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Shares in explorer Bellevue Gold climbed 20 per cent this morning on news it now has a war chest of more than 1 million ounces of high-grade gold.

Bellevue (ASX:BGL) has bumped up its “inferred” resource for its namesake project, located 400km northwest of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, to 1.04 million ounces at 12.3 grams per tonne (g/t) gold.

Mineral resources are categorised in order of increasing geological confidence as inferred, indicated or measured. Anything over 5g/t is usually considered high-grade.

The news sent shares up to an intra-day peak of 41c not long after market open on Monday.

But that isn’t anywhere near the highest grade uncovered so far — with grades of up to 445g/t returned from drilling of the “Viago” lode.

Shares reached an intra-day high of 41c.

Bellevue Gold (ASX:BGL) shares over the past year.
Bellevue Gold (ASX:BGL) shares over the past year.

The updated resource for the Bellevue project included a maiden estimate of 550,000 ounces at 22g/t gold for the new Viago lode.

It took Bellevue less than 12 months to grow its resource to over 1 million ounces and the company’s goal is to double that in the next 12 months.

“We’re the second highest grade deposit in the whole of Australia,” boss Steve Parsons told Stockhead.

“Our goal is looking onto the next 12 months and we’d like to be able to replicate the same sort of thing.”

Bellevue was a past producing mine, yielding around 800,000 ounces at 15g/t between 1986 and 1997.

After that it was owned by Jubilee Mines, which was more interested in the big nickel discovery next door, and this high-grade mine was relegated to a water pit.

“They picked it up and dewatered it from their Cosmos nickel deposit into the old gold workings,” Mr Parsons said.

“It was only used as a dewatering exercise. So it’s literally just sat there for 20 years with no work being done on it.”

Bellevue is aiming for another resource update in the first quarter of next year.

High-grade African find

West African Resources (ASX:WAF), meanwhile, has made a new high-grade gold discovery in Burkina Faso.

The explorer discovered a new zone at its Sanbrado project that delivered grades of up to 138.4g/t.

Shares advanced nearly 2 per cent to an intra-day high of 27c.

The zone runs parallel to West African’s existing M1 South discovery.

Managing director Richard Hyde says this new find will boost its planned gold production.

“Infill drilling below reserves has confirmed continuity of high-grade mineralisation and will be incorporated into resources, then reserves to add higher grade into years five and six of the mine schedule,” he said.

Infill drilling is where an explorer drills between wide-spaced holes already drilled that have uncovered something interesting. This is done to better understand the extent of the ore body and grade.

“Optimisation studies to be completed by Q1 2019 will include resource and reserve updates, and planned higher process plant throughput rates resulting in increased annual gold production,” Mr Hyde said.