Canadian Mining Journal

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GOLD: Premier, Barrick double down at South Arturo



Work has begun on the Phase 1 pit at the South Arturo gold mine in Nevada. (Image: Premier Gold Mines)

NEVADA – Toronto’s Barrick Gold (operator and 60% owner) and Premier Gold Mines (40%) of Thunder Bay, Ont., have begun development of two projects – the Phase 1 open pit and El Nino underground – at the South Arturo gold mine near Elko.

Barrick processes South Arturo ore at its Goldstrike plant 5 km south of the mine.

Phase one of the open pit is budgeted for US$90 million with the 2018 expenditures being US$17 million. The pit will take advantage of autonomous mining equipment when production begins. Run-of-mine ore will be stockpiled pending a decision on whether or not to build a processing plant at South Arturo.

Barrick is examining the possibility of creating a Phase 3 pit and  heap leaching material from all the pits.

The El Nino underground deposit is the down plunge extension of the Phase 2 pit that was mined in 2016 and 2017. Backfilling of the pit is complete, and underground construction will start in 2018. The capex requirement for El Nino will be US$36.4 million with US$7.4 million to be spent this year.

Some ore production is expected this year from both the Phase 1 pit and El Nino underground. Proven and probable South Arturo reserves are put at 6.9 million tonnes averaging 3.18 g/t gold for 269,800 contained ounces.

Additional information about South Arturo is available at www.PremierGoldMines.com.