Australian gold development company Brightstar Resources, in partnership with BML Ventures, has started mining operations at the Selkirk Deposit within the Menzies gold project in Australia.

BML Ventures, a collaboration between BM Geological Services (BMGS) and William Llyod of Integrated Mining Services (IMS), has completed the first blast at Selkirk open pit cutback.

The mining works at Selkirk are planned to be carried out for around six months, with ore being stockpiled in Menzies and subsequently hauled to Genesis Minerals’ Gwalia Processing facility.

The Gwalia facility will process the ore in a single parcel, in February 2024, with the maiden gold pour expected in the first quarter of 2024.

Brightstar said that the start of mining operations at Menzies gold project will help the company transition from a gold explorer to a producer.

Brightstar managing director Alex Rovira said: “We are pleased to see the maiden blast at Selkirk that signifies the commencement of production at the Menzies Gold Project.

“Our joint venture partners BML Ventures have now mobilised to site, with the mining cycle now underway as shown in Figure 1.

“Encouragingly, the project is budgeted on a gold price of A$2,850 per ounce, compared to the current spot price in excess of A$2,950 per ounce which presents potential upside in the forecast economics for the joint venture.”

The JV parties have finalised a conservative gold price of A$2,850 per ounce, to provide adequate risk protection in the event of gold price fluctuations and an upside to the current price of around A$2,950 per ounce.

Brightstar expects the Selkirk deposit to be a profitable operation where mining, hauling and processing activities will support future planned mining activities in the WA Goldfields.

Rovira added: “We remain impressed with the detailed technical and operational work BML is undertaking for the Selkirk Mining JV, and we continue to assess further opportunities at Menzies for exploitation.

“Future mining opportunities at Menzies will be assessed to unlock the bigger-scale ambitions of Brightstar to continue as a gold explorer, developer and ultimately as a long-term producer via our wholly-owned processing plant in Laverton.”