THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Bellevue Gold well and truly cemented its place as one of Australia’s leading brownfields gold developers after increasing the indicated resource of its namesake project in Western Australia by an impressive 20 per cent. By Mark Fraser
The company is currently sitting on a total resource of 2.41 million ounces of gold at 10 grams per tonne, which is comprised of 1.04Moz at 11.4g/t (indicated) and 1.37Moz at 9.2 g/t (inferred).
Given Bellevue’s busy field schedule over the past 12 months, these numbers are expected to increase during 2021.
Located 430 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and 40km north of Leinster within the wealth-generating Agnew-Wiluna Greenstone Belt in the Goldfields of WA, the historic Bellevue mine produced around 800,000 ounces from 15g/t ore in a predominantly underground gold operation that ran from 1987-1997.
According to Bellevue, the increased estimate – which was announced during the December 2020 quarter – will further strengthen the baseline economic study now underway at the Bellevue mine while providing scope for a longer mine life, an increased production profile and some stronger financial returns.
This all primarily stemmed from drilling completed between August and November 2020 that focused predominantly on Deacon North and the new Armand lode.
A total of 46,000 metres of diamond core was completed since the previous estimate in July 2020, including further infill, extensional exploration and geotechnical work.
Generating some excitement is the golden high-grade core of Viago and Deacon which – when combined with the third separate mining area of Armand – totals 1.15Mt at 15.2g/t for 560,000 ounces (indicated) and 940,000t at 11.5g/t for 350,000 ounces (inferred).
“This is an outstanding result which demonstrates the exceptional quality of the mineralised system at Bellevue,” the company’s managing director Steve Parsons said.
“To have an indicated resource of this size and this grade, and with such immense scope for further increases, highlights the underlying strength of the project.
“Despite the huge success we have had, I have no doubt that there is still a lot more high-grade gold to be found at Bellevue.
“We are consistently hitting gold along strike and are continuing to find new discoveries with ongoing drilling.”
Bellevue has now completed 292,000m of diamond drilling at the project, infilling selected areas of a previous 80 by 80m drill grid, on which the inferred resources were based to 40 by 20m and 40 by 40m (and even closer spacing in select areas).
All drilling has been conducted as diamond core from surface.
Field activities during the December 2020 quarter also included the first deeper drill holes as part of the WA Government co-funded Exploration Incentive Scheme program which, as reported to the ASX during October last year, resulted in the discovery of Armand, a new parallel mineralised shear zone to the east of Deacon.
Ongoing diamond drilling is continuing to both increase the global resource figure and convert further mineralisation into the indicated category.
Surface work was supplemented by the establishment of underground drilling during December.
The updated resource includes the initial resource for the Armand lode, which was reported as 200,000t at 15.4g/t gold for 100,000 ounces of indicated and 220,000t at 12g/t gold for 85,000 ounces of inferred resource.
Here, mineralisation remains open up-plunge and down-dip, and drilling is continuing at the target.
Intercepts obtained from Armand last year included the most northern drill hit achieved to date on the shoot, which returned an impressive 8.3m at 32.1g/t gold from 358.5m.
Other gold assays included 8.3m at 32.1g/t (from 358.5m), 6.5m at 23.4g/t (384.8m), 5m at 15.4g/t (360.2m), 1.9m at 29.7g/t (379.4m), 0.5m at 22.1g/t (358.5m) and 0.4m at 75g/t gold (360.2m).
Meanwhile, recent drilling at the Deacon lode, supplemented by drill hole electromagnetic data, resulted in the definition of an exciting new target known as the Maceline lode.
Here a significant conductor was defined over 550m by 250m of strike.
Bellevue considers Maceline to represent a major target for resource definition drilling, believing it demonstrates a potential scale similar to the Deacon Central area.
Follow up drilling to advance this discovery is being progressed from surface and underground platforms during the current quarter.
This recent flurry of activity has not been included in the resource upgrade.
The soon-to-be-revived Bellevue mine consists of a high-grade lode gold deposit hosted in the Mount Goode basalt.
The current upgrade represents the amalgamated resource estimate for the project and combined revisions to the previously-announced estimates – plus the new figures for Armand, which had not been previously released.