Bluebird Merchant Ventures (EPIC: BMV), the Asian focused resource development group, is delighted to announce that work is ongoing at three entrances to the historic Gubong mine. All three entry points have been located and surface work to open them up is underway. The positions were found using Ground Penetrating Radar, local community consultation, historical information and old mine plans.
The main adit was exposed earlier this week. This adit had been buried after the closure of the mine in the early 1970’s. Subsequent to that, road construction took place which elevated the general topography even more. To ensure that mine water could not become an environmental issue, the adit was exposed by entering it from above. When exposed, it was found to be flooded however the water is not under pressure and therefore does not represent any significant challenge with regards to dewatering. The fact that the water is not under pressure indicates that the mine above the adit is dry. The focus of work over the next few weeks will be to rehabilitate the adit and dewater it.
More advanced is one of the original decline shafts used in the early days of the mine. A road has been cleared to the adit and opening up has now commenced. This shaft is likely to be our first entry point.
The position of a third adit was also located in the past few days. Land access to the area is currently being assessed and work on exposing and reopening it will then commence.
These three entry points will create access to five of the veins which were historically mined in the early years of the mine. They produced 50% of the gold. Accessing these veins will enable the Company to determine what areas remain to be mined and what the likely grade would be. The Gubong mine closed in 1971 when the gold price was US$38.90/oz. In those days substantial blocks of ore would have been ignored as their grade would have made mining them uneconomic. Many of the areas declared ‘unpayable’ in those days are expected to be economic because of the higher gold price, more efficient mining techniques and better recovery technology. In addition, our information suggests that the mine closed without a systemic program to salvage any of the predeveloped stopes, pillars, remnants, broken ore and vamping. This is highly significant to Bluebird as it means there can be good potential for early, low-cost mining.
COO, Charles Barclay, said “‘Uncovering the main adit was a good milestone in our project. The process of locating the entry points has allowed us to gather a lot of useful information. Knowledge of what happened in the past makes planning the future easier. The fact that we now have potentially three ways into the Gubong mine is very pleasing. As we have previously said, our experience is that mines almost never closed due to resources being exhausted. At every mine that we have re-opened we have been able to extend the life of the mine significantly and some of these mines are still producing today. The Gubong mine is a large mine which gives us plenty of scope to re-open and mine multiple areas at one time.”
THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF ARTICLE 7 OF THE MARKET ABUSE REGULATION EU 596/2014 (“MAR”)