An image of the 20MW Solar Array, located at the Bellevue Gold Project in Western Australia.

Commercial production has been declared at the Bellevue Gold Project in Western Australia following the commissioning process at the site.

Bellevue Gold announced that positive free cash flow has been delivered over the three months to 30 April 2024. Production totalled 37,338oz in the March 2024 quarter, with the company on track to achieve guidance of 75,000 to 85,000oz for the six months to 30 June 2024.

Bellevue will publish FY25 production and cost guidance as part of its maiden multi-year outlook, which is expected to be released in July 2024 following completion of budget and life of mine planning activities.

As a part of the multi-year outlook, the company said studies are underway on maximising the potential of the Bellevue Gold Project by expanding the plant beyond its current nameplate operating rate of 1Mtpa.

The plant was designed to enable throughput capacity to be increased from 1Mtpa to 1.2Mtpa with no material capital expenditure required. To confirm this, the plant was operated at an annualised throughput rate of 1.2Mt for a week during February 2024 with no material issues arising.

Bellevue has also commenced a scoping level study on a plant expansion to 1.5Mtpa to investigate capital requirements for the expansion and include non-processing infrastructure. This study is expected to be completed in H1 FY25.

Bellevue Gold said that optimisation and design studies are focused on maximising the value of the Bellevue Gold Project through the delivery of low capital intensive, organic production growth.

The company also announced that as part of its strategy to achieve its aspirational goal of being a net zero gold producer by 2026, change over to the thermal and renewable power solution has begun, switching from the diesel power plant used during the commissioning period. 

The thermal LNG components of the power plant have been fully completed and commissioned and are now providing base load power. Installation of the initial 20MW solar array has been completed with the first 7MW being commissioned. Earthworks begin in May 2024 on the 24MW wind power turbines with completion and commissioning expected in Q1 CY25.

Bellevue Managing Director, Darren Stralow, said, “We are now really hitting our straps, with the commissioning and production ramp up proceeding well and free cash flow growing.

“In parallel with the ramp-up, we are accelerating the next leg of our organic growth strategy, which centres on increasing throughput by 50 per cent to 1.5Mtpa.

“As well as increasing production and cashflow, this would enable us to leverage existing infrastructure, drive further economies of scale and unlock greater value from our exceptional high-grade orebody.

“Low capital intensity organic growth of this nature is at the heart of our strategy to maximise the financial and overall returns for all our stakeholders”.

Featured image: The 20MW Solar Array at the Bellevue Gold Project. Image credit: Bellevue Gold.

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