Bluebird Merchant Ventures has signed an agreement with Southern Gold to develop and reopen the Kochang gold and silver mine in South Korea.
Under the terms of the agreement, a 50:50 joint venture will be formed once Bluebird has spent US$500,000 to complete a report on the feasibility to reopen the mine as well as invest AU$250,000 in Southern Gold by 31 May 2018. Bluebird will be the operator of the project.
The Kochang mine is located approximately 130 kilometres south east of the Company's Gubong project and access to the main entrance is via sealed roads. The mine covers an area of 3.2 square miles.
The Kochang gold and silver mine was worked from 1928 until 1975. In 1991, a report by the state-owned enterprise Korea Resources Corporation (KORES), stated that the mine produced 110,000 oz of gold and 5.9 million oz of silver between 1961 and 1975. The Kochang deposit is an epithermal vein deposit, with the mine having parallel vertical ore bodies that are both easier and cheaper to mine.
More recent mapping has also identified mineralisation of the highly prospective "Main Vein" trend over 2.5 kilometres of strike length. The Main Vein, over a strike length of 2 kilometres, has the highest gold grade structure identified at surface to date with highly significant and very encouraging rock-chip results of 8.2 g/t, 15.3 g/t, 3.61 g/t, 10.5 g/t, 6.35 g/t and 23.9 g/t. A further 500 metres of additional Main Vein strike has been identified to the south of known workings. Assays from rock-chip sampling confirm high tenor, gold mineralisation along the entire strike of the newly mapped Main Vein trend. This is now visually confirmed on surface from a newly located and significant open stope that was historically developed on high grade.
"The Kochang mine has many benefits from a mining perspective," said Charles Barclay, Bluebird COO. "Accessing new ore can be achieved within six months of a decision to mine. The vertical ore bodies make for cheaper mining and development costs. The size of the old mine is smaller than Gubong, and it is highly likely that Kochang could come into production ahead of Gubong."
Colin Patterson, Bluebird CEO said that his was delighted to add this exciting to Bluebird's portfolio. "The project will help Bluebird establish itself as the major gold and silver mine developer in South Korea. The Kochang mine compliments the huge Gubong mine well, and establishes Bluebird on a path to having multiple production sites in South Korea."