02/09/2021 - 14:11

Bardoc accelerates WA gold production

02/09/2021 - 14:11

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ASX-listed aspiring gold developer Bardoc Gold has revised its cash-flow optimisation strategy and brought forward development of its cornerstone Aphrodite deposit which will increase early profits and free cash flows from its proposed Bardoc gold mine in WA. The revised plan will increase the forecast gold production to 150,000 ounces of gold per year by year three of the initial five-year plan.

ASX-listed aspiring gold developer Bardoc Gold has revised its cash-flow optimisation strategy and brought forward development of its cornerstone Aphrodite deposit which will increase early profits and free cash flows from its proposed Bardoc gold mine in WA. The revised plan will increase the forecast gold production to 150,000 ounces of gold per year by year three of the initial five-year plan.

The Bardoc gold project in the Eastern Goldfields of WA runs contiguously north for 40km. There are five main gold deposits at the project, Aphrodite, Excelsior, Zoroastrian, Mulwarrie and Bulletin South, as well as a multitude of smaller projects with strong exploration potential, all within the 250 square kilometre landholding. Geologically, the tenements are part of the gold-rich Norseman-Wiluna greenstone belt at the junction of the Bardoc Tectonic zone and the Black Flag fault. The two deep-seated crustal structures host many multi-million-ounce deposits, including those in and around the world-renowned “Golden Mile” in Kalgoorlie.

Gold mineralisation within the key Aphrodite gold project area was first discovered in 1996 when Goldfields Limited drill-tested a 1,200m-long gold anomaly identified during a calcrete sampling program the previous year. The first significant intersection returned from the drilling program was an impressive 10m at 8.6 g/t gold from weathered bedrock above what was then labelled the Alpha zone. Subsequent drill programs testing the fresh rock mineralisation around the Alpha zone confirmed the mineralisation at the Aphrodite deposit was contained within two sub-parallel lode structures, known as Alpha and Phi. The Aphrodite deposit has a current JORC Resource of 25.5 million tonnes at 2.03 g/t gold for 1.66 million ounces of contained gold.

Aphrodite speaks for around half the Bardoc project’s global, multi-deposit mineral resource inventory of 54.59 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.8 g/t for 3.07 million ounces of contained gold.

As part of the revised plan, Bardoc’s proposed processing facility will be located at Aphrodite, rather than next to the Zoroastrian and Excelsior deposits. The company says this provides the opportunity to extract further value from the 1.6-million-ounce Aphrodite project and down the line from the highly prospective Omega, Sigma and Gamma lodes.

The optimisation study concluded the revised strategy would increase total production in the first five years by 80,000 ounces and see Bardoc reach mid-tier producer status sooner.

Importantly, Bardoc says the new plan will allow the company to reap the benefits of underground mine extensions earlier in the project’s life.

As part of the analysis, Bardoc has considered the rising costs across the mining industry and despite these forecast increases, the project is on track to generate some robust margins of over $1,000 per ounce at current prices.

Management also says there may be further significant improvements to be made through operating efficiencies to improve the cost profile of the operation.

Bardoc Gold Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ryan said: “Bringing forward development of the cornerstone Aphrodite deposit will see Bardoc reach the 150,000oz pa gold production milestone by year three. With further potential extensions of the Zoroastrian and Aphrodite undergrounds, we can ensure this profile continues well into the future”.

He added, “The plan also de-risks the project by bringing forward the capital expenditure for the flotation circuit and increasing gold production by 80,000oz in the first five years. The increased cash-flows achieved in the first five years of operations will improve the debt repayment profile and ensures Bardoc can return value to shareholders earlier.”

Looking forward, Bardoc has revealed a detailed engineering design for the tailings dam and processing plant is underway and debt discussions are well advanced with Australian and international financial institutions. Bardoc will award mining contract tenders in quarter four of this year with diamond core drilling ongoing at the Zoroastrian deposit targeting reserve and resource upgrades.

Bardoc Gold merged with fellow ASX-listed gold explorers, Aphrodite Gold and Excelsior Gold several years ago and the key projects of the merged entity – Aphrodite, Kalgoorlie North and Mulwarrie – were collectively renamed Bardoc. Two years ago, the company expanded its near-Kalgoorlie land position with low-cost complementary acquisitions including a contiguous tenement package from Torian Resources in and around the Bardoc project.

Bardoc is one of few new +100,000 ounce a year Australian gold projects set to come on stream over the next two years and with the proposed increased early production and a buoyant gold price, Bardoc looks to have the bit between its teeth now.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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