Victoria’s Bendigo goldfield just gets hotter with a new find by Kirkland
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The high-grade gold hits just keep coming in Victoria’s Bendigo goldfield, with Canada’s Kirkland Lake Gold reporting up to 191 grams per tonne (g/t) in recent drilling at its Fosterville mine.
Drilling has returned new high-grade, visible gold-bearing intercepts at the Swan Zone, Kirkland (ASX:KLA) told investors today.
Hits included 2.6m at 191g/t, 13.8m at 134g/t and 3.85m at 167g/t. Anything above 5g/t is considered high-grade.
Bendigo produced more than half the world’s gold for 40 years in the late nineteenth century, making it the world’s largest producer between 1850 and 1890.
But up until two or three years ago, it had taken a backseat in the hunt for gold in Australia.
Kirkland is responsible for putting Bendigo back on the map as a hot gold exploration destination.
The company’s 7-million-ounce Fosterville mine is one of the world’s highest-grade gold mines and is currently the largest gold producer in Victoria.
The mine is expected to produce 260,000 to 300,000 ounces of gold this year at an extremely low operating cash cost of $US270 ($363) to $US290 per ounce – making it one of the lowest cost mines in the world.
Kirkland has now also uncovered a new zone parallel to the Swan zone that stretches for about 400m so far.
As a result of the positive drilling results, Kirkland now expects to convert a good chunk of the resource to reserves – ore considered economic to mine – and beef up the resource.
Besides Kirkland, there just two other ASX-listed miners – Chalice Gold Mines (ASX:CHN) and Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL) – and one private company that have the most prospective parts of the Bendigo goldfield stitched up.
The Victorian government estimates there is 32 million ounces of undiscovered gold in the Bendigo Zone beneath Murray Basin cover.
Chalice boss Alex Dorsch told Stockhead recently that the Bendigo goldfield is easily one of the best goldfields in Australia.
“I think really all of the focus has been on the WA goldfields in the last sort of 30 or 40 years and I think a lot of Bendigo has been forgotten about and overlooked,” he said.
“So I think absolutely it is up there with the top opportunities in gold in Australia.”