends to move a drill to its Bankfield West open-pit target, 10 km west of Hardrock. The company identified the target while reviewing historic drill data, where several holes drilled by Placer Dome in the 1990s suggested widespread gold mineralization, the company says. Bankfield West lies within the boundary of Premier’s Trans-Canada property.
Hardrock — one of four deposits that make up the Trans-Canada property — has potential for an open-pit operation with a 15-year mine life producing more than 200,000 oz. gold each year, according to a preliminary economic assessment released in January 2014.
“I’d like to think Hardrock — especially in terms of grade — compares quite favourably to peer deposits that are looking to be developed by other companies and because of its good grades, and with [the project’s closeness to] a highway and hydro lines, I’d say it’s one of the easier deposits to develop that I think you’ll find in North America right now,” Downie says in a telephone interview. “Ontario is a good jurisdiction for mine building, and Hardrock has all the infrastructure it needs.”
Downie emphasizes, however, that Hardrock is just one of three parts of the company. It also has two joint-ventures with Goldcorp (TSX: G; NYSE: GG) in Red Lake (Rahill–Bonanza and East Bay) and the Cove project in Nevada, where the company has made discoveries. The Cove project is 22 km south of Newmont Mining’s (TSX: NMC; NYSE: NEM) Phoenix mine in Nevada’s Eureka–Battle Mountain trend.
“We’re doing pretty extensive follow-up drilling and should see more results coming out of Cove within the next month,” Downie says. “Cove has been a little overlooked because of our other activities, but we’re excited with the discovery we’ve made, and think we’ve found a fairly significant deposit in Nevada beneath the historic open-pit mine that was there.”
Over the last year Premier has traded in a range of $1.28 and $3.09 per share. At press time it traded at $2.01. The company has 151.5 million shares outstanding.
Rob Chang of Cantor Fitzgerald has a “buy” rating on the stock and a $3.85-per-share price target, saying in a note that “Premier Gold’s Hardrock project produced interesting assay results that point to possible grade improvement in its upcoming resource estimate.”