Canadian Mining Journal


GOLD: Pretium ramps up Brucejack, updates resources

Planned reserve definition and expansion drilling at the Brucejack mine near Stewart, B.C. (Image: Pretium Resources)

BRITISH COLUMBIA – Everything appears to be on the way up at the Brucejack gold mine 65 km north of Stewart. Owner Pretium Resources of Vancouver says that includes the planned ramp-up of production, underground exploration, and resource numbers.

The Brucejack mine and mill are increasing throughput to 3,800 t/d from 2,700 t/d over the course of the year. To supply the increased ore tonnage, mine development has been increased to allow access to a greater number of stopes. An area in the Valley of the Kings with a slightly lower grade is currently being mined. Nevertheless, the gold grade is expected to average 10.4 g/t, and in the second half of the year both grade and tonnage are predicted to improve. The company has given 2019 guidance of 390,000 to 420,000 oz.

Pretium has 24,000 metres of underground exploration drilling planned for Q1 2019. This should improve reserve definition ahead of mining and expand current reserves in the Valley of the Kings. Opportunities for expansion have been projected at depth, to the east and the northeast of current reserves.

Drilling in 2018 intersected anomalous mineralization to suggest the presence of porphyry style mineralization at depth. This, too, will be re-examined this year.

Pretium’s updated life of mine plan for the Valley of the Kings and the West zone calls for annual production of over 525,000 oz. of gold over 10 years and more than 440,000 oz. annually over the remainder of a 14-year life. All-in sustaining costs per ounce will be US$539 over the life of the Brucejack mine as currently outlined.

The total proven and probable reserves at Brucejack are 16.0 million tonnes grading 12.6 g/t gold and 59.3 g/t silver, containing 6.4 million oz. of gold and 30.5 million oz. of silver.

Including reserves, the mine has measured and indicated resources of 18.6 million tonnes grading 14.2 g/t gold and 81.6 g/t silver, containing 8.5 million oz. of gold and 48.7 million oz. of silver. The total inferred resource is 7.8 million tonnes at 12.0 g/t gold and 51.3 g/t silver, containing an additional 3.0 million oz. of gold and 13.0 million oz. of silver.

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