Pretium Comes Out Ahead After Bulk Sample Controversy
Pretium's Brucejack project is located about 65K north of Stewart in British Columbia.

Pretium's Brucejack project is located about 65K north of Stewart in British Columbia.

Stock in Pretium Resources (TSX:PVG), a BC gold explorer, surged today after losing ground earlier in the week due to a spat between it and a consultant handling the bulk sampling program at Pretium's Brucejack project.a

As of 2:25 pm EDT, Pretium was trading at $4.00, up 69 cents or 20.85 percent compared to the last trading session in Toronto. Quite a shift from the dramatic fall on Tuesday, when Pretium's chart shows a rapier-like- 90-degree drop from $4.76 to $3.30, just a few cents shy of its 52-week low.

The reason for the volatility in PVG's stock price this week can be explained by a controversy between the Vancouver-based company and Strathcona Mineral Services, a consultant it hired to do a 10,000 tonne underground bulk sample at its Valley of the Kings deposit. Strathcona is the same company that famously declared Bre-X to be a scam.

According to Mineweb, Strathcona resigned over differences in methodology with Snowden, Pretium's chief overseer of the bulk sample test.

"Saying it was caught between consultants, Pretium toldaMinewebaStrathcona had wanted to use a series of representative tower samples - in which there would far more individual samples, but far less material processed - whereas Snowden wanted to go by the complete milling results [from the 10,000 tonne sample] in a series of crosscuts," explained Mineweb's Kip Keen.

What spooked investors was an announcement by Pretium on Tuesday saying that using the tower sampling method, a fifth of the sample averaged just 2.08 grams per tonne gold — which would be uneconomic.aUsing Snowden's approach, the result was double, about 4 g/t.