Bellevue Gold Limited has today published the Stage One Feasibility Study for the Bellevue Gold Project in Western Australia, situated 400 kilometres north-west of Kalgoorlie and within a high-grade gold and nickel district on the prolific Wiluna-Norseman gold belt.
Bellevue is within 100 kilometres of numerous producing goldmines and in close proximity to world-class nickel mines. The Leinster area is a world-class mining district, host to an excess of 40 million ounces of endowment.
The project has a history of economic production with over 800,000 ounces (oz) at high grade (approximately 15.0 grams per tonne (g/t)) extracted from the Bellevue lodes. The current project is located on granted mining leases.
The current Stage One Feasibility Study forecasts that the project will generate $1.6 billion of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) over the life of mine (LOM) and an average free cashflow of $190 million a year. This projected cashflow underpins an outstanding internal rate of return of 58 per cent and payback period of just 1.4 years (pre-tax).
Bellevue’s projected strong financial performance is based upon an annual LOM production rate of 151,000oz a year and a LOM all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1,079/oz.
The maiden Probable Ore Reserve is 2.7 million tonnes (Mt) at 8 g/t for 690,000oz gold.
The project also has significant growth potential, with new discoveries and additional high-grade mineralisation identified subsequent to the feasibility study cut-off of November 2020.
The recent exploration success is expected to be incorporated into a Stage Two Feasibility Study, which is reportedly well advanced and on track for completion in the June quarter this year.
Bellevue’s Managing Director, Steve Parsons, said the feasibility study shows the project meets all the key investment criteria from both a financial and technical perspective.
“The independent experts have confirmed that Bellevue has an outstanding future underpinned by high-grade mineralisation and the need for nothing more than conventional mining and processing methods,” Mr Parsons said.
“This combination is expected to lead to low production costs, strong margins, abundant free cashflow,” he commented.
Mr Parsons noted that the feasibility study also demonstrates that Bellevue is forecast to have extremely strong ESG credentials on a carbon, water and energy per ounce perspective.
“Bellevue is forecast to have one of the lowest carbon footprints per ounce of production in the Australian gold industry,” he said.
The project is expected to make a significant contribution to the economy over the Stage 1 LOM. Over the initial 7.4-year mine life, the project is forecast to generate over $1.8 billion into the economy, with the vast majority of all project spend going to Western Australian and Australian suppliers and businesses.
The project is also anticipated to offer significant employment opportunities, with 380 personnel expected to be employed during construction and 250 during production.
According to Bellevue, underground development and early site works are progressing rapidly, with more than 1,000 metres of development completed to date.
Early works are planned to accelerate development, with village construction scheduled to commence in mid-2021.
Nick Harch from the company’s debt advisors, Orimco, said the debt funding process is underway.
“We have received preliminary expressions of interest from a large number of Australian and Global banks and debt providers.”
There are currently six drill rigs operating at the Bellevue Gold Project targeting further exploration success and further resource conversion, including the exciting Armand and Marceline discoveries. The Stage Two Feasibility Study is expected to include results of drilling undertaken since the September quarter 2020 that has not been included in the current Mineral Resource.
The Full Bellevue Gold Stage One Feasibility Study can be found here.
A Summary Presentation can be found here.