Premier Gold Mines Ltd. announced that processing of ore has commenced from the El Nino Mine at the company’s 40% owned South Arturo Mine. South Arturo is located in the Carlin Trend, Nevada, and is a joint venture between Premier and Nevada Gold Mines, a joint venture company owned by Barrick Gold Inc. and NewmontGoldcorp with Barrick Gold Inc as operator.
The El Nino mine was developed on-time and on-budget, with ore now being processed ahead of schedule. Gold production is expected to ramp up in the second half of 2019, with a first gold bar pour on September 26. Premier attributable gold production estimated to meet the high end of guidance for the year and the company expects that, owing to the high-grade ore at El Nino, South Arturo will have a positive effect on cash flow for the company.
“We are excited to once again realize the benefits of South Arturo, increasing the Company’s production profile with an anticipated reduction in overall operating costs,” President and CEO of Premier Ewan Downie said. “Premier continues to benefit from the stellar performance of our partner, Nevada Gold, and its demonstrated ability to consistently execute on schedule.”
In the second half of 2019, surface and underground drilling will resume in an effort to continue delineating and expanding mineralization at El Nino. El Nino is a high-grade underground deposit situated down plunge of the Phase 2 pit, where mining was concluded in 2017. Pre-stripping of the Phase 1 open pit project, a second mine being constructed at South Arturo, is ongoing with a target of production in the second half of 2020. Work is also continuing to optimize heap leach material with a potential future decision to proceed with the development of a heap leach facility on the property.