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Visual Capitalist: The history of British Columbia’s Golden Triangle

July 7th, 2016

posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | July 7, 2016

In a hidden corner of northwestern Canada lies some of the world’s most significant mineral potential. Billions of dollars of undiscovered gold, silver and copper still sit within an unexplored area that was once remote. However, only now can these world-class deposits be finally tapped. Skeena Resources TSXV:SKE has helped Visual Capitalist to put together the story of the famed Golden Triangle.

The history of the Golden Triangle

Even before Canada was officially a country, the area now known as the Golden Triangle was a hub for prospectors looking to strike it rich.

In 1861, Alexander “Buck” Choquette struck gold at the confluence of the Stikine and Anuk rivers, kickstarting the Stikine Gold Rush. More than 800 prospectors left Victoria to go to the Stikine in search of gold.

A few short years later, an even more significant rush would occur just to the north in the Cassiar region—it’s where British Columbia’s biggest ever gold nugget, weighing in at 73 ounces, would be found. The Atlin Gold Rush, an offshoot of the world-famous Klondike Gold Rush, would also occur just north of the Triangle.

The first discoveries

The companies that first worked in the Golden Triangle balanced its richness against the costs of its remote location.

Premier gold mine

The first big discovery in the Golden Triangle was at the Premier gold mine, which started operations in 1918. The company that first owned it, Premier Gold Mining Company, returned as much as 200% on the stock market between 1921 and 1923. At the time the Christian Science Monitor called it “one of the greatest silver and gold mines in the world.”

Snip mine

Discovered in 1964 by Cominco, the deposit stayed dormant until 1986, when it was drilled in a joint venture with Delaware Resources. Murray Pezim’s Prime Resources bought out Delaware after the stock ran from a dollar to $28 a share.

The high-grade Snip mine produced approximately one million ounces of gold from 1991 until 1999 at an average gold grade of 27.5 gams per tonne.

Eskay Creek

In 1988, after 109 drill holes, tiny exploration companies Stikine Resources and Calpine Resources finally hit the hole they needed at Eskay Creek with grades as high as 27.2 g/t and 30.2 g/t gold.

Eskay would go on to become Canada’s highest-grade gold mine and the world’s fifth-largest silver producer, with production well in excess of three million ounces of gold and 160 million ounces of silver.


  • Gold: 49 g/t
  • Silver: 2,406 g/t
  • Lead: 3.2%
  • Zinc: 5.2%

By the time all was said and done, the stock price of Stikine Resources would go from $1 to $67, after it was bought by International Corona.

Why did these three rich mines shut down?

Despite the gold in the Triangle being extremely high grade, lower gold prices in the late ’90s made the economics challenging. Meanwhile, the lack of infrastructure in this remote area meant that power, labour and logistics costs were sky high.

Both of these things have changed today, and activity at the Golden Triangle is now fast and furious.

Gaining access to the Triangle

The Golden Triangle is a hot area for exploration again. This is for three main reasons: higher gold prices, new infrastructure and modern discoveries.

Higher gold prices

Average gold price (1999): $279 (adjusted for inflation: $398)
Average gold price (2016): $1,202

Gold prices are more than three times as high today, even after adjusting for inflation. Combined with the Golden Triangle’s high grades, this becomes even more attractive.

New infrastructure

Today, road access to the area is easier than ever and a new transmission line will dramatically reduce the cost of power for companies operating in the Triangle.

Recent improvements:

  • Completion of a $700-million high-voltage transmission line to the Golden Triangle. The Northwest Transmission Line goes 335 kilometres from Terrace to Bob Quinn Lake and north to the Red Chris mine

  • Paving of the Stewart-Cassiar highway north from Smithers (Highway 37)

  • Opening of ocean port facilities for export of concentrate in Stewart

  • Completion of a three-dam, 277 MW hydroelectric facility located 70 kilometres northwest of Stewart

Modern discoveries

The next gold rush at the Golden Triangle has already started. Just some of the new discoveries in the area include Seabridge Gold’s (TSX:SEA) KSM project, Pretium Resources’ (TSX:PVG) Valley of the Kings deposit and Imperial Metals’ (TSX:III) Red Chris mine.

