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Pretium on short report: 'We stand by all our numbers'

Pretium Resources Inc. hit back against a firm shorting its stock after the release of a scathing report calling into question its production reporting.

"We stand by all our numbers," Joseph Ovsenek, Pretium President and CEO, told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Ovsenek, getting off a flight when S&P spoke with him on Sept. 6, had not yet read the report in full but said he had received questions and details about it.

The chief executive rejected core claims made in the report by Viceroy Research.

The firm, shorting the stock, has said Pretium under reported how many tonnes of rock it moved at the Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia. The mine has courted controversy over the years, given the variable nature of gold mineralization in the deposit. It is often extremely high grade. And often not.

The short report by Viceroy rehashes Pretium's push to validate its grade and tonnage assumptions, which is made extremely difficult by the deposit's variability. That variability has led to a divide among some deposit modelers over views of the strength of Pretium resources and reserves, and mining plans.

To a degree, Pretium has put those concerns to rest, mining grades during the ramp-up of the mine which are close to expectations.

But Viceroy, which stands to benefit from declines in Pretium's share price, alleged in a 47-page report that the numbers are inflated. It said Pretium moved "undisclosed tonnage" of rock at the mine that, in its view, renders the mine "uneconomic" and Pretium stock "worthless."

Ovsenek rejected Viceroy's core allegation that Pretium underreports the movement of rock, saying it accurately reports tonnage mined on a monthly basis in quarterly reports.

"That's all I can say at this point, until I read the report," Ovsenek said.