Golden Minerals

Premier Gold Mines Announces Federal Government Approval of the Hardrock Project Environmental Assessment

THUNDER BAY, ON, Dec. 17, 2018 /CNW/ - Premier Gold Mines Limited ("Premier") (TSX: PG) is pleased to announce that the Environmental Assessment ("EA") for the Hardrock Project (the "Project") was approved on December 13, 2018 by the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.  The multi-million ounce gold mining project, as proposed by Greenstone Gold Mines, consists of the construction, operation, decommissioning, and abandonment of an open pit and onsite metal mill located near Geraldton, in northern Ontario (see Minister's Decision Statement).

The decision follows a thorough and science-based environmental assessment conducted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency with the participation of Indigenous groups, the public, and federal departments including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, and Natural Resources Canada. Participating provincial ministries included the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. 

"The Ministers' approval of the EA is a significant milestone for the Hardrock Project. Our engagement with representatives of the local Indigenous communities, local communities and the various government agencies has been very positive throughout the process and we look forward to continued advancement of the Project", stated John Begeman, Executive Chairman of Premier.

Greenstone Gold Mines (GGM), a 50/50 joint venture between Premier Gold Mines Limited and Centerra Gold Inc, has worked closely with Federal and Provincial authorities since initiating the EA in 2014. Following the collection of baseline environmental data, GGM submitted a draft EA in February 2016 and the final EA in July 2017. Much of the technical work and consultation carried out prior to the submission of the final EA helped to facilitate the timely approval of the federal EA, which confirms that the Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects considering the implementation of key mitigation measures and follow-up program measures.   

The Provincial Ministry EA Review Report was issued for public comment on October 22, 2018 and approval is anticipated in Q1 2019. Work on construction permit applications are well advanced and will be submitted for review once the federal EA and provincial EA's are approved. 

GGM continues work on de-risking and optimizing the Hardrock Project through 2018, making significant progress in moving the Project towards a Construction Decision.  A Definitive Agreement with Long Lake #58 First Nation earlier in 2018 was signed and GGM is currently negotiating agreements with the other local Indigenous communities. A grade control drill program was completed on the project to better understand mineralization of the top three benches of the mine with the results expected in the Q1 2019.   GGM has also engaged financial advisors to begin the process of identifying the various financing options that may be available for the Hardrock Project.

Premier Gold Mines Limited 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.

This Press Release contains certain information that may constitute "forward-looking information" under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements about strategic plans, including future operations, future work programs, capital expenditures, discovery and production of minerals, price of gold and currency exchange rates, timing of geological reports and corporate and technical objectives. Forward-looking information is necessarily based upon a number of assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including the risks inherent to the mining industry, adverse economic and market developments and the risks identified in Premier's annual information form under the heading "Risk Factors". There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information.  Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.  All forward-looking information contained in this press release is given as of the date hereof and is based upon the opinions and estimates of management and information available to management as at the date hereof.  Premier disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.


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