Yet despite this track record of new discoveries and mines being built in the area, a B.C. government report estimates that only 0.0006% of the Golden Triangle has been mined to date.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Gwen Preston looks back on PDAC and an exciting week

March 15th, 2016

by Gwen Preston | | March 15, 2016

What a week it was! Another PDAC is in the books. And a good one. It was undoubtedly small—fewer booths, attendance of just 22,000 compared to an average of 29,000 over the last five years—but the buzz was inarguably better than last year.

Gwen Preston looks back on PDAC and an exciting week

Mining deals flowed with PDAC buzzing in the background.

I comment on my PDAC impressions after going through the mining news events of the week. As usual, news flow ramped up during the world’s biggest mining conference so there was lots to talk about, and all I got to were the four biggest stories.

Others also deserve comment. Canamex Resources (TSXV:CSQ), for example, published a PEA showing how they could turn their Bruner gold project into a 46,500-ounce-per-year producer for a capital cost of just US$33.4 million. If built, the mine should be able to generate a 39% after-tax internal rate of return and operate for six years. It would be a simple oxide heap leach operating on patented land, which eases permitting considerably.

Those are pretty good numbers. The asset and company are small for my tastes but Canamex deserves credit: it not only survived the bear market but advanced its asset to the point where it supports an economic PEA. If the team can now establish a path to production, starting with accessing the cash needed to take the next step, its share price may well respond. This is, after all, a simple gold project in Nevada, one of the most desirable mining jurisdictions in the world.

That’s one example of interesting news. There was no shortage: companies arrived at PDAC armed with new drill results, property deals, exploration plans, financings and resource estimates.

Deal flow was the most exciting part. I go through three new deals below (Silver Standard buying Claude, Endeavour buying True Gold and Lundin moving on Timok), but financings were also hot. Pretium raised US$130 million, Franco pulled in an oversubscribed US$920 million and Kinross raised US$250 million. I like to see money moving. This sector seizes up otherwise.

No wonder PDAC-ers were pumped. Or cautiously optimistic, in the very least…. Continue reading this article on

MOU offers Americans scrutiny over B.C. mining projects

November 25th, 2015

by Greg Klein | November 25, 2015

British Columbians and Alaskans will seek involvement in each other’s mining proposals following a memorandum of understanding signed November 25. The MOU calls for governments and natives to take part in environmental assessment and permitting processes in their neighbour’s jurisdiction. But with an emphasis on trans-boundary waters, which mostly would consist of rivers and streams originating in B.C., Canadian projects might get more scrutiny than those next door.

B.C.-Alaska MOU pledges cross-border co-operation on mining and environment

The memo follows visits by B.C. mines minister Bill Bennett and Alaska lieutenant-governor Byron Mallott to each other’s turf. Bennett’s trips, following the tailings dam collapse at Imperial Metals’ (TSX:III) Mount Polley mine, tried to reassure Alaskans about B.C. environmental practices.

In August 2014, just weeks after the disaster, Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources asked Canada’s Environmental Assessment Agency for participation in the approval process for Seabridge Gold’s (TSX:SEA) KSM gold-copper project near the state border. Provincial approval had already been granted the previous month. The federal permit came through last December.

Other prominent projects in B.C.’s northwestern corner include:

  • Galore Creek, a NovaGold Resources TSX:NG/Teck Resources TSX:TCK.A and TCK.B copper-gold-silver project that reached pre-feasibility in 2011

  • Schaft Creek, a Copper Fox Metals TSXV:CUU/Teck copper-gold-molybdenum-silver project that achieved feasibility in 2013

  • Chieftain Metals’ (TSXV:CFB) Tulsequah Chief zinc-copper-gold project, now permitted for construction

  • Pretium Resources’ (TSX:PVG) Brucejack gold-silver project, slated for 2017 commercial production

  • Imperial’s Red Chris copper mine, which achieved commercial production in July

The MOU sets no timeframe for achieving its goals. Money for the cross-border initiative would come from existing government budgets, with the possibility of additional “alternate public or private sector funding.”

