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Bluebird Merchant brings narrow vein mining skills to bear in Korea

The plan is to get into profitable mining at about 30,000oz per year initially and see what the full potential might be as operations go deeper
mine
Narrow vein underground mines are Bluebird management's speciality

 

  • Korea-focused gold junior that aims to have two mines up and running by end of 2019

  • Management has extensive experience in narrow vein mining and re-opening old mines

  • Korea keen for mining to return to country

  • Partner Southern Gold shortly to list in London

 

What it does

"Millions of ounces of gold remain untapped within old gold mines around the world. Bluebird's mission is to bring old mines back to life by utilizing our global experience in re-opening old mines to unlock hidden value."

What it owns

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (LON:BMV) is working at currently closed mines at Gubong in South Korea and at nearby Taechang and Kochang,

Southern Gold is the partner in the Gubong venture and also at the two other mines, gold and silver mine Kochang and copper mine Taechang.

Under the arrangement, Bluebird has paid US$500,000 for a study into re-starting production at each mine along with an A$250,000 placing each time for Southern Gold.

A fourth mine is reportedly close to being added to the portfolio, though Patterson notes there are over 1,400 abandoned gold mines in South Korea and "many more opportunities.”

Bluebird does have a project elsewhere, at Batangas in the Philippines, though this is on a care and maintenance basis until changes to the country’s mining regime are clarified.

Bluebird sees the potential for a resource of greater than one million oz of gold at Gubong with a further 300,000 oz in satellite areas.

The plan is to get into profitable mining at about 30,000oz per year initially and see what the full potential might be as operations go deeper.

What the boss says: Colin Patterson, chief executive

“We expect to have received the 'permits to develop' by the end of Q1, which will allow us to carry out all mining operations at both mines.

“Being able to move both projects forward simultaneously is beneficial as it has opened up the possibility of using a single processing facility, reducing the cost of labour, security and capital expenditure."

Video interview

 

Inflection points

The intention is to re-open both the old mines simultaneously and use one processing plant to save on costs.

A permit application for Gubong has already been submitted while a feasibility report on Kochang will be completed and submitted to joint venture partner Southern Gold I February.

Both mines were closed in the seventies when the price of gold slumped but prior to that had been consistent producers for many years.

The design of the plant and the placing of the facility is expected to be determined by the end of June and be debt funded.

Blue Sky

A fourth mine is reportedly close to being added to the portfolio, though Patterson notes there are over 1,400 abandoned gold mines in South Korea and "many more opportunities.”

“Narrow vein underground mining is a specialist skill not many people have," he says.

“We go in and systematically mine properly, put in the right systems and mining methods and we have the utmost confidence in our ability to make money where no-one else can.

 

 

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Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd Timeline

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