Pretium Resources Inc.
TSX : PVG
NYSE : PVG

Pretium Resources Inc.

February 22, 2012 05:00 ET

Pretium Resources Inc.: Updated PEA for Brucejack High-Grade Gold Project

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2012) - Pretium Resources Inc. (TSX:PVG)(NYSE:PVG) ("Pretivm") is pleased to report results from the National Instrument 43-101-compliant Updated Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") for the high-grade gold and silver resources identified to date at its 100%-owned Brucejack Project in northern British Columbia. The PEA was prepared by Wardrop, a Tetra Tech Company (Tetra Tech).

Highlights (base case using US$1,100/oz gold, US$21/oz silver and exchange rate of US$0.93:C$1.00)

  • Base Case pre-tax Net Present Value (5% discount) of US$2.262 billion;

  • Mine life of 24 years producing an estimated 6.9 million ounces of gold and 17.0 million ounces of silver;

  • Average annual production of 325,000 ounces of gold over the first 12 years and 287,000 ounces of gold over the life of mine;

  • Base Case pre-tax Net Cash Flow over the proposed mine life of US$5.133 billion;

  • Base Case pre-tax Internal Rate of Return of 29.8%, with payback estimated at 4.1 years;

  • Estimated initial capital cost, including contingencies, of US$436.3 million;

  • Average operating costs of C$170.90/tonne milled over mine life.
Table 1: Summary of Brucejack High-Grade Economic Results by Metal Price
Base Case(1) Spot Prices
at February 17, 2012
Gold price (US$/ounce) $1,100 $1,733.60
Silver Price (US$/ounce) $21.00 $33.46
Net Cash Flow $5.133 billion (pre-tax)
$3.357 billion (post-tax)
$9.467 billion (pre-tax)
$6.185 billion (post-tax)
Net Present Value (5.0% discount) $2.262 billion (pre-tax)
$1.454 billion (post-tax)
$4.330 billion (pre-tax)
$2.808 billion (post-tax)
Internal Rate of Return 29.8% (pre-tax)
25.0% (post-tax)
43.4% (pre-tax)
36.5% (post-tax)
Payback 4.1 years (pre-tax)
4.2 years (post-tax)
3.2 years (pre-tax)
3.3 years (post-tax)
Exchange Rate (US$:C$) $0.93 $0.997
(1) Tetra Tech-adopted consensus forecast metal prices from the Energy Metals Consensus Forecast (EMCF). The same base case metals prices were used in the June 2011 Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Brucejack Project (see news release dated June 2, 2011).

The Brucejack high-grade project is planned to be mined as an underground operation with the Valley of the Kings and West Zone the two targeted lodes. The underground mine is planned to operate with a processing rate of 1,500 tonnes per day and mine a total of 11.8 million tonnes of mineralized material from the Valley of the Kings and West Zone with an average mill feed grade of 18.9 grams per tonne gold and 59.3 grams per tonne silver.

Gold-silver doré will be produced using a combination of conventional bulk sulphide flotation, gravity concentration and cyanidation, with gold and silver recovery by the Merrill-Crowe process. A total of 6.9 million ounces of gold and 17.0 million ounces of silver is estimated to be produced over the life of the Brucejack Project.

The total estimated initial capital cost for the Brucejack high-grade project is US$436.3 million, an increase of 55% over the June 2011 PEA estimated capital cost. The increase in capital cost is primarily due to two factors. Underground development has been brought forward almost one year in order to access higher-grade ore earlier in the production schedule. As a result, pre-production mining costs have increased from US$52 million to US$128 million. In addition, mine site power is now planned to be supplied by tying into the electrical transmission grid at an estimated cost of US$42 million. The estimated operating cost of electrical power supplied from the transmission line is C$0.06 per kilowatt hour versus C$0.33 per kilowatt hour supplied from diesel as contemplated in the previous PEA.

The PEA is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that the PEA will be realized.

The Technical Report for the PEA for the high-grade gold and silver resources at the Brucejack Project has been filed on SEDAR and will also be available at www.pretivm.com.

Ian I Chang, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., Vice President, Project Development, Pretium Resources Inc. is the Qualified Person (QP) responsible for Brucejack Project development.