South of Voisey’s Bay

March 25th, 2015

New developments put Equitas Resources in search of a nearby nickel discovery

by Greg Klein

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The greatest find of Canada’s first diamond rush failed to locate a single gemstone. Instead Robert Friedland’s Diamond Fields Resources stumbled onto nickel with cobalt and copper—much more prosaic stuff but in such magnificent quantities that, just three years after its 1993 discovery, Voisey’s Bay sold for $4.3 billion. Yet the Labrador region remains under-explored. Now, with the advantages of new technology plus single ownership of a recently compiled land package, Equitas Resources TSXV:EQT puts new impetus into the search for a second deposit.

Just 30 kilometres south of Voisey’s, the company’s 25,050-hectare Garland project came together after two years of research by Dahrouge Geological Consulting. According to Equitas VP of exploration Everett Makela, this puts the “most prospective area outside of the Vale mine property” under a single operator for the first time, a significant advantage for effective exploration.

New developments put Equitas Resources in search of a nearby nickel discovery

Despite its proximity to Voisey’s, patchwork ownership
and outdated methods left the region under-explored.

This, in an area where deposits could come in clusters. That’s the case for major nickel camps like Sudbury, Norilsk, Thompson and Raglan, Makela emphasizes. Therefore “the likelihood of discovering more Voisey’s Bay-type deposits in the region is high.” But if that’s so, why has the area been neglected?

“The reality is that, after 20 years of exploration by scores of companies combing the surface, the remaining prospective environments are buried,” he explains. “In the case of the Garland project, that is most likely under younger cover rocks. Voisey’s Bay itself was exposed by a fortunate erosional history. It takes a strong commitment to advance the next stage. Commitment to exploring the deeper sub-surface requires insight into critical elements of the mineralizing process and employment of state-of-the-art geophysical methods.”

State-of-the-art exploration is already underway at Garland, where a VTEM-plus survey began in February. Previously some 10 separate companies explored relatively small pieces of the current Garland project with now-outdated electromagnetic surveys that penetrated only to about 75 metres. Equitas’ regional-scale geophysics can reach a maximum 10 times that depth, all the better to detect large, highly conductive nickel sulphide deposits.

As for insight, Makela brings Equitas solid expertise. The Sudbury native began his career in 1981 as a geological assistant with pre-Vale Inco. By the time he retired in 2012, Makela was Vale’s principal geologist for North America. “I’ve worked alongside some of the leading experts in nickel exploration and benefited greatly from access to the resources of leading global nickel companies,” he says. “My experience spans the gamut from target generation through to resource definition.”

He’s worked in the U.S., Mexico, Greenland, South Africa and Brazil, along with “years of focus on Sudbury and Voisey’s Bay that gave me a strong background in world-class mineralized systems and the business of building mines.” In fact Makela served on the Inco team that conducted initial due diligence prior to the multi-billion-dollar Voisey’s acquisition.

So what does he see at Garland? Well, enough of what he saw at Voisey’s to stoke his enthusiasm.

“Aside from having the same favourable address, along an Archean-Proterozoic boundary, Garland and Voisey’s share a remarkable number of geological signatures,” he points out. “Both are located at the intersection of a regional-scale east-west corridor of faults with a northeast-trending fault set. The combined movement is likely to have caused the open space that allowed emplacement of the Voisey’s Bay ores. That’s the same style of structural offset that we believe we have on our own property. Magnetic signatures and interpreted structural deformation are very similar.

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November 28th, 2013

War of words continues over British Columbia gold project Stockhouse
Bitcoin tops $1,000 as virtual money gains popularity VantageWire
Jay Taylor: Cashing in on deflationary forces Streetwise Reports
Redrawing trade patterns for graphite and fluorspar Industrial Minerals
Jim Rogers: “You’ll make a lot more in the right mine than in the commodity… [but] you have to be careful” Goldseek
Inflation versus deflation and the growing currency war Equedia
Peter Grandich: What 30 years has taught me the Grandich Report

From B.C.’s Golden Triangle

February 14th, 2013

Teuton Resources and Rotation Minerals report gold-silver-polymetallic assays

by Greg Klein

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Initial drill results from the 4-Js property represent Teuton Resources’ TSXV:TUO “third successful” 2012 exploration program in northwestern British Columbia, the company states. The first set of assays, from near-surface drilling by optionee Rotation Minerals TSXV:ROT, were released February 14:

  • 0.61 grams per tonne gold, 71.66 g/t silver, 0.19% copper, 1.06% antimony, 1.9% lead and 5.4% zinc over 7.62 metres
  • (including 1.29 g/t gold, 140.5 g/t silver, 0.39% copper, 2.61% antimony, 3.23% lead and 11.93% zinc over 2.44 metres)
  • 0.3 g/t gold, 39 g/t silver, 0.1% copper, 0.32% antimony, 1.53% lead and 4.12% zinc over 9.15 metres
  • (including 0.43 g/t gold, 69.5 g/t silver, 0.23% copper, 0.66% antimony, 3.01% lead and 7.03% zinc over 3.05 metres)
  • 0.53 g/t gold, 41.5 g/t silver, 0.19% copper, 0.66% antimony, 1.83% lead and 4.48% zinc over 3.05 metres
  • 0.53 g/t gold, 30.7 g/t silver, 0.07% copper, 0.64% antimony, 2.4% lead and 3.44% zinc over 7.93 metres
  • 0.47 g/t gold, 89.3 g/t silver, 0.18% copper, 0.63% antimony, 1.79% lead and 5.74% zinc over 6.1 metres
  • 0.7 g/t gold, 156.5 g/t silver, 0.3% copper, 1.1% antimony, 2.5% lead and 9.43% zinc over 3.05 metres
  • 0.28 g/t gold, 39.5 g/t silver, 0.05% copper, 0.1% antimony, 1.5% lead and 3.76% zinc over 6.1 metres.
Teuton Resources and Rotation Minerals report gold-silver-polymetallic assays

The terrain is foreboding but northwestern B.C.
has given up some world-renowned reserves.

True widths weren’t available. Intercepts started at seven metres, with the deepest stopping at a down-hole depth of 27 metres. Still pending are assays from 17 more holes of the 1,345-metre program.

Targets were chosen following trenching that showed massive mineralization consisting of bournonite (copper-lead-antimony sulphide), tetrahedrite (copper-antimony-sulphide), sphalerite (zinc sulphide) and galena (lead sulphide) six metres wide and 30 metres long, the company stated. Underlying the mineralization is a strong EM anomaly stretching at least 700 metres. Along trend with the EM anomaly are float boulders carrying bournonite, sphalerite and galena, which the company said could potentially extend the mineralization at least 300 metres from the drill targets.

Four-Js is one of over 25 properties held by Teuton, the Golden Triangle’s largest landholder according to the company’s IR rep, Gary Assaly. Speaking to ResourceClips, he says the company’s flagship “currently is the High property, which is right next door to Pretium. We did some work last year on High North and High South and we came up with some good numbers on High North.” The High property is immediately northwest of 4-Js.

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Stocks rise with ounces

November 20th, 2012

Investors embrace resource estimates from Pretium and Golden Reign

by Greg Klein

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Investors embrace resource estimates from Pretium and Golden Reign

Visible gold shines through core samples from
Pretium Resources’ Valley of the Kings zone.

Two resource estimates announced November 20 received warm market welcomes. Pretium Resources TSX:PVG increased the indicated category of its Brucejack Project in northwestern British Columbia by 66%. Golden Reign Resources TSXV:GRR, meanwhile, debuted the San Albino-Murra Property in western Nicaragua with its first-ever estimate.

Pretium last released updates on September 7 for both the Valley of the Kings zone and the West zone 500 metres north. The November 20 update concerns Valley of the Kings only.

Using a cutoff of 5 g/t gold-equivalent, the resource shows:

  • an indicated category of 16.1 million tonnes averaging 16.4 g/t gold and 14.2 g/t silver for 8.5 million gold ounces and 7.3 million silver ounces
  • an inferred category of 5.4 million tonnes averaging 17 g/t gold and 15.7 g/t silver for 2.9 million gold ounces and 2.7 million silver ounces

The Valley of the Kings resource now includes drilling from Galena Hill, previously thought to be a separate zone. The company stated that the Valley remains open to the east and west along strike and at depth.

