ASX-listed gold explorer Calidus Resources has entered into a binding agreement with TSX-listed gold explorer Novo Resources to acquire the high-grade Blue Spec project, located about 70 km from Calidus’ 100%-owned proposed Warrawoona gold project.
The acquisition leases lie immediately adjacent to Calidus lease application P46/1972, which is immediately along strike of the main Blue Spec shear.
The Blue Spec project is also located 20 km south east of the town of Nullagine, is accessible by existing roads and with a condition of the sale agreement granted by Novo to permit Calidus access to Novo-owned roads and across tenements, thereby facilitating potential future transport of material from Blue Spec to Warrawoona.
The Blue Spec project consists of two high grade shoots – the Blue Spec and Gold Spec deposits – and hosts a global Joint Ore Reserves Committee 2012 mineral resource of 219 000 oz of gold at a grade of 16.3 g/t. Both deposits are open down dip and along strike, providing exploration upside to known high grade resources.
The Blue Spec mine was mined historically to 320 m vertical depth with existing decline and shaft infrastructure having been established. Surface infrastructure includes offices and workshops, extensive roads and a historical processing facility and tailings dam.
Historically the Blue Spec mine has averaged production in excess of 25 g/t of gold with over 60 000 oz of gold and 1 500 t of antimony produced from the mine.
Blue Spec is known for hosting coarse gold mineralisation and is amenable to gravity separation and processing through the proposed 100 000 t/y sulphide plant that is to be located at Warrawoona next to the main two-million-ton-a-year carbon-in-leach plant. Given its close proximity, Blue Spec has significant potential to provide a strategic high-grade satellite feed to Warrawoona enhancing the production profile and extending mine life at a relatively low capital intensity.
The project also provides Calidus with potential for increased flexibility around mine scheduling at Warrawoona. In addition, some of the plant and infrastructure at Blue Spec may be suitable to include in the proposed 100 000 t/y sulphide plant.
Calidus MD Dave Reeves says the acquisition of Blue Spec will enable Calidus to look at increasing production using the planned Warrawoona infrastructure. “By leveraging our planned sulphide plant and underground mining base at Warrawoona, we intend to undertake study work aiming to significantly reduce costs associated with mining and processing this very high grade deposit . . .”
He adds that extensive work has already been completed at Blue Spec, including mining, metallurgical and environmental studies which will enable a rapid progression of the deposit into Calidus’ Warrawoona mine plan. “With early construction works now under way at Warrawoona and main project construction commencement on track for early next year, we will advance Blue Spec as rapidly as possible.”