Mining Explorers 2017: Pretium Resources Inc.
Pretium Resources Inc. reached commercial production at its bonanza grade Brucejack gold mine on July 3, making it the newest operator in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle. The ramp up to commercial operations went smoothly for the new miner. During commissioning in June and grade ramp-up in July a total of 25,392 ounces of gold were produced from low-grade stockpiles and development muck; plus ore introduced to the mill in July. The process plant averaged 2,699 metric tons of ore per day in July, which is 99.9 percent of the 2,700-metric-ton-per-day nameplate capacity. With the achievement of commercial production, the grade of the ore introduced to the mill was increased with a focus on optimizing recoveries in the gravity and flotation circuits. Underground development continued to advance through the second quarter and subsequently reached design-level production. According to a feasibility study completed in 2014, the Valley of the Kings deposit at Brucejack is expected to produce 7.3 million oz of gold over 18 year, or roughly 404,000 oz annually. Going into 2017, Valley of the Kings hosted 15.6 million metric tons of proven and probable reserves averaging 16.1 grams per metric ton (8.1 million oz) gold.
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Though Pretium has graduated to producer with nearly two decades of high-grade gold in reserves, the company has not lost sight of its exploration roots. In June, Pretium raised C$5 million to fund a 2017 regional grassroots exploration program designed to follow-up on the results from the 2016 program. This work began with prospecting, sampling and mapping approximately 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) east of the Brucejack Mine with the aim of generating targets for drilling later in the program. Pretium also owns Snowfield, a bulk tonnage project north of Brucejack that hosts 1.37 billion metric tons of measured and indicated resources containing 25.9 million oz of gold, 75.8 million oz of silver, 2.98 billion pounds of copper, 258.3 million lb of molybdenum and 22.5 million oz of rhenium. The project also has considerable resources reporting to the inferred category. Pretium maintains a confidentiality and cooperation agreement with Seabridge Gold, whose KSM project shares a common boundary with Snowfield.
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