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Brightstar ahead of gold schedule with first ore mined

Updated: May 6

Brightstar Resources has made significant progress with its Selkirk open pit. Credit: File

Brightstar Resources has mined the first ore at its Selkirk deposit that forms part of the company’s Menzies gold project, with 1500 tonnes of ore at 3.01 grams per tonne gold stockpiled and ready for processing.

Mining is being undertaken by Goldfields-based BML Ventures, which is part of a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with Brightstar to mine the Selkirk deposit. The Selkirk open-pit gold mine holds 30,000 tonnes of ore grading more than 5g/t tonne gold and haulage of ore to Genesis Minerals’ Gwalia processing plant is scheduled for February next year.

BML will be responsible for all capital, mining and haulage costs, with profits split on an even basis upon reconciliation of gold sales and project costs.

Management says the project is budgeted on a gold price of $2850 per ounce, compared to the current Australian spot price of $3050 per ounce, which presents upside in the forecast economics for the JV. A maiden gold pour is expected in the first quarter of next year. We are pleased to see the continued strong progress made by BML at Selkirk, who are currently ahead of the mine schedule. Pleasingly, the hangingwall lode has been successfully mined and stockpiled on the ROM pad, representing upside to the budgeted outcome for the joint venture. Brightstar Resources managing director Alex Rovira

The company picked up the operation that forms part of the Menzies gold project in May after completing a successful merger with Kingwest Resources. The move was designed to consolidate the gold assets of each company and bring their combined operations a step closer to production through a scheme of arrangements that included Brightstar acquiring 100 per cent of the shares in Kingwest.

In July last year, Kingwest announced it had signed an agreement with the experienced BML for open-pit and underground mining at the Selkirk deposit.

Brightstar says it is actively engaged in reviewing its deposits within its portfolio for other potential mining campaigns, with a “Selkirk 2.0” model envisaged to generate future cashflow opportunities. In particular, the Menzies gold project contains near-surface, oxide material which could potentially represent a low-cost mining and processing opportunity for low-risk, high-margin gold ounces.

In August, the company revealed it had cracked the magical million-ounce milestone after upgrading the resource for its Cork Tree Well deposit to a total of 1.02 million gold ounces across its Laverton and Menzies projects. The independently completed upgrade at the deposit saw Cork Tree Well increase by 20 per cent from 252,000 gold ounces up to 303,000 ounces of the precious yellow metal.

With a pre-feasibility study also underway, Brightstar might soon be shining a little brighter.

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