by Ewan Downie
Today’s press release is the culmination of discussions that have been active for well over a year, and represents an important achievement that reflects our willingness to seek innovative solutions in the name of creating shareholder value. We believe we have accomplished just that and look forward to moving ahead quickly to seize the opportunity. This is an agreement that addresses multiple needs for Premier.
Consistent with Premier’s strategy to secure accretive partnerships, this arrangement will broaden our already positive working relationship with Barrick in Nevada and provides certainty in processing a one-time bulk sample of underground material from the upcoming development and test-mining program of the Cove deposit. The mineralization at McCoy-Cove is high-grade, but also refractory. It will be processed at the same plant as the refractory ore we have been mining at South Arturo. It was important for us to get a processing agreement in-place prior to the start of the underground program and before completion of our McCoy-Cove PEA.
The agreement will expand and accelerate the regional exploration effort at McCoy-Cove while Premier retains full ownership of the core deposit. Premier will be operator of the regional program in 2018, but will work closely with Barrick none-the-less. Our option to earn a 100% interest in the Rye Project, provides exposure to one of the highest potential epithermal vein projects in a world-class mining jurisdiction. Meaningful exploration results already exist at the project relatively close to surface. We will leverage what we are learning at Goldbanks to hopefully accelerate our road to success.
What isn’t immediately obvious is that we have safe-guarded our ability to ensure exploration continues at McCoy-Cove during a period where demand on our financial resources will be increased at McCoy-Cove and South Arturo in the coming years. The favourable terms of the Rye Property agreement complements our joint venture with Kinross Gold at Goldbanks.
We are accomplishing all this without diluting our shareholders or increasing our debt. Our shareholders are better positioned for success, but not over-extended.
Good news to start the year, will hopefully lead to great news by the end of the year!