Premier launches major 2009 exploration plans



    Shares Issued: 77,565,179

    THUNDER BAY, ON, Jan. 5 /CNW/ - PREMIER GOLD MINES LIMITED (TSX:PG) is
pleased to provide an update of its 2009 exploration plans for its
Northwestern Ontario projects. Major drill programs are planned for the
Hardrock, Rahill-Bonanza, and PQ-North Properties. Key highlights include:

    
    -   Approximately $15 Million in exploration is planned on the company's
        Northwestern Ontario projects, making Premier one of the industry's
        largest explorers.

    -   Resource definition drilling at Hardrock and Red Lake gold projects.

    Hardrock Project
    ----------------
    
    The Hardrock Project, operated under a joint venture with Roxmark Mines
Limited (TSX-V:RMK) (Premier earning a 70% interest), will be the focal
program with more than 50,000 metres of drilling planned beginning in early
January. The Hardrock Project is host to several past-producing mines which
collectively produced more than 2.0 Million ounces of gold from the same
deposits to relatively shallow depths of approximately 2000 feet (600 metres)
from 1938-1968. The mined zones remained wide open at depth at the time mining
ceased and developed historical resources were left in place within the
existing mine workings (a qualified person has not done sufficient work to
verify the historical resource, the company is not treating the historical
resource as a current resource and the historical resource should not be
relied upon). Importantly, the Hardrock Project has the potential for defining
several styles of mineralization capable of hosting resources, with grades and
widths similar to many of Ontario's major gold mines including:

    
    1) Open pit style mineralization with grades exceeding 1.5g/t Au
       (Timmins, Hemlo)

    2) Broad zones of mineralization with grades averaging 5.0+g/t Au
       (Musselwhite)

    3) Narrow vein zones with higher gold grades often exceeding 7.0g/t
       (Red Lake, Pickle Lake)
    

    Initial drilling will focus on delineating both open pit and underground
resources with the goal of defining a multi-million ounce gold resource that
can be moved quickly towards development (Although existing historical
resources have been used as a basis for confirming target potential, there is
been insufficient exploration data to define a mineral resource and it is not
certain that further exploration will result in discovery of a mineral
resource.)
    The Hardrock Project offers development advantages with the Trans-Canada
highway, Trans-Canada pipeline, and major power lines running through the
center of the property. Significant potential exists for developing resources
in several areas including: 1) Open pit-style mineralization at the site of
the original discovery where a resource containing several hundred thousand
ounces of gold was partially drilled off by previous operators; 2) Several
newer high-grade discoveries have been made throughout this large property
package that have received little to no follow-up; 3) Resource blocks reported
to remain within the mine workings; and, 4) The main mined zones which remain
open below the 600m Level.
    The Hardrock Project is located in the heart of the Beardmore-Geraldton
Greenstone Belt, a highly prospective high-grade gold district that has seen
relatively little exploration over the past several decades. The Project area
covers some of the most prospective geology in the region and is host to
several past-producing mines and numerous exploration targets in a district
that has seen historic production of more than 4.1 Million ounces of gold.

    
    Rahill-Bonanza (Red Lake) Project
    ---------------------------------
    
    The Rahill-Bonanza Project is located in the heart of the prolific Red
Lake district and is operated under a joint venture with RED LAKE GOLD MINES
LIMITED ("RLGM"), an affiliate of Goldcorp Inc. The 2009 exploration program
will include a delineation drill program proximal to the workings of the
Wilmar Gold Mine, and deep drilling to test the primary deep targets on the
Properties.
    The initial focus of the program will be to complete a detailed drill
program in the vicinity of the Wilmar Gold Mine, a relatively near-surface
past-producer on the joint venture property from which, during the final years
of operations at Cochenour, 203,256 Tons at an average grade of 0.3 oz/ton Au
(10.3 g/t) was mined. This Phase I Program will provide support for a
previously announced de-watering program that will be part of a planned
advanced-exploration program to be completed on several known deposits in the
vicinity of the workings of the Cochenour-Wilmar Gold Mines.
    At the time of closure in 1971, significant resources were reported to
remain at Wilmar. According to a report completed by Wilmar Mines Limited in
1973 (authored by D.A. Hutton), the deposit had the potential to host
resources as follows (please note that these potential resources were
completed by previous operators, are historic, and are not NI43-101
compliant):

