Bellevue Gold has initiated expansion studies at its Bellevue gold project in Western Australia, by expanding the plant beyond its current capacity of one million tonnes per annum (Mtpa).

Also, the Australian mining company has declared commercial production at the project.

The announcement follows successful commissioning and ramp-up of the new mine, which enabled the company to ramp up production and cashflow.

The project has delivered positive free cash flow over the three months, until 30 April 2024.

In the March quarter, the mine produced a total of 37,338oz, enabling the company to achieve its guidance of 75,000oz to 85,000oz for the six months to 30 June 2024.

Bellevue plans to publish its production and cost guidance for FY 2025 as part of its maiden multi-year outlook in July 2024, after completing budget and life of mine planning activities.

Bellevue managing director Darren Stralow said: “We are now really hitting our straps, with the commissioning and production ramp-up proceeding well and free cash flow growing.

“In parallel with the ramp-up, we are accelerating the next leg of our organic growth strategy, which centres on increasing throughput by 50% to 1.5Mtpa.

“As well as increasing production and cashflow, this would enable us to leverage existing infrastructure, drive further economies of scale and unlock greater value from our exceptional high-grade orebody.

“Low capital intensity organic growth of this nature is at the heart of our strategy to maximise the financial and overall returns for all our stakeholders.”

Bellevue plant was designed to support the expansion of throughput capacity from the current 1Mtpa to 1.2Mtpa without needing any material capital expenditure.

The company operated the plant at an annualised throughput rate of 1.2Mt for a week during February 2024, with no material issues reported.

It has also commenced a scoping level study on a plant expansion to 1.5Mtpa, which evaluates capital requirements, including non-processing infrastructure.

Bellevue’s optimisation and design studies are focussed on maximising the value of the gold project through low capital-intensive, organic production growth.

Furthermore, Bellevue has started to change over to thermal and renewable power solutions, to achieve its goal of becoming a net-zero gold producer by 2026.