Bardoc Gold Limited (ASX:BDC) (FRA:4SF) has kicked off an extensive drilling program at the 3.02-million-ounce flagship Bardoc Gold Project aimed at lifting reserves as part of a definitive feasibility study that is making strong progress.
The company said that the resource infill drilling program of at least 7,000 metres at the project 50 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie was taking the ongoing DFS into a significant new phase.
This program, targeting additional mining reserves at the cornerstone Excelsior, Zoroastrian and Aphrodite deposits, is designed to unlock the upside potential revealed during the successful open pit optimisations conducted recently as part of the DFS.
Bardoc Gold has also made excellent progress with metallurgical test-work and is now short-listing preferred off-takers.
Potential to grow reserve
Bardoc Gold’s chief executive officer Robert Ryan said: “The recently completed mining studies show exceptional potential to grow the current reserve and mine plan within the current resource.
“We have already commenced an aggressive 7,000-metre resource infill program to improve resource confidence as we look to expand the current 790,000-ounce mining reserve.
“The RC drilling program is underway with assay results expected in the coming weeks. The infill results will form part of the mineral resource update due at the end of September.
“We have had an excellent response to the recent marketing process for our gold concentrate, with our assessments showing substantial upside to the PFS estimations.
"We are working closely with a number of groups as we progress our metallurgical test-work to allow final offtake agreements, which are scheduled to be completed during the December 2020 quarter.”
Mining consultant SMJ Engineering, which has been engaged to complete further optimisations and mine designs for the Excelsior, Zoroastrian and Aphrodite open pits, has completed optimisation work with a focus on the sensitivity of the ore bodies to gold price to identify any additional resource definition, mine design or infrastructure modifications.
Optimisations completed using a gold price of A$2,000 per ounce – up from the A$1,800 per ounce used in the PFS – have been promising, showing significant potential for an increase in ounces at all open pit projects.
The recent drilling success at the Aphrodite deposit, together with the newly completed optimisation, show that the Aphrodite open pit has tremendous growth potential.
Around 3,000 metres of reverse circulation (RC) drilling to focus on upgrading the resource in the Sigma open pit and follow-up on recent successful Omega lode extensions.
At the Zoroastrian deposit, recent optimisation work has revealed potential open pit extensions to the north and east of the previously mined open pit.
These extensions will not impact on the current underground mine plan and drilling has been designed to target the Inferred material within these open pits.
Around 2,000 metres of RC drilling is planned at the Excelsior open pit targeting depth extensions to the current designed pit.
Concentrate offtake negotiations
Bardoc Gold has received initial indicative terms from 16 independent offtake groups and is now shortlisting key off-takers to progress to the next stage, with the help of financial advisor, BurnVoir Corporate Finance.
Initial responses show upside to the conservative approach adopted in the PFS.
A detailed logistics study is also underway to confirm the optimal logistical pathway to transport the concentrate to the appropriate port facility and subsequent delivery destinations.
The metallurgical test work program, supervised by Strategic Metallurgy, includes variability testing of free-milling and flotation ore types for all key deposits.
Final comminution test work and comminution modelling has been completed on different ore types with flotation test work of the Aphrodite ore well underway.
Final metallurgy test-work drilling is being completed at Excelsior to complement the existing information.
Bardoc has also engaged an independent external consultant to critically review all metallurgical test work and processing design from the PFS and to provide guidance during the DFS phase.
This is in addition to the external expert consultants engaged to complete the metallurgical test work and processing plant design studies.
New team member
Experienced environmental and stakeholder manager Helen Chernoff has joined the team and will work towards obtaining all environmental permits and approvals for the projects.
The Excelsior, Zoroastrian and Bulletin are brownfields projects that have all been covered by historical mining and permitting approvals.
New approvals are required for the operations but the company noted that extensive environmental and heritage survey work has already been completed in these areas.
Flora, vegetation and fauna surveys will be undertaken in the spring to provide seasonal variability to verify existing data, as well as to assess areas not included in previous surveys.
The project area is not within Threatened Ecological Communities (TECs) or Priority Ecological Communities (PECs) and there are no registered Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal heritage sites within the proposed footprint of the project area.
An Aboriginal Heritage Survey will be conducted in September to assess areas not included in previous surveys.