Pretium Initiates Brucejack Feasibility Study

Pretium Resources’ Brucejack exploration camp in
northwestern British Columbia. Pretium retained Wardrop to
prepare a feasibility study for the gold-sil-ver property.
(Photo courtesy of Pretium Resources)

Pretium Resources has retained Wardrop, a Tetra Tech company, to prepare a feasibility study of its Brucejack gold-silver project in northwestern British Columbia. Snow-den Mining Industry Consultants will provide an underground resource model for the high-grade gold and silver resources identified to date in the Valley of the Kings and West zones of the project. The feasibility study is slated for completion by year-end 2012.

A 24,000-m drill program is in progress at the Valley of the Kings zone, focused on mineralization to be mined in the first 12 years of operation as contemplated in the updated project preliminary economic assessment (PEA) dated February 20, 2012. Drill spacing is being tightened to move inferred mineral resources to meas-ured and indicated. Inferred mineral resources at the Valley of the Kings cur-rently total 3.23 million oz of gold at an average grade of 26.89 g/mt.

A permit application has been filed to access the Valley of the Kings underground by driving an exploration decline from the 1,330-m level of the existing West zone underground workings. The West zone has been dewatered past the 1,330-m level, and a surveying and geotechnical mapping program has been completed. A 3,500-m geotechnical surface drill program is under way to confirm ground conditions between the Valley of the Kings and the West zones.

The updated PEA estimates total pro-duction of 6.9 million oz of gold and 17 million oz of silver over a mine life of 24 years. Base case average annual produc-tion is 325,000 oz of gold over the first 12 years and 287,000 oz of gold over the life of mine. Initial capital cost is estimated at $436.3 million, including contingen-cies, and mine operating costs are esti-mated at C$170.90/mt milled over the life of the mine.

Underground mining is planned at a rate of 1,500 mt/d, with 11.8 million mt to be mined from the two zones at an average mill feed grade of 18.9 g/mt gold and 59.3 g/mt silver. Gold-silver doré will be pro-duced using a combination of convention-al bulk sulphideflotation, gravity concen-tration and cyanidation, with gold and sil-ver recovery by the Merrill-Crowe process.
As featured in Womp 2012 Vol 04 -