Premier provides year-end exploration and operational update

THUNDER BAY, ON, Jan. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - PREMIER GOLD MINES LIMITED (TSX:PG) is pleased to provide an update of ongoing exploration activities at several of the Company's project sites.

Overall, 2013 has been an exceptional year for drilling success.  Aggressive drill programs at Hardrock, Cove and Rahill-Bonanza have expanded mineral resources, revealed multiple new discoveries and continue to demonstrate the potential for future resource growth.  To compliment this success, the Company has also bolstered its management team and board of directors with several key additions to support future growth.

Selected highlights from 2013 exploration and development programs and expected milestones for 2014 include:

  • Trans-Canada Property, Ontario:
    • An updated mineral resource estimate for the Hardrock deposit released in H2-2013 confirmed an expanded open pit scenario containing significant gold resources.
    • A new open pit target ("Twomey Target") to the west of the Hardrock deposit has been identified and is currently being drill tested.
    • A final resource estimate for Hardrock deposit, which will include approximately 55,000 metres of additional drilling, is expected to be completed during 2014.
    • Preliminary Economic Assessments ("PEA") for the Hardrock deposit (open pit only) and the Brookbank deposit will be released in Q1-2014.
  • Cove Gold Project, Nevada:
    • Premier released an updated mineral resource estimate for the Helen Zone deposit which hosts significant high-grade gold resources.
    • New discoveries were made with initial drilling proximal to the historic Cove open pit mine including;
      • 2201 poly-metallic (Au-Ag-Zn-Pb) discovery beneath the Cove pit.  Recent step-out drilling has confirmed the extension of the 2201 Zone with multiple intervals of massive, semi-massive, and stringer sulphide mineralization (assays pending).
      • Cove North Deep ("CND") discovery in a new target area to the north of the Cove pit.  Recent step-out drilling has confirmed favourable mineralization a further 300 metres to the north (assays pending).
      • Extensions to the Cove South Deep ("CSD") Zone, proximal to and along strike from historic underground mining.  Recent step-out drilling has identified further extensions to this highly prospective horizon located within hundreds of metres of the open pit (assays pending).
      • Continued expansion drilling on the new discovery areas will continue throughout 2014.
  • Rahill-Bonanza (Red Lake) JV Project, Ontario:
    • Underground drilling has identified a new structure, immediately south of the tram, that is currently being tested by fan-drilling.  Strong veining and mineralization has been intersected and assays will be released in Q1-2014.
    • Initial drilling is testing the primary target on the property, the Wilmar Zone.  After encountering some difficulties in reaching target depth due to strongly altered structure, the target horizon was recently intersected with visually favourable mineralization.  Initial assays are expected to be released in Q1-2014.

"Premier has demonstrated with material success that 2013 need not be a year overshadowed by the difficult challenges felt within our industry, " stated Ewan Downie, President and CEO of Premier. "In 2014 we will continue with three active exploration and development projects in some of the world's most favourable mining jurisdictions.  Maiden economic studies and expansion of recent discoveries in Nevada that confirm potentially substantial gold, silver and base metal mineralization will be near-term catalysts".

Chairman Ebe Scherkus said "We have augmented our management team with the addition of highly experienced mine-builders. This positions Premier to facilitate corporate growth and assess new opportunities that might arise in the current market conditions.  Our strong cash position will allow us to continue to advance all core Company projects without the need to pursue additional financing".

Trans-Canada Property, Ontario

Material developments were realized during 2013 at the Company's 100%-owned Hardrock Project where more than 130,000 metres of drilling was completed. An updated mineral resource estimate, based on a portion of this drilling, confirmed a significant open pit resource (See Table 1 below) that is the focus of the Company's upcoming PEA.

Table 1 - Hardrock Mineral Resource Estimate

Cut-off Category Resource Category Tonnes (Mt) Gold (Au) Grade (g/t) Au Ounces (Mozs)
Open Pit (O/P)
(0.50 g/t Au) 
Indicated (I)
Inferred
50.228
17.793
1.46
1.50
2.352
0.859
Underground (U/G)
(3.00 g/t Au) 
Indicated (I)
Inferred
5.522
16.919
5.01
5.38
0.889
2.925
Combined Total Indicated
Total Inferred
55.750
34.712
1.87
3.50
3.241
3.784

The Independent and Qualified Persons for the Mineral Resource Estimate, as defined by Regulation 43-101, are Carl Pelletier, B.Sc., P.Geo. and Karine Brousseau, P.Eng (InnovExplo Inc), and the effective date of the estimate is September 23, 2013.
* Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
* In-Pit Results are presented undiluted within a Whittle-optimized pit shell, designed with a 30-metre buffer around lakes.

In addition, drilling on a new open pit target, the "Twomey Target" located approximately 10 km west of the Hardrock deposit, is underway.  Historic drilling near this target intersected a broad zone of veining and mineralization. Assays from new drilling will be released in Q1-2014.  If favourable, this target could represent an area for continued resource growth.

A more modest exploration program at Hardrock is planned for 2014, whereby approximately 12,000 metres of additional drilling and detailed historic underground mine void modelling will support the completion of a final resource estimate for the Hardrock open pit during 2014.

In addition to significant exploration activity, extensive work was completed during the year to support the preparation of Preliminary Economic Assessments (PEA's) for a potential open pit mine and mill complex at Hardrock, and an independent underground mining operation at Brookbank.  It is anticipated that these PEA's will be released in Q1-2014.

Cove Gold Project, Nevada

During 2013 Premier secured approval of a new Plan of Operations (PoO) for the Cove Gold Project.  This new PoO expands the allowable surface area disturbance thereby allowing for a significant increase in exploration activity including the testing of numerous targets proximal to the main feeder structures for mineralization in the historic Cove open pit mine.