Table 2: Projected Production and Processing Summary
Mine Type Underground
Total Production 11.8 million tonnes
Processing Rate 1,500 tonnes per day
Gold Silver
Average Mill Feed Grade 18.9 grams per tonne 59.3 grams per tonne
Average Metal Recoveries 95.7% 75.5%
Average Annual Production (ounces):
Years 1-12 325,000 444,000
Life of Mine (24 years) 287,000 710,000
Total Production (ounces):
Years 1-12 3.899 million 5.333 million
Life of Mine (24 years) 6.878 million 17.030 million
Table 3: Capital Costs Summary
Capital Costs (US$ million)
Direct Costs 328.3
Indirect Costs 58.2
Owner's Costs 11.9
Contingencies 37.8
Total Capital Cost 436.3
Table 4: Operating Costs Summary
Operating Costs (C$/t milled)
Mining 103.6
Processing 37.7
General & Administrative 19.26
Plant Services 10.29
Total Operating Cost 170.9

Independent Qualified Persons

The following Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101 are independent of Pretivm and responsible for the Updated PEA of the Brucejack Project:

Qualified Person Scope of Responsibility
Hassan Ghaffari, P.Eng.
Tetra Tech
Capital cost estimate, project execution plan
Sabry Abdel Hafez, Ph.D.,P.Eng.
Tetra Tech
Economic Analysis
John Huang, P.Eng.
Tetra Tech
Mineral processing and metallurgical testing, infrastructure, process operating cost estimate
Pierre Pelletier, P.Eng.
Rescan Environmental Services Ltd
Environmental considerations
Tracy Armstrong, P.Geo.
P&E Mining Consultants Inc.
Geology, property: description, history, geological setting, deposit types, mineralization, exploration, physiography, drilling, sampling, adjacent properties
Caroline Vallat, P.Geo.
GeoSpark Consulting Inc.
Data verification
Fred H. Brown, CPG, Pr.Sci.Nat.
P&E Mining Consultants Inc.
Site visit and mineral resource estimate
H. Warren Newcomen, P.Eng.
BGC Engineering Inc.
Preliminary geotechnical design for underground workings
Hamish Weatherly, P. Geo.
BGC Engineering Inc.
Water management
Lori-Ann Wilchek, P.Eng.
BGC Engineering Inc.
Waste management and leach plant tailings storage facility design
Peter Mokos, MAusIMM (CP)
AMC Mining Consultants (Canada) Ltd.
Mining, including capital and operating costs estimates

About Pretivm

Pretivm is creating value through gold at its advanced-staged exploration projects Brucejack and Snowfield, located in northern British Columbia. Pretivm is advancing the high-grade, underground gold opportunity at Brucejack, which hosts a significant undeveloped high-grade gold resource.

Forward-Looking Statement

This Press Release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information may include, but is not limited to, information with respect to our plans, costs and timing for future exploration (including updated resource estimates) and development activities, results of future exploration, timing and receipt of approvals, consents and permits under applicable legislation, production and developments in our operations in future periods and adequacy of financial resources. Wherever possible, words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "anticipate" or "does not anticipate", "believe", "intend" and similar expressions or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved, have been used to identify forward-looking information. Statements concerning mineral resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking information to the extent that they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered if the property is developed. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "expects", "anticipates", "plans", "projects", "estimates", "assumes", "intends", "strategy", "goals", "objectives", "potential" or variations thereof, or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved, or the negative of any of these terms and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information, including, without limitation, those risks identified in Pretivm's final short-form prospectus dated April 4, 2011 filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking information is based on the expectations and opinions of Pretivm's management on the date the statements are made. The assumptions used in the preparation of such statements, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise. We do not assume any obligation to update forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by applicable law. For the reasons set forth above, prospective investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.

The TSX has neither approved nor disapproved of the information contained herein.

Contact Information

  • Pretium Resources Inc.
    Robert Quartermain
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (604) 558-1784

    Pretium Resources Inc.
    Michelle Romero
    Corporate Relations Director
    (604) 558-1784
    invest@pretivm.com
    www.pretivm.com