By boosting the indicated category 66%, the resource pushes Brucejack further along its feasibility study, Pretium president/CEO Bob Quartermain tells ResourceClips. “This gives us a really good base to do the feasibility study and develop a mine plan around the high-grade resource at the Valley of the Kings,” he says. He hopes to have feasibility complete by the first half of next year.

“We continue to de-risk the project and I think the next major catalyst for the company will be the feasibility study,” he adds. “There’s also the underground bulk sample, which we’re hoping to take again in the second half of next year. Those continue to create value for our shareholders. Obviously the market likes the way we’re de-risking the project and certainly reacted positively today.”

Indeed Pretium opened November 20 at $13.07 and reached $13.25 before settling back at a $12.95 close—still comfortably above the previous day’s $12.77 close. The stock has a 52-week high of $18.15 and low of $8.27. With 94.83 million shares outstanding, the press-time market cap came to $1.23 billion.

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Pretium announces BC Gold-Silver Results, updated Resource Estimate

September 7th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningPretium Resources Inc TSX:PVG announced step-out drill results from the Valley of the Kings Deposit of its Brucejack Project in northern BC. Highlights include

4,195 grams per tonne gold uncut and 2,405 g/t silver over 1.16 metres
18.3 g/t gold cut (or 24.9 g/t gold uncut) and 11.7 g/t silver over 19 metres
(including 150 g/t gold and 90 g/t silver over 0.5 metres)
(including 752 g/t gold and 290 g/t silver over 0.5 metres)

True thicknesses have yet to be determined. Unless indicated as uncut, all gold assays over 500 g/t were cut to 500 g/t. Assays are pending for the remaining 92 metres of this hole.

The underground program drills the Valley of the Kings Deposit from an elevation of 1,270 metres to demonstrate continuity of high-grade gold mineralization. The first phase will slash out the existing West Zone underground workings to five-by-five metres down to the 1,330-metre level. The next phase will advance the decline from the 1,314-metre level of the West Zone to the 1,270-metre level in the Valley of the Kings, a distance of approximately 450 metres. A 10,000-tonne underground bulk sample is expected to be excavated from the 1,270-metre level of the Valley of the Kings in the first half of 2013.

Pretium also released an updated resource estimate today. Using a gold-equivalent cutoff of 5 g/t, the Valley of the Kings Deposit shows an indicated resource of 9.9 million tonnes grading 16.2 g/t gold for 5.1 million gold ounces and 14.1 g/t silver for 4.5 million silver ounces, and an inferred resource of 4.6 million tonnes grading 35 g/t gold for 5.1 million gold ounces and 13.3 g/t silver for 2 million silver ounces.

Using the same cutoff, the West Zone shows a measured resource of 2.4 million tonnes grading 5.85 g/t gold for 500,000 gold ounces and 347 g/t silver for 26.8 million silver ounces, an indicated resource of 2.5 million tonnes grading 5.86 g/t gold for 500,000 gold ounces and 190 g/t silver for 15.1 million silver ounces, and an inferred resource of 4 million tonnes grading 6.44 g/t gold for 800,000 gold ounces and 82 g/t silver for 10.6 million silver ounces.

Total measured and indicated resources come to 6 million gold ounces and 46.3 million silver ounces, while the inferred total shows 5.9 million gold ounces and 12.5 million silver ounces.

The company plans to release its feasibility study in 2Q 2013.

View Company Profile

Robert Quartermain
or Michelle Romero
Corporate Relations Director

Read an interview with President/CEO Robert Quartermain.

Read a feature story about Pretium Resources Inc.

by Greg Klein

Pretium reports BC Assays: 150 g/t Gold, 114 g/t Silver over 17m, 1668 g/t Gold over 0.9m

August 28th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningPretium Resources Inc TSX:PVG announced assays from the Valley of the Kings and Mammoth Zones of its Brucejack Project in northwest BC. Results include