The Cove Gold Project is located within the Eureka-Battle Mountain Trend that is host to a number of multi-million ounce producing and past-producing mines. The Cove deposit was mined (primarily by open pit) between 1986 and 2001, producing approximately 2.6 million ounces of gold, and more than 100 million ounces of silver. The target-rich 6,972 hectare property (17,252 acres) has been subject only to limited surface exploration outside of the Cove pit and the Helen Zone deposit and Premier believes that the property offers potential for the discovery of additional mineralized zones and horizons.

The Helen Zone is a stratiform, Carlin-style, deposit that remains open for expansion.  A recently completed mineral resource estimate for the Helen Zone is presented in Table 2 below. A technical report relating to the Helen Zone mineral resource estimate, which was prepared in accordance with Canadian Securities Administrators' National Instrument 43-101, may be found on the Company website or under the Company's profile (filed on January 2, 2014) at www.sedar.com.

Table 2 - 2013 Helen Zone Mineral Resource Estimate

  Indicated Resources   Inferred Resources
Cutoff Grade Au (g/t) Tonnes (000's) Gold (Au) Grade (g/t) Au Ounces (000's)   Tonnes (000's) Gold (Au) Grade (g/t) Ounces (000's)
3.43 618 8.62 171.4   1,608 7.50 388.3
5.14 469 10.00 151.0   1,068 9.07 311.7
5.83 425 10.46 143.1   882 9.81 278.7
6.86 360 11.20 129.6   675 10.88 236.5
8.57 265 12.43 106.0   426 12.71 174.3
10.29 187 13.67 82.1   268 14.65 126.3

The Independent and Qualified Persons for the Mineral Resource Estimate, as defined by Regulation 43-101, are Mark Odell, P.E. (Nevada 13708), and Karl Swanson, P. Geo. (SME 4043076), and the effective date of the estimate is September 30, 2013.
* Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
* Practical Mining is not aware of any known environmental, permitting, legal, title-related, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other relevant issue that could materially affect the Mineral Resource Estimate.

The independent report, dated September 30, 2013, entitled "NI 43-101 Technical Report, Cove Exploration Report, Lander County, Nevada" was issued by Practical Mining LLC of Elko, Nevada. The Report provides detail to the disclosure contained in the Company's news release issued on November 19, 2013.

Since receipt of the PoO, drilling has started testing new targets at Cove resulting in two new discoveries made in the first two target areas.  These discoveries include both "Carlin-style" gold mineralization and poly-metallic sulphide intercepts both beneath, and to the north of, the Cove pit.  Ongoing step-out drilling continues to intersect strong mineralization with additional results to be released in Q1-2014.

The property is located in close proximity to excellent infrastructure (including paved roads and power) that allows for year-round exploration. Drilling at Cove is expected to be the largest exploration program for Premier in 2014.

Rahill-Bonanza JV, Red Lake, Ontario

The Rahill-Bonanza Joint Venture Project (PG:49%) operated by Red Lake Gold Mines Limited ("RLGM"), a partnership between Goldcorp Inc. and Goldcorp Canada is strategically located in the heart of the prolific Red Lake "Mine Trend" between the Red Lake Gold Mines complex to the east, and the Cochenour (Bruce Channel) complex to the west.

Drilling at this project is now testing the two primary exploration targets identified on the property.  A newly identified structure intersected approximately 200 metres south of the tram where a large fold/fault structure is associated with abundant quartz veining, mineralization and gold.  Fan drilling is currently being performed on this structure.  The primary target is the down-dip extension of the past-producing Wilmar Gold Mine and is the focus of drilling with a second drill rig. Results are expected during Q1-2014.

The underground drilling is being done from a tram that has been excavated from the 5400 foot Level of Red Lake Gold Mines to link it with the new Cochenour/Bruce Channel Mine that is being brought into production.

Operational Update

As the corporation prepares for future growth, important additions have been made to the Company's management team.  This industry-best management team has the ability to effectively advance Company projects from exploration through to development.  Premier will continue to look at opportunities to strengthen its team and assess opportunities to add to the Company's project portfolio in the future.

Stephen McGibbon, P. Geo., is the Qualified Person for the information contained in this press release and is a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101. Assay results are from core samples sent to Activation Laboratories, an accredited mineral analysis laboratory in Ancaster, Ontario, or to Accurassay Laboratories, an accredited mineral analysis laboratory in Thunder Bay, Ontario, for preparation and analysis utilizing both fire assay and screen metallic methods.  Assay results for the Cove Gold Project were sent to Inspectorate America Laboratories prep facility located in Elko, Nevada and analysis was performed at their Sparks, Nevada analytical facility utilizing 30 gram fire assay with an AA finish for RC samples and 30 gram fire assay with AA finish and ICP-MS 30 element scan from 4-acid digestion for Core samples.

Premier Gold Mines Limited is one of North America's leading exploration and development companies with a high-quality pipeline of gold projects focused in proven, safe and accessible mining jurisdictions in Canada and the United States.  The Company is well financed with a portfolio of advanced-stage assets in world class gold mining districts such as Red Lake and Geraldton in Ontario and the most prolific gold trends in Nevada.

The statements made in this Press Release may contain forward-looking statements that may involve a number of risks and uncertainties.  Actual events or results could differ materially from the Company's expectations and projections. 

SOURCE Premier Gold Mines Limited

For further information:

Ewan Downie, President & CEO
Phone: 807-346-1390
Fax: 807-346-1381
e-mail: Info@premiergoldmines.com
Web Site: www.premiergoldmines.com