* To invest $3 mln in exploration program
* Program will upgrade/expand Sleeper gold mine in Nevada
* First phase of exploration to run until March 2011
Sept 13 (Reuters) - Paramount Gold and Silver Corp PZG.TO said it will invest $3 million in an exploration program to expand and upgrade resources at its Sleeper gold mine project in Nevada.
Paramount said the first phase of the exploration program, which is focused on two known gold deposits, is expected to run until March 2011.
"We will also begin the process of evaluating the wealth of less explored targets where new deposits could be found," Chief Executive Christopher Crupi said in a statement.
Paramount is starting a study to determine the feasibility for near-term exploitation of the propertys large surface mineral inventory of gold in tailings and heaps.
"We believe Sleeper's surface mineral inventory could represent an early cash flow opportunity," Crupi said.
Paramount acquired the Sleeper project in the recently completed takeover of Canada's X-Cal Resources, which was announced in June. [ID:nN22137532]
Nevada-based Paramount's shares, which have fallen 24 percent in value since touching a 52-week high in January, were trading up 2 percent at C$1.62 Monday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)