Bellevue Gold Ltd (ASX:BGL) (OTCMKTS:BELGF) has taken a key step in its transition from gold explorer to developer with a maiden indicated resource for its namesake project of 860,000 ounces at 11.6 g/t gold.
This resource, which has been independently estimated by a leading consultant, includes a high-grade core of 480,000 ounces at 15.5 g/t at the Viago and Deacon lodes which remain open in all directions.
The company expects a further increase in the indicated resource during the December quarter of 2020 with stage-2 infill drilling to upgrade more of the resource.
Bellevue Gold Project’s overall resource stands at 2.3 million ounces at 10.0 g/t with 1.4 million ounces at 9.2 g/t within the inferred category.
Avenues to create further value
BGL managing director Steve Parsons said the company had two clear avenues for creating further shareholder value.
He said: “This indicated resource and the increases to come will underpin the economic studies on the project, which are now well underway.
“Completion of these studies will mark the transition to the project development phase, which we believe will demonstrate the technical and economic strengths which come from having a large, high-grade project with simple metallurgy and access to existing infrastructure in a Tier-1 location.”
Shares have been more than 10% higher to $1.07 intra-day and since March 19 have traded from 28.5 cents up to $1.225.
Three-pronged drill strategy
Stage 2 drilling is underway to upgrade and grow the 2.3-million-ounce resource and this is in parallel with project development work during the second half of the year.
Mineralisation sits within close proximity to existing underground infrastructure, with further expansion drilling continuing during this half.
Underground drilling is planned with the benefit of a significantly lower cost profile versus surface exploration and increased drilling productivity rates from underground.
Step-out drilling is also targeting multiple downhole electro-magnetic (DHEM) conductors at the project.
Intersects outside the indicated resource ready for future inclusion include 2.3 metres at 39 g/t from 819 metres, 3.9 metres at 21 g/t from 197.1 metres and 2.4 metres at 27.4 g/t from 269.9 metres.
Infill drilling at Viago and Deacon lodes has also confirmed very high grades with results including 5.0 metres at 23.5 g/t from 481 metres, 7.4 metres at 15.4 g/t from 573.8 metres and 6.1 metres at 17.7 g/t from 561 metres.
The three-pronged drilling strategy focuses on growing the indicated resource, extensional drilling to grow the overall resource by extending mineralisation and further planned regional drilling.
The latter will follow-up on the recent Government Well discovery 7 kilometres from the existing resource as well as other high priority Bellevue analogue targets.
Plan view of the Bellevue global resource. The core zone from Viago and Deacon lodes which contains 480,000 indicated ounces is highlighted in red adjacent to underground infrastructure.
Parsons said: “There is also huge potential to continue growing the overall inventory at Bellevue, where the mineralisation remains open in multiple directions and we have numerous well-established targets, some with known mineralisation.
“We are confident that the combination of economic and technical studies and resource growth will drive further increases in shareholder value.”
Since the company’s discovery drill hole in the December quarter of 2017, the resource has grown to 2.3 million ounces and remains open in all directions.
Robust and consistent nature
More than 240,000 metres of diamond core drilling clearly demonstrates the robust and consistent nature of the Bellevue high-grade mineralised system.
This has infilled selected areas of the previous 80 x 80-metre drill grid on which the inferred resources were based, to 40 x 20 metres and 40 x 40 metres drill spacing and in places a closer drill spacing.
Industry-leading mining consultant Entech Pty Ltd has started work as part of its appointment as study manager to advance the project.
Tenders for pit wall rehabilitation, underground re-entry and development and stripping have been received from multiple contractors with a strong interest shown in bidding for the works.
Dewatering is also continuing according to plan.