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Premier gets South Arturo lift

Premier Gold Mines (TSX: PG) produced more than 30,000 ounces of gold and almost 60,000oz of silver in the first three months of 2018 at its two producing mines, with gold production from its South Arturo project in Nevada already exceeding guidance for the full year.
Premier gets South Arturo lift Premier gets South Arturo lift Premier gets South Arturo lift Premier gets South Arturo lift Premier gets South Arturo lift

Alastair Sharp in Toronto

The emerging gold producer said it remained on track to meet or beat its full-year goal of producing 85,000-90,000 ounces of gold.

Production at the low-cost South Arturo project was boosted in the first three months of the year by operator Barrick Gold's (TSX:ABX) decision to ramp up processing of ore stockpiled from the phase two openpit.

That process is expected to continue in the second quarter, while construction on the site's phase one openpit is also scheduled to start in the period and on the El Nino underground mine in the second half of the year. The company is also seeking to advance a potential phase three openpit opportunity.

"In addition to our strong and safe performance, 2018 is an exciting year for the company as we ramp-up the development of three additional projects in Premier's portfolio including two new mine developments at South Arturo," executive chairman John Begeman said in a statement.

Premier said the South Arturo mine produced 15,541oz of gold and 2,456oz of silver in the period. It produced 15,009oz of gold and 57,370oz of silver at its Mercedes mine in Mexico.

Exploration and resource definition drilling remains the priority at Mercedes, with production likely to be loaded into the back half of the year. The company is making modifications to the mine plan at Mercedes' Diluvio deposit, after accounting for unexpected changes in the orebody geometry.

The company is also developing an access drift from the Laguna mine workings to the higher-grade Marianas deposit, where definition drilling is due to start in the second half.

The company plans to announce its full first quarter financial results before markets open on May 9, with senior management hosting a conference call later that day.

Premier Gold shares were down 4.3% Tuesday at the C$2.66 close, capitalising the company at C$538.95 million.