·Korea-focused gold junior that aims to have two mines up and running shortly
·Management has extensive experience in narrow vein mining and re-opening old mines
·Korea keen for mining to return
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
Southern Gold is the partner in Gubong and Kochang as well as at copper mine Taechang.
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.
Gubong and Kochang are the immediate focus.
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.
Formal approval to re-open Gubong was granted in November and 'Permit to Develop' the Kochang mine followed soon after.
Samples taken by KORES from a small section at Kochang pointed to an indicated and inferred resource of 113,000oz while Bluebird has estimated the resource slightly higher at 117,000oz.
What's the latest?
The company entered into a short-term £200,000 loan in April 2020 to help tide it over during the coronavirus crisis. At the same time it also announced a potential US$5mln deal with a South Korean company that saw its shares jump significantly. The deal would involve a US$5mln debt facility to be repaid out of gold production.
The company said that as South Korea is now emerging from the coronavirus crisis it "believes it is unlikely that there will be a long-term material effect to its business or its ability to bring about gold production. In the immediate term, the company business is being managed by our Korean staff."
- The intention is to re-open both the old mines simultaneously and use one processing plant to save on costs.
- A permit to develop Gubong has been granted.
- Both mines were closed in the seventies when the price of gold slumped but prior to that had been consistent producers for many years.
A fourth mine might be 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.”