Brightstar Resources Limited (ASX: BTR) and its joint venture BLM Ventures, which is responsible for all capital, mining, and haulage costs, have commenced mining at the Selkirk Deposit within the Menzies Gold Project, conducting the first blast of the open pit cutback, mobilising the mining fleet and agreeing on a final budget and schedule.
Figure 1: Drone imagery of the first blast, executed by BLM Ventures, at Selkirk’s North wall
Hailing from Perth, Brightstar is an exploration company with ambitious aspirations to ascend into the league of gold producers in Western Australia.
Notably, the Company recently concluded its merger with Kingwest Resources Limited through a Scheme of Arrangement, thereby acquiring Kingwest’s Menzies Gold Project to complement Brightstar’s existing Laverton goldfield assets.
Situated across the prolific eastern goldfields of Western Australia, Brightstar’s projects are strategically positioned for the potential to emerge as prominent assets, with the Company amassing a substantial JORC Mineral Resource totalling 21 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.5g/t Au, equating to over one million ounces.
Mining activities at the Selkirk Deposit are set to continue for a six-month period, during which the ore will be stockpiled in Menzies before transportation to Genesis Minerals’ (ASX:GMD) Gwalia Processing facility in February 2024.
The joint venture parties have announced a conservative budgeted gold price of $2,850 per ounce, aimed at mitigating risks posed by fluctuations in gold prices and capturing potential benefits beyond the current spot price of approximately $2,950 per ounce.
As Brightstar reaches a pivotal juncture in its gold exploration and development journey, the Company’s transformation from a gold explorer to a producer gains significance, with the inaugural gold pour projected for the first quarter of 2024.
The initiation of the Selkirk cutback marks Brightstar’s transition from a junior explorer to a gold producer, fortifying its position for planned mining endeavours across its diverse projects within the WA Goldfields.
Figure 2: Menzies and Laverton Gold Projects
Cork Tree Well
Following closely on the heels of its recent publication of outcomes from the Cork Tree Well RC drilling campaign, particularly highlighting the impressive results in hole BTRRC224 with 1 metre at 109.6g/t Au from 167 metres and 3 metres at 8.7g/t Au from 197 metres, the Company has unveiled this latest development.
Notably, Brightstar stands to gain 50% of the revenues generated from the Selkirk campaign, allowing the Company to channel this influx of funds to reinforce its other projects, such as the Cork Tree Well initiative.
Brightstar is close to completing the Scoping Study for its Menzies and Laverton Gold Projects, representing a crucial step in evaluating the economic viability of these projects.
Building upon the encouraging Cork Tree Well drilling results, the Company is gearing up for an extensive exploration campaign, expected to commence in September. This comprehensive initiative will entail approximately 4,500 metres of aircore drilling at the Project site.
Alex Rovira, Managing Director of Brightstar, expressed satisfaction with the commencement of the inaugural blast at Selkirk, signifying the initiation of production at the Menzies Gold Project.
“Our joint venture partners BML Ventures have now mobilised to site, with the mining cycle now underway. Encouragingly, the project is budgeted on a gold price of A$2,850 per ounce, compared to the current spot price in excess of A$2,950 per ounce which presents potential upside in the forecast economics for the joint venture.”
“We remain impressed with the detailed technical and operational work BML is undertaking for the Selkirk Mining JV, and we continue to assess further opportunities at Menzies for exploitation. Future mining opportunities at Menzies will be assessed to unlock the bigger-scale ambitions of Brightstar to continue as a gold explorer, developer and ultimately as a long-term producer via our wholly-owned processing plant in Laverton.”
BTR’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed is currently trading at $0.012 (2.15pm UTC+ 8 hours).