South Arturo is located in Nevada's Carlin Trend and is a joint venture between Premier Gold Mines and Nevada Gold Mines, a joint venture company owned by Barrick Gold and Newmont Goldcorp with Barrick Gold 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 having been held on September 26.
Ewan Downie, president and CEO of Premier Gold Mines, said: "We are excited to once again realise the benefits of South Arturo, increasing the company's production profile with an anticipated reduction in overall operating costs. Premier continues to benefit from the stellar performance of our partner, Nevada Gold, and its demonstrated ability to consistently execute on schedule."
El Nino is a high-grade underground deposit situated down plunge of the Phase 2 pit, where mining was concluded in 2017. In the second half of 2019, surface and underground drilling will resume in an effort to continue delineating and expanding mineralisation at El Nino.
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 optimise heap leach material with a potential future decision to proceed with the development of a heap leach facility on the property.