Driving to complete a feasibility study on its wholly owned Brucejack gold-silver project, 65 km north of Stewart, B.C., Vancouver-based Pretium Resources (PVG-T, PVG-N) has released an updated resource estimate on its Valley of the Kings zone.
Noted for its bonanza gold intercepts, the Valley of the Kings was the site of a 99,600-metre, 270-hole drill program during 2012. Due to recent geological interpretation, Pretium was also able to incorporate 6,300 metres of drilling at its Galena Hill zone — viewed as an extension of the Valley of the Kings — into a single resource estimate. Data at the Valley of Kings now covers 490 drill holes over 174,182 metres.
As a result of its 2012 program, Pretium increased indicated resources at the Valley of the Kings by 66% to 16.1 million tonnes grading 16.4 grams gold per tonne, for 8.5 million contained oz. gold.
Drilling collared at the eastern and western boundaries of the deposit marginally bumped inferred resources to 5.4 million tonnes averaging 17 grams gold for 2.9 million oz., though the company was more focused on boosting indicated tonnage for its upcoming feasibility study.
Silver resources sit at 7.3 million indicated oz. at an average grade of 14.2 grams. All modelling assumes a cut-off grade of 5 grams gold equivalent per tonne.
Pretium reports that indicated resources at the Valley of the Kings are defined over 600 metres of total strike length and to depths exceeding 1 km. A portion of the deposit’s strike length was not incorporated into the updated resource estimate, and mineralization remains open in all directions.
Pretium’s Brucejack property hosts five defined gold-silver zones: the West zone, Valley of the Kings, Bridge zone, Gossan Hill and Shore zone. The current resource lies predominantly in the Valley of the Kings and the West zone, with 2012 drilling aimed at delineating the Valley of the Kings and the Galena Hill extension.
Pretium initiated an underground exploration program in the third quarter to establish continuity in the Valley of the King’s higher-grade mineralization.
In its first phase, the program will involve slashing out West zone underground workings and driving a 450-metre southern decline to the Valley of the Kings. The company intends to bulk sample 10,000 tonnes of material from the deposit in the first half of 2013.
A feasibility study is scheduled for release within eight months. Pretium is modelling an underground mine with a throughput capacity of 2,700 tonnes per day, assuming long-hole stoping and cemented-paste backfill. Stoping would incorporate longitudinal and transverse mining, depending on zone width and orientation.
Pretium reported a working capital position of $60 million to end the third quarter after the company issued 1.15 million flow-through shares in a private placement at $18 per share, for gross proceeds of $20.7 million.
The resource announcement resulted in a modest jump in the market, with Pretium’s shares closing Nov. 20 up 18¢ to $12.95. The company hit a daily high of $13.25 per share during midday trading. Pretium has 94 million shares outstanding and maintains a $1.23 billion press-time market capitalization.
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