Bellevue Gold (ASX: BGL) has released a maiden indicated resource of 860,000 ounces at an average 11.6 grams per tonne of gold as it works to revive the historic Bellevue mine in Western Australia.
The company said this maiden resource marks its transition to project developer.
The indicated resource figure is part of the overall 2.26 million-ounces resource estimate at an average 10g/t gold, with 1.4Moz at 9.2g/t gold in the inferred category.
The majority of the new indicated figure consists of a high-grade core of 480,000oz at 15.5g/t from the Viago and Deacon lodes that both remain open in all directions.
The historic Bellevue gold mine, 30km north of Leinster, was in its day one of Australia’s highest-grade gold mines, producing 800,000oz at 15g/t gold between 1986 and 1997.
As the company notes, the historic mine was closed and forgotten for more than 20 years and has not benefited from modern exploration and development advances.
Bellevue Gold is the first company to apply modern exploration techniques since work began in late 2017.
Potential to further increase overall gold inventory
Bellevue Gold managing director Steve Parsons said the company now has two clear avenues by which to create further shareholder value.
“This indicated resource and the increases to come will underpin the economic studies on the project which are now well under way,” he said.
Mr Parsons believes the project development phase will demonstrate the technical and economic strengths that come from having a large, high-grade project with simple metallurgy and access to existing infrastructure.
There is huge potential to further increase the overall inventory, he added.
“We are confident that the combination of economic and technical studies and resource growth will drive further increases in shareholder value,” Mr Parsons said.
Three-pronged drilling strategy
Last month, Bellevue Gold appointed mining consultant Entech as study manager to advance the project development.
A three-pronged drilling strategy is underway. It is focusing on increasing the indicated resource, along with further infill drilling to expand the overall resource by increasing the known mineralisation, as well further planned regional drilling to follow up on the recent Government Well discovery 7km from the existing resource.
Underground drilling will start in this second half of 2020 at a lower cost than surface drilling.
Drill sections outside of the current resource — and ready for future inclusions in that overall resource — include 2.3m at 39g/t gold from 819m below surface, 3.9m at 21g/t gold and 2.4m at 27.4g/t gold.