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Brightstar Resources leaps to producer status with first Selkirk blast

Updated: May 6

Brightstar Resources’ maiden blast pattern at Selkirk. Credit: File

Brightstar Resources has made the milestone jump from explorer to producer status following the inaugural blast on the north wall cutback of its Selkirk joint venture (JV) open-pit mine in Western Australia’s historic Menzies goldfields.

Management says mining is expected to run for about six months, with ore being stockpiled in Menzies ready to be hauled 100km in a single parcel to Leonora next year for toll treatment by Genesis Minerals at its Gwalia processing plant. The company is anticipating its maiden gold pour early next year.

The Selkirk mining proposal consists of a cutback of the existing open pit to enable the extraction of ore laterally and from the base of the pit. The mining fleet has been mobilised and site activities are in progress, with budgets, final budget and mining schedule all in place.

We are pleased to see the maiden blast at Selkirk that signifies the commencement of production at the Menzies Gold Project. Our joint venture partners BML Ventures have now mobilised to site, with the mining cycle now underway. 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. Brightstar Resources managing director Alex Rovira

Mining is being undertaken by BML Ventures, a Goldfields-based collaboration between BM Geological Services and William Lloyd of Integrated Mining Services.

BML was incorporated two years ago to fund, develop and operate open-pit gold mines, with a strong technical focus and relationships with local toll treatment operators to maximise profitability from small to medium-sized mining projects.

Brightstar has a 50:50 profit-sharing JV with BML to exploit the estimated mineral resource in the Selkirk deposit, which amounts to 170,000 tonnes at 2.15 grams per tonne gold for 11,500 ounces at a 0.5g/t cut-off grade.

BML is responsible for all capital costs, mining and haulage, while profits will be shared equally with Brightstar. Distribution of profits is anticipated in the first quarter of next year.

Brightstar 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.

Management says that with the project being conservatively budgeted on a gold price of $2850 per ounce to provide a risk buffer against fluctuations, the current spot prices of about $2950 an ounce represents significant potential upside in the economics of the JV’s Selkirk project.

If completed successfully, the Selkirk venture may turn out to be a profitable proof-of-concept operation where collaborative project ownership, management, mining, hauling and processing will prove an effective model for Brightstar’s future mining at its Menzies and Laverton gold projects – especially when it comes to smooth and trouble-free exploitation of the myriad of smaller deposits in its large ground portfolio.

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