18.31 grams per tonne gold, 21.32 g/t silver over 6 metres
9.32 g/t gold, 13.43 g/t silver over 4.5 metres
18.45 g/t gold, 23.45 g/t silver over 9.5 metres
(including 58.5 g/t gold, 55.4 g/t silver over 1.5 metres)
10.86 g/t gold, 29.83 g/t silver over 6.01 metres
(including 75.6 g/t gold, 75.5 g/t silver over 0.63 metres)
23.06 g/t gold, 20.28 g/t silver over 14.16 metres
(including 201 g/t gold, 124 g/t silver over 1.5 metres)
21.44 g/t gold, 15.33 g/t silver over 9.3 metres
(including 95.3 g/t gold, 46.1 g/t silver over 1.8 metres)
127.96 g/t gold, 64.31 g/t silver over 9.27 metres
(including 902 g/t gold, 245 g/t silver over 0.87 metres)
26.48 g/t gold, 20.77 g/t silver over 10.89 metres
(including 372 g/t gold, 216 g/t silver over 0.52 metres)
12.14 g/t gold, 17.43 g/t silver over 8.15 metres
717 g/t gold, 611 g/t silver over 0.5 metres
13.63 g/t gold, 15.5 g/t silver over 5.06 metres
17.89 g/t gold, 57.3 g/t silver over 9.57 metres
90.43 g/t gold, 38.98 g/t silver over 11.84 metres
(including 1,350 g/t gold, 677 g/t silver over 0.5 metres)
19.61 g/t gold, 23.17 g/t silver over 14.13 metres
150.39 g/t gold, 113.75 g/t silver over 16.97 metres
(including 1,751 g/t gold, 1,250 g/t silver over 1.19 metres)
1,668 g/t gold, 493 g/t silver over 0.85 metres
828 g/t gold, 511 g/t silver over 0.5 metres
0.62 g/t gold, 344.75 g/t silver over 6 metres

The Valley of the Kings Zone has an April 2012 indicated resource estimate of 8.9 million tonnes grading 17.3 g/t gold and 14.5 g/t silver for 4.9 million ounces gold and 4.1 million ounces silver. The inferred category shows 12.7 million tonnes grading 25.5 g/t gold and 11.6 g/t silver for 10.4 million ounces gold and 4.7 million ounces silver. The estimate uses a cutoff of 0.5 g/t gold equivalent.

View Company Profile

Robert Quartermain

Michelle Romero
Corporate Relations Director

Read an interview with President/CEO Robert Quartermain

Read a feature story about Pretium Resources

by Kevin Michael Grace

Pretium reports BC Assays up to 2,393 g/t Gold, 1,605 g/t Silver over 10.7m

July 31st, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningPretium Resources Inc TSX:PVG announced assays from the Valley of the Kings and Gossan Hill Zones of its Brucejack Project in northwest BC. Results include

37.3 grams per tonne gold, 2,600 g/t silver over 1.79 metres
244.5 g/t gold, 157 g/t silver over 1 metre
1,140 g/t gold, 665 g/t silver over 0.5 metres
240.66 g/t gold, 108.72 g/t silver over 12.74 metres
(including 5,242 g/t gold, 2,120 g/t silver over 0.57 metres)
880.78 g/t gold, 427.12 g/t silver over 2.26 metres
(including 3,660 g/t gold, 1,750 g/t silver over 0.54 metres)
2,393 g/t gold, 1,605 g/t silver over 10.71 metres
(including 41,582 g/t gold, 27,725 g/t silver over 0.5 metres)
43.36 g/t gold, 30.7 g/t silver over 10.94 metres
(including 873 g/t gold, 474 g/t silver over 0.5 metres)
17.84 g/t gold, 29.25 g/t silver over 14.34 metres
(including 276 g/t gold, 338 g/t silver over 0.5 metres)
24.06 g/t gold, 102.82 g/t silver over 8 metres (Gossan Hill)
(including 243 g/t gold and 475 g/t silver over 0.6 metres) (Gossan Hill)

The Valley of the Kings Zone has an April 2012 indicated resource estimate of 8.9 million tonnes grading 17.3 g/t gold and 14.5 g/t silver for 4.9 million ounces gold and 4.1 million ounces silver. The inferred category shows 12.7 million tonnes grading 25.5 g/t gold and 11.6 g/t silver for 10.4 million ounces gold and 4.7 million ounces silver. The estimate uses a cutoff of 0.5 g/t gold equivalent.

View Company Profile

Robert Quartermain

or Michelle Romero
Corporate Relations Director

Read an interview with President/CEO Robert Quartermain

Read a feature story about Pretium Resources

by Kevin Michael Grace