THE CONFERENCE CALLER: All of the planets seem to be lining up for Black Cat Syndicate (ASX: BC8) as it prepares to make the transition from explorer to miner in one of Western Australia’s most overlooked gold districts. By Mark Fraser
The company is in the throes of completing the feasibility work for its Bulong gold project, which sits just 25 kilometres east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Since listing in early 2018, Black Cat has established a total resource of 2.7 million tonnes at 2.8 grams per tonne for 242,000 gold ounces and now plans to establish its Myhree mine as the operation’s baseload producer before extending mining activities to the nearby Queen Margaret, Melbourne United, Strathfield, Trump and Boundary ore bodies.
So far the feasibility work has been positive, with gold recoveries coming in at over 95 per cent and no environmental hiccups.
Furthermore, the barriers for getting Bulong into production are low.
Aside from the fact the company has granted mining leases in a highly prospective area that yielded 152,000 oz at 1 oz/t before World War I, the granted and pending 128 square km holdings are surrounded by some excellent infrastructure, including a major sealed road, mains power and a number of nearby mills that could treat its free milling ore.
Black Cat will also have access to a skilled workforce, being close to one of the country’s major mining hubs.
Importantly, it boasts a strong management team, including WA industry veterans Paul Chapman (non executive chairman) and Les Davis (non executive director) who founded the now-gone Silver Lake back in the 2000s and were instrumental in turning it into a highly successful WA gold miner.
So far the company has moved with almost lightning speed in developing its assets. Its maiden resource of 109,000 oz was established in the second half of 2018 and, by the end of last year, the drill bit had increased this to the above-mentioned 242,000 oz.
During the 2020 RIU Explorers Conference, Black Cat managing director Gareth Solly said the company had effective gone back to basics after listing just over two years ago.
“We were the first company to do effective exploration here this century – in fact I’d say we were the first company to do effective exploration here, and that’s partly because this is a land holding that no one has had in the past,” he noted.
“We are very active – over 66,000 metres (of drilling) in the first 22 months – and it’s been done with a very small team.
“All of the resources are currently still open … all of it is shallow, about 80% of it is in a potentially open pit mineable position.
“Given the location and other things like the gold price and the rest of the environment we can get started here very quickly. So we are trying to develop resources that are robust and credible.”
Although Black Cat has been focusing on the southern portion of its Bulong tenements, Solly indicated future exploration activities would be expanded to the north, covering the continuation of the Myhree-Boundary, Trump and Queen Margaret corridors which sit in what he called a Kanowna-style package.
Then there was Greater Woodline, where historical drilling had returned mouth-watering intercepts like 2m at 47.60g/t from 116m, 7m at 9.4g/t from 31m, 12m at 8.86g/t from 66m, 1m at 63.1g/t from 4m and 14m from 1.67% nickel from 70m.
If all goes to plan, Black Cat should complete its feasibility work by the end of the March quarter and reach a decision to mine by June.