    
    1) 431,500 tons @ 0.21 oz/ton (7.2 g/t) Au within the mine workings -
       1300-2050 (feet) Levels
    2) 821,700 tons @ 0.24 oz/ton (8.2 g/t) Au - surface to the 1300 foot
       Level
    3) 5,700,000 tons @ 0.1-0.15 oz/ton (3.4-5.1 g/t) Au - Wilmar West
       (Granodiorite)
    

    The Phase I drill program, slated to begin in January, will test several
of the areas noted in 1) and 2) above in addition to potential down-plunge
extensions.
    A presentation detailing the potential of this area is available on the
Premier Gold Mines Limited website www.premiergoldmines.com.
    Further drilling will test a target relating to favourable ultramafic
rock units. This deep drilling is designed to test down-dip from Wilmar where
recent drilling performed by the joint venture has intersected a major zone of
deformation that is interpreted to represent the main "Mine Horizon", with
rock units similar to those at the RLGM complex and the Bruce Channel Zone.
    The Rahill-Bonanza Project is a strategically located property that
covers several kilometres of the main Red Lake "Mine Trend" that is host to
the world class Red Lake Gold Mines to the east, and the "Bruce Channel"
discovery to the west of the Joint Venture Property.

    
    PQ-North Project
    ----------------
    
    Premier's 100%-owned PQ North Property is strategically located on the PQ
limb of the key iron formation that is host to Goldcorp's Musselwhite Gold
Mine. Recently, Goldcorp indicated that gold mineralization has been extended
to the north with intersections on structures trending in close proximity to
Premier's PQ North Property. These results include a drill intercept of 15.5
grams per tonne (gpt) gold across a true width of 4.5 metres (m) in hole
07-NSD-005 (see Fig. 1 below). Goldcorp also indicated that gold
mineralization had been intersected as far as 6 kilometres north along strike
of the main mine facilities. To date, the Musselwhite Mine has produced more
than 2.0 million ounces of gold and has reserves and resources totalling in
excess of 3.30 Million ounces at the end of 2007.
    The PQ North Property encompasses a major fold structure along strike
from and within the main rock unit (Northern Banded Iron Formation) that hosts
the gold-bearing ore zones at Musselwhite. Previous drilling has returned
numerous significant intersections and has identified structural units similar
to those at the mine. Exploration to date has included an airborne geophysical
survey, which identified major folding and several untested structures similar
to those at the Musselwhite Mine. A grid has been cut and a camp has been
constructed on the property.
    Premier previously announced that it had signed a Letter of Intent (LOI)
with the North Caribou Lake First Nation ("NCLFN") that paves the way for a
major exploration program on the PQ North Property in Northwestern Ontario.
The LOI forms the basis of a cooperative relationship between Premier and
NCLFN that will guide the early phase of exploration on the property,
including line cutting, geophysics and diamond drilling, as well as lead to a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the near 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.

    Premier Gold Mines Limited is a well financed Canadian-based mineral
exploration and development company with several projects and deposits in
Northwestern Ontario and a joint venture in Mexico. In the Red Lake gold
mining camp, two of these are operated in joint venture with Red Lake Gold
Mines. The company also owns a strategic project located on the main
Musselwhite Gold Mine trend and recently signed an agreement to acquire
mineral properties in Geraldton area from Barrick Gold.

    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.

    %SEDAR: 00024152E




For further information:

For further information: Ewan Downie, President & CEO, Phone: (807)
346-1390, Fax: (807) 346-0100, E-mail: info@premiergoldmines.com, Web Site:
http://www.premiergoldmines.com


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