Black Cat Syndicate has shown Northern Star Resources left plenty of meat on the bone when it purchased the gold giant’s Paulsens mine in WA.

And that meat is the mining equivalent of an A5 wagyu, with drilling by the fast moving explorer identifying what is fast becoming one of the highest grade gold deposits in Australia.

Black Cat (ASX:BC8) has today announced a massive 73% increase to 401,000oz at 3.3g/t at Paulsens, with total measured and indicated resources increased 65% to 163,000oz at 8.0g/t.

But the most impressive part of the upgrade is the near tripling of its high grade underground resource to 258,000oz at 10.8g/t, a grade considered stellar by modern standards when most underground mines operate at 6g/t or less.

The unmined gabbro veins have grown 500% to 86,000oz at 11.9g/t, all added at a cost of just $27/oz. The gabbro veins have been identified as a new high grade source of ore and potential start up mining area with a restart decision coming in mid-2023.

Growth on the cards

The upgrade is only based on drilling to December 31 last year along with a new geological model compiled by BC8.

That amounts to just two months of drilling and adds to the even higher grade 356,000oz at 14.6g/t Coyote Central resource outlined by Black Cat at its Western Tanami gold project.

Both were purchased for $44.5 million in a canny one-two punch of a deal from Northern Star Resources last year, added to BC8’s existing 1.3Moz Kal East gold project.

A second rig is due to commence underground drilling at Paulsens this month, accelerating resource growth and boosting the potential for near mine discoveries.

“To triple the underground Resource after only two months of drilling is a sensational start to our growth and mining ambitions at Paulsens,” Black Cat MD Gareth Solly said.

“We see huge upside in the near mine area as well as potential repeat targets and the greater region. Paulsens produced over 900koz @ 7.3g/t Au in the first 13 years that it was mined, averaging around 1,000oz per vertical metre.

“The high-grade and prolific nature of the mineralisation both within the main lodes and in the Gabbro Veins provides strong potential for restarting operations in the near term.”

A decision on a restart of mining at Paulsens, put on care and maintenance by Northern Star in 2018 but kept in a state of operational readiness since, is due later this year.

“With a second rig commencing this month, our drilling activities will increase and expedite additional discovery and Resource growth to enable a decision to restart production at Paulsens, which is targeted for mid-2023.”

The mine already boasts a 450,000tpa processing plant with minimal start up capital required. Its 7km long underground decline is fully dewatered and ventilated and it has a sealed road and gas pipeline all within 7km.

Fresh eyes

The potential of the gabbro veins has confirmed the importance of Black Cat coming to Paulsens with fresh eyes, as Northern Star did when it sealed the company making purchase of the operation in 2010.

Historical mining has focused on a quartz zone within the 1Moz plus gold camp, with the gabbro veins that have become a major focus of Black Cat’s drilling not really pursued.

The unmined footwall veins are adjacent to and up to 200m from the existing decline, presenting a clear high priority start up mining area.

Results have included hits well above 10g/t like 3.42m at 16.21m from 69.70m downhole and 0.22m at 80.6g/t from 72.9m in hole 22PGRD001 and other similarly rich strikes.

Other resources have been identified at Mt Clement (66,000oz at 1.2g/t), Belvedere (30,000oz at 3.9g/t), Electric Dingo (22,000oz at 1.3g/t) and Northern Anticline (24,000oz at 1.4g/t), part of a 15km long structural corridor under Black Cat’s control.

Drilling in 2023 is expected to focus on new mining fronts like the Gabbro Veins and Apollo areas which are close to existing infrastructure, as well as the Paulsens Repeat, a prospect 200m from the decline representing a large-scale faulted off gabbro target.




This article was developed in collaboration with Black Cat Syndicate, 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.