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Pretium finds evidence of market manipulation in probe into 'unusual' price drop

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Pretium finds evidence of market manipulation in probe into 'unusual' price drop

Pretium Resources Inc. said an investigation by an independent legal counsel and consultant found evidence of instances of market manipulation in trading of its shares by one or more outside parties.

The investigation started after a share price drop in January ahead of the release of its disappointing 2018 fourth-quarter production results from the Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia.

According to the independent consultant, there is evidence of market manipulation based on a review of various sell orders in the company's shares in the period leading up to the January release for the production results and in the period leading up to Sept. 6, 2018, when Pretium's share price decreased sharply.

The company added March 21 that the consultant identified an unusually high volume of odd-lot orders and patterns of massive blocks of sell orders created and canceled in rapid succession below and above the best offer.

The investigation found no evidence of an information leak by the company to market participants and found Pretium's disclosure policies and procedures to be compliant with all applicable laws and in conformance with best practices.

The findings have been turned over to the U.S. and Canadian securities regulators for possible further action.