Bellevue Gold (ASX: BGL) has confirmed the discovery of a bonanza grade zone of more than 120 metres at a maximum 85.9 grams per tonne gold following a diamond core campaign at the Viago lode within its flagship Bellevue gold project, 400 kilometres northwest of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
The bonanza zone confirms “excellent continuity and consistency” of grades and widths across 800m of strike drilled to date at Viago, and demonstrates the presence of a significant Archean discovery which is open in all directions.
The current geological interpretation is that the Viago mineralisation forms “gently-plunging ore shoots” consistent with high-grade plunges identified at the project’s high-grade Tribune lode discovery and at the historic Bellevue mine.
Assays from the recently-completed drilling campaign – conducted less than 150m from the previous underground workings – produced an “exceptional result” of 3.0m at 85.9 grams per tonnes gold from 597m, including 0.5m at 445.0g/t.
Other results were 6.4m at 27.9g/t from 587.6m including 2.8m at 62.8g/t gold, and 6.9m at 18.0g/t gold from 535.9m including 0.6m at 203.3 g/t gold.
Bellevue Gold expects to release a maiden resource estimate at Viago by year end to add to the recently-defined inferred resource estimate at the Bellevue project of 1.9 million tonnes for 500,000oz at 8.2g/t gold.
Further drill testing
Since August, Bellevue Gold has released a string of high-grade results from drilling at Viago, with the best result being 4.3m at 58.8g/t gold from 575.5m.
A host of untested electro-magnetic conductors indicate the potential for additional multiple repeats of high-grade zones within the overall Viago mineralised envelope and will be drill tested over the coming months.
Bellevue executive director Steve Parsons said the latest results from Viago confirm the viability of bringing the historic Bellevue mine back into production.
“Bellevue was one of Australia’s standout high-grade gold mines of the 1980s,” he said.
“We are now increasingly confident that the lodes at Viago and Tribune will continue that legacy well into the future.”
Visible disseminated gold
Bellevue’s diamond core campaign at Viago was focused on 80mx40m and 80mx80m drill centres in the lode’s mineralised shear zone.
The bonanza grade zone has been defined in excess of 120m in the central portion of the new discovery area, and has been characterised by massive to semi-massive pyrrhotite mineralisation with visible disseminated gold over widths up to several metres.
The zone is analogous to the historic high-grade ore zones at the Bellevue mine, which produced 800,000oz at reported head grades of 15g/t gold from a narrow vein operation.
The company said the remainder of the intercepts at Viago are derived from more quartz-dominant intersections characteristic of the proximal ore zone locations at the old mine.
Rich gold history
With a mine life spanning 100 years, Bellevue was once one of Australia’s richest gold mines until the operation shut down in 1997 at around 430m below surface.
Bellevue Gold acquired the project in 2017 and has been conducting the first systematic exploration at the property in over 20 years to uncover the potential of the resource.
With metallurgical testwork to date returning gold recoveries of 98.8%, Bellevue Gold believes it is “just scratching the surface” of a large gold system.
At mid-afternoon, shares in Bellevue Gold were trading 7.69% higher at $0.28.