Bluebird Merchant Ventures (EPIC: BMV), the Asian focused resource development group is pleased to announce that swift progress has been made at the Kochang Mine whilst the Gubong Mine has continued to progress.
- Access to over three kilometres of tunnels at Kochang gained
- Considerable quantity of broken ore left behind
- Systematic sampling of the underground workings at Kochang is progressing at a rapid rate
- Metallurgical test work being undertaken at Gubong
- Feasibility studies at both Gubong and Kochang are underway and expected to be completed in Q3
At Kochang progress in exploring the mine has been swift and the findings extremely encouraging. This can be attributed to the predominantly excellent state that the excavations are in after 38 years since the mine closed.
In the past week, the team has been able to view more than 3km of tunneling, nearly half of which is ore drives, and have been able to access 3 stoping horizons. The team have also seen a considerable quantity of broken ore that had been left behind prior to closure. There are at least three separate veins with stoping on each one. Many ore pillars have also been observed.
Survey work with detailed mapping and sampling has commenced and will enable the company to quantify the tonnage available for processing. The samples will provide the material to carry out metallurgical test work in order to define a process flow for recovery. The rapid progress at Kochang has been achieved at a cost to date of just USD 65,000.
The Gubong gold project has now commenced metallurgical testing, the results of which are expected within a month. At site, the team are preparing to install a small water treatment plant necessary to ensure discharge is at an acceptable standard. The cost to install this plant is USD 10,000 and will take two weeks to build.
The Gubong mine closed in 1971 when the gold price was USD 40/oz and the Kochang mine closed in 1975 when the gold price was USD 140/oz. The main reason mines close is due to them being uneconomic over a prolonged period. The present gold price is USD 1,320 /oz. This means that much of what was uneconomic at the time of closure may now be payable.
Reopening old mines is both faster and cheaper when compared to the time and cost of bringing exploration projects to production. An independent report on the Gubong Mine that was previously published on 26 January 2018 stated the potential of more than one million ounces of gold are still to be mined at Gubong. The historical drill results previously announced on 3 October 2017 showing high grade intersections below 500m ranging up to 522 g/t with a width of 0.3 metres demonstrates that the structure of the ore body likely continues at depth. The Directors believe that the grades will also increase at depth which may suggest that the Gubong mine could operate for many years beyond current resource estimates.
The Company has to spend USD 500,000 on each project and produce reports on the feasibility to reopen the Gubong and Kochang mines which will then form the basis of two 50:50 joint ventures with Southern Gold. The Company has the necessary funding to do so from the USD 700,000 of funding led by Colin Patterson that was previously announced on 19 December 2017. Bluebird is on target to complete the Gubong and Kochang feasibility studies during Q3 this year. The Company has a total of 215,173,938 shares in issue.
Colin Patterson, CEO, commented:
“I am pleased with the rapid progress at Kochang and the excellent ground conditions that we are seeing inside the mine. As we start to quantify the broken ore left behind as well undertake metallurgical work the economics of this cheap resource will become clear. At Gubong we continue to make excellent progress along the path towards reopening the mine. Based on what we have seen thus far I am confident that both Gubong and Kochang have the potential to be profitable mining operations.”
THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF ARTICLE 7 OF THE MARKET ABUSE REGULATION EU 596/2014 (“MAR”)