Gold developer Bellevue Gold says it has hit first ore at its namesake $252 million project near Leonora after registering record underground development rates last month.
The ore was struck after the company’s contractor, Bill Beament’s Develop Global, notched up a site record of 325m of underground development in June.
Bellevue said the Armand lode was one of five independent mining areas which would be developed in preparation for commercial production allowing for maximum flexibility in mine scheduling.
The Steve Parsons-led company said its run-of-mine stockpile was forecast to exceed 200,000 tonnes at more than 5 grams per tonne gold ahead of plant commissioning in the second half of next year, which would significantly de-risk the mine’s ramp up phase.
The news comes after Bellevue last week locked GR Engineering into a $87.8 million fixed-price contract to build its 1Mtpa processing plant. It means 90 per cent of the project’s pre-production expenditure is locked in via contracts or tenders.
Bellevue also revealed on Friday that camp construction at the project was advancing on time and on budget with 316 rooms landed, 120 rooms completed and the associated dry mess and central facilities operational. The camp is due for completion this quarter.
In October, Bellevue set itself a target of building the world’s first green gold mine in a bid to produce the first net zero carbon emissions gold.
The mine is expected to produce 200,000oz a year at all-in sustaining costs of $1000-1100/oz for the first five years of a 10-year minelife.
The project hosts a mineral resources of 9.8Mt at 9.9g/t for 3.1Moz.
Bellevue’s chief executive Darren Stralow is scheduled to speak on day two of next week’s annual Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie.
Bellevue shares closed up 4.5¢, or 6 per cent, at 85¢ on Friday.