In a Feb. 27 research note, analyst Heiko Ihle with H.C. Wainwright & Co. reported that Pershing Gold Corp. (PGLC:NASDAQ; PGLC:TSX) started preconstruction at Relief Canyon in Nevada on Feb. 13, specifically the clearing of about 165 acres of land that will house the project's heap-leach pads, haul roads and waste rock storage facilities.
Once the company finalizes financing for Relief Canyon, which is currently in progress, it will start the six- to nine-month-long "construction of the heap-leach pads, overland conveyors, crushing facilities, contractor yards and optimization of the processing plant," Ihle indicated. During that period, contract mining staff should begin arriving at the property.
The analyst also noted that given the existing infrastructure there, the company can likely advance Relief Canyon to production, likely by sometime in Q1/19 or even sooner should financing details be ironed out quickly. "We expect substantial news flow regarding this throughout the year," he said.
Simultaneously, Pershing is conducting its 2018 drill program, which will focus on primarily four areas "to add near-term ounces to the current mine plan," explained Ihle. He went on to say that such a possibility exists, "given that several of the target areas were selected for follow-up drilling based on prior results that suggested potential for additional discoveries." The targets are the West Step-Out area, which remains open; the North East pit; the Main zone; and the South East Lightbulb pit. Drilling, which commenced in January and is expected to cost about $2.9 million, is slated to encompass 48 holes totaling 11,330 meters.
Additionally, Pershing's significant land package "offers the potential for additional satellite discoveries in proximity to Relief Canyon, namely areas that have seen no drilling thus far," Ihle wrote.
He reiterated H.C. Wainwright's Buy rating and $8.75 per share target price on Pershing, which represents nearly four times' upside from where the stock is currently trading, around $2.15 per share.
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Pershing Gold Corp., Company Update, Feb. 27, 2017
I, Heiko F. Ihle, CFA and Matthew Barry, certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.
None of the research analysts or the research analyst’s household has a financial interest in the securities of Pershing Gold Corp. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).
As of January 31, 2018, neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of Pershing Gold Corp.
Neither the research analyst nor the Firm has any material conflict of interest in of which the research analyst knows or has reason to know at the time of publication of this research report.
The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.
The Firm or its affiliates did not receive compensation from Pershing Gold Corporation for investment banking services within twelve months before, but will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.
The Firm does not make a market in Pershing Gold Corporation as of the date of this research report.