Very few projects in the world can stand up to the Bellevue mine in Western Australia. This mine was in production for nigh on a hundred years, and produced 800,000 ounces of gold between 1986 and 1997 alone.
But its not the amount of gold produced thats the standout number here. Its the grade.
That 800,000 ounces came out of the ground in ore grading 15 grams gold per tonne.
And youd be hard pushed to find grade like that anywhere in the world these days.
As it stands, Bellevue Gold has been able to book a resource of 2.2 million ounces in double quick time. And the grade stands at a salutary 11 grams to come.
Therell be more to come too, as multiple drill rigs are on site, still turning, and theres a good chance of discovering significant satellite deposits too.
Whats more, any churlish potential investors who might be tempted to grouse that the grade of the new resource isnt quite as good as that of the historically mined ore, would do well to drill down a little further into the numbers.
The current resource includes mineralisation at the Viago Lode, which contains 700,000 ounces grading 16.1 grams per tonne.
Yes, Bellevue truly is world-class when it comes to grade, beating out the likes of Newmonts Boddington mine and Newcrests Telfer mine by a country mile. Indeed, in a list of 22 of Australias biggest and best known gold mines, Bellevue comes second in terms of grade, behind only Kirkland Lakes (TSE:KL) underground Swan Zone operation at Fosterville.
But what about the other variables?
First off, as a former mine, much is known about the way the rock works, both in the ground and in processing. Bellevue Gold estimates recoveries are likely to be as high as 98.8%.
As a former producer, there are some legacy infrastructure benefits too. Grid power is in place and there is a paved road to the project.
But perhaps whats more significant is that the Bellevue mine doesnt exist in isolation out there in that part of Western Australia. Rather it lies in close proximity to multiple major gold operations, including Emu Goldfields Agnew project and St Barbara Minings (ASX:SBM) Sons of Gwalia mine.
This is an area well used to mining, and in which mining companies have a long history of successful operations.
Bellevue Gold is still some way yet from adding to the ranks of the local producers, but its laid some pretty good groundwork in a short period of time.
The company is making strong progress with dewatering of the historical Bellevue underground – this process is on track and within budget.
Dewatering of the Bellevue underground mine will deliver sigRead More – Source