Bellevue Gold Limited (ASX: BGL) is confident the latest strong infill and extension drilling results have the potential to significantly improve the forecast production rate and project economics at its Bellevue gold project while incurring minimal additional capital costs.
Managing Director, Steve Parsons, said given this potential impact on the project’s operating and financial forecasts, Bellevue has extended the cut-off date for the inclusion of drilling in the upcoming Stage 2 Feasibility Study to include all drilling results to date. As a result, this study is now scheduled for release in the September quarter.
The latest results will be included in the Reserve and Resource update which will form part of the Stage 2 Feasibility Study. The infill drilling results are consistent with Bellevue’s objective of converting further Inferred Resources to the Indicated category while the latest identified extensions to known mineralisation support the Company’s strategy to grow the total inventory.
Mr Parsons said the drilling results continued to demonstrate the strength of the company’s investment proposition on every level.
The drilling results provide further evidence of the significant scope to grow the total inventory and upgrade more of the Inferred Resources to the Indicated category while also demonstrating the excellent continuity of the mineralisation,” he said.
“These factors are all entirely consistent with the strategic objective of our Stage 2 Feasibility Study, which is to increase production and mine life for a minimal increase in capital cost.
“Given the strength of these latest results and the fact that we incorporated significant scope for growth in the original costings, we are looking forward to completing the Stage 2 Feasibility Study.”
With the addition of the Marceline Lode after the Stage 1 Feasibility study (total Resource of 0.31Moz @ 9.7g/t gold, including Indicated Resources of 0.13Moz at 10.1g/t and with the further significant extensional drilling results reported here from Deacon North, Mr Parsons said the company has confidence in the potential to expand the planned 0.75Mtpa processing plant to 1.0Mtpa for project start-up.
This larger plant design will form the basis for the upgraded Stage 2 Feasibility Study. Due to the significant exploration success and ongoing targets, the delivery timeframe for the upgraded study has been extended to the September quarter to allow the completion of drilling and engineering studies.
The increase in plant size from 0.75Mtpa to 1.0Mtpa and the inclusion of all drilling completed since November 2020 (the cut-off date for the Stage 1 Feasibility Study) is anticipated to have a material positive impact on the project production profile and economics.
Minimal change in capital expenditure is expected with the increased throughput as the original 0.75Mtpa plant was designed for expansion through an expanded crushing circuit and development was largely designed previously to access the new areas of Marceline and the expanded Deacon North.