Black Cat’s underground diamond drilling at its Paulsens gold operation has shown the potential for upgrades to areas within and immediately outside the current mine plan.

In fact, the results highlight the potential for extension and additional ounces to be realised from tighter-spaced drilling. Assays included:

  • 2.83m at 11.48g/t gold from 13.17m; and
  • 1.03m at 170.86g/t gold from 29.52m (PGGC23009) – Main Zone.

Additional results from the Main Zone extension have been received near the margins of the system, including:

  • 1.38m at 3.69g/t gold from 94.40m (PGEX23034); and
  • 0.37m at 5.69g/t gold from 182.63m (PGEX23033).

Paulsens underground is one of Australia’s highest-grade gold deposits with a current Resource of 328koz at 9.9g/t gold (61% Measured and Indicated), including 154koz at 10.7g/t gold (Main Zone), 138koz at 8.9g/t gold (Gabbro Veins), 21koz @ 15.1g/t Au (Apollo) and 13koz @ 10.8g/t Au (Paulsens East).

Future drilling will continue to define the extents of the ~100m vertical extension of the Main Zone, that Black Cat Syndicate (ASX:BC8) says could have the potential to materially add to mine life or increase the production rates in the recently completed restart study.

Main Zone not included in the restart study

The Paulsens restart study includes production of 136koz gold over the first 3 years with an All-in Sustaining Cost (AISC) of $1,892/oz.

Notably, the underground production head grade of 4.3g/t gold is in the top 10 for Australian gold producers and the AISC is in the lower half of Australian gold producers.

“These exploration results are all value adding, whilst the grade control drilling is upgrading the mine plan,” MD Gareth Solly said.

“The Main Zone extension, which has yet to be considered in the recent restart study, is coming in as modelled and has the potential to substantially extend Paulsens mine life and/or production rates.”

Future drilling will focus on adding the ~100m vertical extension to the mine plan with the aim of increasing mine life above the 3 years included in the restart study.

Black Cat Syndicate
Photo looking to the east showing the 2.5km long Paulsens East Trend. Pic: Supplied (BC8).

Even more room to grow at the East trend

In yet more assay results, 3 holes targeting Gabbro Vein extensions in the lower part of the mine have returned results outside the current resource, including:

  • 2.99m at 7.01g/t gold from 67.11m (PGRD23130);
  • 2.02m at 4.35g/t gold from 25.84m (PGRD23129); and
  • 1.35m at 6.58g/t gold from 153.32m and 1.08m at 9.98g/t gold from 167.92m (PGRD23128)

And at the Paulsens East Trend – which has seen only limited drilling despite encouraging results and early-stage resources – multiple mineralised lodes have been intersected. Highlights from the first three holes include:

  • 2.45m at 7.93g/t gold from 285.00m (PGEX23021); and
  • 2.73m at 3.49g/t gold from 304.65m (PGEX23023).

“Results along the 2.5km long Paulsens East Trend, running parallel to, and in the hanging wall of, the Main Zone, are also showing potential for strong growth and new Resources,” Solly said.

Numerous targets have been identified which may provide future mining areas, with surface RC drilling of shallow targets expected to commence in the December 2023 quarter. 

Mine life bolstered by ongoing drilling

Over 12 years of production for ~1Moz, the underground mine has had an average resource of ~270koz, which demonstrates the robust nature of the current resource and that mine life is a function of ongoing drilling in this style of deposit.

“Our short-term goal at Paulsens is to grow mine life and be producing at 60 to 70kozpa,” Solly said.

“Our longer-term goal, subject to further drilling and subsequent development, is returning the Paulsens underground mine to the higher production rates that built Northern Star.”

Near-mine drilling is ongoing, testing several resource extension and geophysical targets, including:

  • Ongoing drilling of the up and down-plunge extensions to the Main Zone;
  • Ongoing drilling further into the footwall, targeting additional Gabbro Veins and lateral extensions to already identified Gabbro Veins;
  • Drilling several conceptual targets and extensions to known lodes in the relatively untested Paulsens East trend;
  • Testing for extensions along strike and up dip of the near-surface Apollo Lode to the north of the main underground workings; and
  • Drilling of the Paulsens Repeat, parallel to and below the mine workings.




This article was developed in collaboration with Black Cat Syndicate Limited, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.