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Viceroy alleges Pretium facing personnel 'exodus'

Viceroy Research alleged there was a personnel "exodus" at Pretium Resources Inc. based on a list it compiled of 38 personnel changes at the gold miner in the past year or so.

"Our industry consultants have expressed serious discomfort with the extent of the level of resignations, even when considering many staff were assigned on a contract basis for development works," Viceroy Research said in a report it published Sept. 18.

It said that turnover appears to include Brucejack's general manager Kevin Torpy who, Viceroy noted, is said to have joined Titan Mining Corp. Titan issued a press release about Torpy's appointment as vice president of operations on Sept. 17.

Viceroy said it appears Torpy left the company "in the wake of the increased scrutiny" that has come from its reports.

The allegations are the latest in Viceroy's shorting campaign against Pretium. It has published three reports, alleging operational irregularities at Pretium's Brucejack gold mining operations in British Columbia.

Pretium could not be reached for comment about Viceroy's latest allegations, but it has defended its operations, saying it stood by its production figures.

Still, under pressure from Viceroy Research, Pretium corrected excavation estimates that it submitted to regulators about operations at Brucejack in 2017. To Viceroy, the figures had suggested that Pretium was mining at a higher rate than disclosed.

But Pretium said it erred in reporting the excavation numbers and issued a correction Sept. 10, which was more in line with its production reporting.