Combined pre-tax earnings of Alta Gold Co., Silver King Mines Inc. and Pacific Silver Corp. totaled $9.3 million for the nine months ending Dec. 31, 1988, a decline from the $10.3 million in the same period a year ago.

Dan S. Bushnell, chief executive officer, said, "We feel that maintaining earnings at this level in the face of market conditions and certain company initiatives is an outstanding accomplishment. He listed these three factors that would have seriously impacted earnings had the companies not been in such a strong operational and financial position:- The price of gold declined from $457 per ounce in April 1988 to $411 by Dec. 31, 1988.

- Pacific Silver and Silver King entered into a joint venture with Echo Bay Mines, providing that company with 40 percent of the gold production from the Robinson operation near Ely, Nev.

- The 1987 earnings by Silver King were increased by a $1.8 million tax savings because of a net operating loss carried forward. The tax savings wasn't available in 1988.

Alta Gold's earnings are included in the Pacific Silver and Silver King financial statements. Bushnell said his intention is to merge Silver King and Pacific Silver and distribute the stock of Alta Gold to shareholders of the other two companies later this year.