Bluebird Merchant Ventures has discovered a shaft at the Gubong mine in South Korea, which it believes can provide a main return airway for mining operations. Bluebird is working to re-open the gold mine, which it believes has the potential to develop into a multi-million ounce project.

Bluebird said it will assess what work needs to be undertaken to reopen the shaft. The Gubong mine was closed in 1967 when its gold grades were considered uneconomic.

Bluebird’s chief operating officer Charles Barclay said, “As we will initially be having very few people underground and little equipment, we can work in natural ventilation, which is the same as would be found in caves. This is the reason we need to have an open airway.

“The added benefit is that it will also save us a lot of power costs.”

The Gubong Gold Project consists of a number of historical underground mines within about 20km of each other, including the Gubong mine area itself, which is host to numerous historical mines that have exploited multiple gold-bearing orogenic quartz veins over 5km along strike and several kilometres across strike.

Gubong was South Korea’s largest gold producer from 1930-1943, during the Japanese occupation, and still retains a substantial remnant reef between mined blocks and excellent exploration potential. Mine data indicates good potential for mine re-commissioning and the possibility of relatively early cash flow.

The Gubong district also hosts a number of brownfields exploration opportunities that, if resources were proven up, would be within trucking distance of a potential Gubong mine central milling facility.

Bluebird is the development partner at Gubong for ASX-listed Southern Gold, whose Korean subsidiary Southern Gold Korea (SGK) recently received approval from South Korean regulators enabling the re-opening of and access to the historic underground gold mine.

The approval enables Bluebird to achieve access and begin its process of project assessment under the farm-in and joint venture agreement signed with Southern Gold in March this year.

Bluebird’s primary projects are the Gubong and Taechang mines in South Korea. In the Philippines, Bluebird’s major project is the Batangas Gold Project, which has two mining licences and established JORC resources of 445,000 ounces of gold.

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