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Premier Gold Mines Limited (TSX:PG): A Rapid Growing Low-Cost Gold Producer with a High-Quality Pipeline in Safe Mining Jurisdictions, Ewan Downie, President and CEO Interviewed

on 4/3/2018
Premier Gold Mines Limited (TSX:PG) is a gold producer and respected exploration and development company, with a high-quality pipeline of precious metal projects in proven, accessible and safe mining jurisdictions in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. We learned from Ewan Downie, President and CEO of Premier Gold, that they are a company with a significant growing production profile in the coming years, with two active mines, one in Nevada, one in Mexico, and another five active projects, four of them advanced-stage. Plans for 2018 include constructing a Phase 1 Open-pit mine and the El Nino underground mine at the South Arturo property in Nevada, which should ensure production for many years to come, operated by their partner Barrick Gold, one of the top mining companies in the world. Premier’s 100%-owned Mercedes mine, in Mexico, produces about 80 000 to 90 000 ounces a year and should see long term production, according to new reserves and resources, with reasonable operational costs, significant expiration outside and long term development potential. On the exploration side, there are two projects at the middle and final stages of permitting, the high-grade McCoy-Cove million ounce plus gold deposit in Nevada, and the Greenstone Gold property in Canada. According to Mr. Downie, the company has a lot of cash and will end this year with well over a hundred million (Canadian) in the treasury. With two current mining operations, and three new development projects being implemented in 2018, Premier Gold Mines Limited is number one in terms of future growth among its peers.

Ewan Downie, President and CEO of Premier Gold Mines limited at PDAC 2018

Dr. Allen Alper: This is Dr. Allen Alper, Editor-in-Chief of Metals News, here at PDAC 2018, interviewing Ewan Downie, President and CEO of Premier Gold. Could you give our readers/investors an overview of your company, your focus and current activities?

Ewan Downie: Premier is a gold producer, currently focused entirely on North America. We have two active mines, one in Nevada, one in Mexico. In addition to that, we have five other active projects, four of which are currently being advanced towards development. Two new mines are being built in Nevada, this year, with Barrick making Premier a company with a significant growing production profile in the coming years.

Dr. Allen Alper: Could you tell us a little about your deposits and resources?

Ewan Downie: The South Arturo mine in Nevada is an operation of which we own 40%, Barrick owns 60%. In 2017, we mined out the Phase 2 Open-pit operation. It was very high in grade, approximately 5 gram open pit deposit. It generated a large amount of cash flow for our company, and was completed last year, however we continue to process ore from that deposit. In 2018 we are constructing the Phase 1 Open-pit mine, and the El Nino underground mine at South Arturo that will see production for many years to come.

Our second mine is the Mercedes mine in Mexico, an operation that we bought from Yamana, and it produces about 80 000 to 90 000 ounces a year. It is one that should see long term production and in 2018 we will be releasing new reserves and resources. Mercedes is an underground mine that generates reasonable operation costs, with significant exploration upside potential.

Amongst our other projects is the Greenstone property, host to approximately 9 million ounces of gold in all categories. Situated on the highway in Canada, we’re currently in the middle of permitting for future development that we hope will start in the early 2020's.

The other deposit that we are advancing aggressively, is our McCoy Cove Property in Nevada, located immediately South of Newmont’s Phoenix Mine. It is one of the highest grade, undeveloped, million ounce plus gold deposits in Nevada, with an average grade of close to 12 grams per ton. Currently we are doing the final stages of permitting, to begin an underground ramp development in the second half of 2018. That will mean in 2018, we have three new development projects going for the company.

Dr. Allen Alper: That's outstanding! That's really great work. Could you refresh our readers/investors’ memories on your background, your team and your board?

Ewan Downie: Premier is truly a company that has transformed in the last few years, having made the transition from explorer to producer. Actually Premier was an explorer for almost a decade, since being founded in 2006 as a spin out of a company I started called Wolfden Resources. Wolfden was subsequently acquired in 2007 by an Australian company. It was a base metal focused company. Our gold assets were spun out in 2006 to form Premier. We spent 2006 to 2016 as an explorer, and decided in 2014 to take the company on a different path. We made changes to our board of directors and management from primarily exploration focused personnel to more mine development and operations personnel. Four out of seven of our board members are geological or mining engineers, whereas five/six years ago there would have been none. Recently, we acquired two mines that are now in production, so we successfully made the transformation of taking a company from exploration to production, and I believe we have built a world class mining team that will continue to grow our business.

Dr. Allen Alper: That's excellent! Great! Great planning, great execution! Could you tell our readers/investors a bit about your share and capital structure?

Ewan Downie: At Premier, we have just over 2 hundred million shares outstanding, with a listing on the TSX Exchange here in Canada, and now we are considering a potential US listing in the future. Our five largest shareholders hold close to 40% of the company, a very solid core group of shareholders. I am personally listed in the top 10 shareholders of the company. I think it's a bit rare, in production and development stage companies, for the CEO to be one of the major shareholders of the company. Often CEOs have been brought in as a hired gun, with no real share ownership.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well it’s great to have skin in the game and back your shareholders.

Ewan Downie: Yeah, I believe so too.

Dr. Allen Alper: What are the primary reasons our high-net-worth readers/investors should consider investing in Premier Gold?

Ewan Downie: Firstly, the company has a lot of cash to achieve our goals. We will end this year with well over a hundred million cash (Canadian) and are in very good financial shape. We have two mining operations and three near-term development projects, being advanced in 2018. Within our peer group, I believe we are number one in terms of future growth, and we own low cost operations that generate significant cash.

Dr. Allen Alper: That's Fantastic! Outstanding reasons. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Ewan Downie: No, I think we've touched on everything, thanks for the interview.

Dr. Allen Alper: You’re very welcome.

Ewan Downie, President & CEO
Phone: 807-346-1390

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