THE INSIDE STORY: Numbers, particularly those that quickly increase Resources, are a cornerstone of exploration activities and for gold play Bellevue Gold (ASX: BGL) the numbers continue to add up.
Bellevue Gold has been rapidly increasing the known gold mineralisation around and along strike of the historic Bellevue Mine underground workings, known as the Bellevue Surrounds, at the company’s Bellevue gold project, located 400 kilometres north west of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
The Bellevue gold mine came with some pedigree, having been one of Australia’s highest-grade historical gold mines producing approximately 800,000 ounces of gold at 15 grams per tonne gold before it closed in 1997.
After acquiring the project, Bellevue Gold wasted little time in releasing a maiden 500,000 ounces at 8.2 grams per tonne gold Resource for the project, just to remind market watchers of the project’s existence and the potential it holds for possible rapid growth.
This was followed just two months later with the release of an increased Inferred Resource estimate of 1.04 million ounces at 12.3g/t gold.
This included a maiden estimate for a new discovery made by the company at the Viago Lode, situated less than 150 metres from the historic Bellevue underground workings, of 550,000 ounces at 22g/t gold.
The relatively small amount of work already completed at Viago has already defined a bonanza grade zone in excess of 120m in the central portion of the new discovery zone returning results of:
3m at 85.9 grams per tonne gold from 597m, including 0.5m at 445g/t gold from 598m;
6.4m at 27.9g/t gold from 587.6m, including 2.8m at 62.8g/t gold from 587.6m; and
4.3m at 58.8g/t gold from 575.5m.
The Viago bonanza zone is characterised by massive to semi-massive pyrrhotite mineralisation with visible disseminated gold over widths up to several metres.
Subsequent Down Hole Electro-Magnetic (DHEM) surveying indicated potential for multiple repeats of these high-grade ore zones within the overall mineralised envelope that are analogous to the high-grade ore zones previously mined at Bellevue.
The company holds the scale of high-grade mineralisation at Viago in high regard, with it having been defined over 800m of strike and around 200m across strike and remaining completely open.
The mineralised shear zone has been intersected for a further 100m of potential strike with narrow high-grade intervals intercepted in scout holes testing the northern and southern extremities.
The current geological interpretation is that the high-grade mineralisation forms gently plunging ore shoots consistent with the high-grade plunges identified at the Tribune Lode and the Bellevue Mine.
The company believes recent drilling has proven the Viago Lode could be a company making, high-grade lode style gold discovery.
Even in its ‘newly-discovered’ state, the Viago Lode is an attractive prospect, given that all metal Bellevue reported from the Viago Lode in the Resource upgrade sits between 470m and 590m from surface.
No Resource estimates for previously reported deposits/lodes of the Bellevue project were included in the update.
This provides a good deal of blue sky for any further updates, which Bellevue has flagged to be expected early in 2019 with the company confident of significantly raising the Resource at Bellevue.
“We have just recommenced drilling on site with three drill rigs, and that will soon become four rigs,” Bellevue Gold executive director Steve Parsons told The Resources Roadhouse.
“Those rigs will be stepping out on the Bellevue Lode and stepping out on the Viago Lode.
“So, we expect there to be a fairly positive news flow regarding drilling results over the next few months.
“The next thing will be a Resources upgrade…we said last year that we anticipated a Resource upgrade to be released in the first quarter of this year.
“The Resource currently stands at just over one million ounces at 12 grams per tonne gold and we expect to grow that at the same rate we were able to achieve last year.
“From there we hope to release a further upgrade mid-year, around June or July.”
The current drilling is following up significant results Bellevue achieved from 11 holes it drilled into the Lodes hosted within the historic Bellevue Mineralised Zone directly to the north of the Viago Lode discovery.
That drilling targeted the southern extension of known mineralisation of the unmined section of the Bellevue Lode as well as testing an existing void from earlier stope development undertaken at the Bellevue mine to confirm mineralisation beyond the existing mined areas.
The drilling confirmed the existence of high-grade unmined gold mineralisation that returned highly-encouraging results demonstrating new parallel Lodes only a few metres from the historic Bellevue Underground workings.
0.45 metres at 33.2 grams per tonne gold from 313.95m (New Parallel Lode) and 2.4m at 13.1g/t gold from 417.1 m, including 0.7m at 71g/t gold (New Parallel Lode);
1.6m at 12.5g/t gold from 215.5m (New Parallel Lode) and 0.8m at 2g/t gold from 320.4m (Bellevue Lode);
1.3m at 35.2g/t gold from 75.6m (Hamilton Lode) and 3.9m at 16g/t gold from 191.1m (Bellevue Lode);
0.7m at 17g/t gold from 124.9m (New Parallel Lode) and 0.7m at 11.6g/t gold from 160.6m (New Parallel Lode) and 0.6m at 25.6g/t gold from 202.4m (Bellevue Lode);
1.1m at 9.3g/t gold from 143.9m (Hamilton Lode) and 1.2m at 19.3g/t gold from 208.2m (Henderson Lode) and 2.4m at 26.1g/t gold from 269.9m (Bellevue Lode);
3.1m at 5.6g/t gold from 170.8m (Hamilton Lode);
6.4m at 5.4g/t gold from 90.6m (Tribune Lode) and 0.3m at 10.4g/t gold from 378.4m (New Parallel Lode); and
3.5m at 12.3g/t gold from 411.8m (New Parallel Lode).
It is worth noting that this round of drilling also intercepted several previously unknown mineralised positions, extending mineralisation within the Bellevue Shear 230m further south of previously tested extents of the underground workings.
Modelling completed by the company has indicated the Bellevue Shear to be completely open in this direction and as such has emerged as a high-priority follow up drill target.
As essential as its drilling program is to its exploration activities, Bellevue Gold has also been digitizing the project’s historic mined void models and reconstructing the Bellevue mineralised envelope at the old underground mine.
From this the company has determined that a healthy amount of mineralised material was left unmined during the previous operation due to the mining of only the ‘bonanza-style’ super-high-grade ore shoots and leaving the proximal ore behind.
Bellevue Gold was able to verify this theory by contacting previous mine management and completing further analysis of the mine closure resource void model.
A small portion of this remnant material is included in the current Bellevue global resource estimate and the company considers there to be potential to extend the known mineralisation along strike to both the north and south.
“The results from the most recent drilling at the historic Bellevue underground mine area as well as mineralised extensions immediately to the south of the underground workings confirmed our view that a significant amount of high-grade gold mineralisation remains in and around the historic Bellevue Surrounds underground area,” Parsons said.
“This remaining gold mineralisation is also very close to existing underground development infrastructure, which although is currently flooded, won’t be difficult to re-establish.”
Bellevue Gold Limited (ASX: BGL)
…The Short Story
Suite 3, Level 3
24 Outram Street
West Perth, WA, 6005
Ph: +61 8 6424 8077