Gold explorer Bellevue Gold Limited (ASX: BGL) has announced a maiden resource estimate for its flagship Bellevue project in Western Australia, containing one of the highest grade new gold discoveries in the country.
The WA-based company, formerly known as Draig Resources before its name change last week, reported an independent JORC 2012 inferred resource of 1.9 million tonnes grading at 8.2 grams per tonne of gold for 500,000 ounces.
The estimate used a 3.5g/t gold cut off, which is considered acceptable based on approximate industry costings for narrow vein underground mining (the likely mining method). Although, Bellevue said a very high-grade component of 1.4Mt at 9.6g/t gold for 430,000oz was reported at a 5g/t cut off.
According to the company, at least 90% of the reported resource extends from surface and is within the top 450m.
This milestone comes just eight months after the initial holes were drilled at the Tribune Lode discovery and Bellevue believes there is significant scope for quick expansion both along strike and at depth.
In addition, the company has deemed the resource as an interim estimate, noting that it does not take into consideration the latest discovery made in the footwall of the Tribune lode system earlier this month.
Further step-out and infill drilling is currently underway to convert this new lode into inferred resources. A number of brownfields and regional targets will also be drill tested.
“We view this very much as an interim resource, with significant scope to delineate further high-grade gold ounces from the current step-out drilling underway at both the Tribune Lode and new Bellevue extension discovery,” Bellevue executive director Steve Parsons said.
He said he expected “strong news flow” over the next few months as drilling operations continue.
The company is anticipating an updated resource estimate in the 2018 fourth quarter.
Historic gold mine
Bellevue’s 100%-owned Bellevue gold project spans more than 4000sq km over prolific gold and nickel belts in WA.
It hosts the historic Bellevue mine, which was one of Australia’s richest gold mines producing more than 80,000oz of gold at an average grade of 15g/t. The mine operated for more than a century before it was shut down in 1997.
The project is also located within proximity of major producing gold mines such as Gold Fields’ (JSE: GFI) Darlot, Agnew and Lawlers mines and Northern Star’s (ASX: NST) Jundee mine, in addition to world-class nickel projects including BHP Billiton’s (ASX: BHP) Leinster and Mt Keith mines.
Due to other gold and nickel discoveries in the region, work at Bellevue had not been prioritised by previous owners of the project, making Bellevue the first company to take advantage of modern advances in exploration techniques to explore the historic mine in the last two decades.
By mid-afternoon, Bellevue’s share price had slipped 2.86% to A$0.17.