Privately owned and incorporated in Zimbabwe. Bilboes Goldâ€™s operations are situated in one of the most lucrative gold-rich areas in the country. With a historic pick up of projects this has given the company an enviable advantage over any competitors. For the December edition we liaised with Chief Executive Officer Victor Gapare, regarding his company and the projects that are putting this company onto the map.
MINING Gold IN ZIMBABWE WRITTEN BY JACK SLATER
BILBOES GOLD LTD
To start with, Bilboes Holdings Limited is a gold focused mining and exploration company owning and operating four mines, namely Isabella, Bubi, When and McCays, these pre-existing mines are all situated in the Bubi Greenzone Belt of Zimbabwe and were acquired from Anglo American Corporation Zimbabwe Limited in 2003 along with most of their gold mineral rights in Zimbabwe.
ince its inception in 1989 Bilboes has produced 234,000 ounces of gold from oxides through open pit mining and a heap leaching processing method from their existing mines.
The company holds a total of 11,000 hectares in mineral rights and an additional 198,000 hectares of exploration licence applications otherwise known as Exclusive Prospecting Orders. A considerable amount of work has been carried out on claims including exploration, drilling and metallurgical test work which has confirmed the existence of a sizeable gold resource.
Employees All staff, at Bilboes Gold undergo the expected training of such a large and well established company, receiving the necessary certifications required for gold mining and machine handling. Internal promotion is important as the company invests heavily into the experience of their company and understand that it is only by building good, solid relationships with those who work with and for them that they will find continued success in the future.
Suppliers Safeguarding the relationships with their suppliers, vendors and subcontractors is something that has to be a fundamental priority for everyone in management and Bilboes Gold certainly approaches this in the best manner possible. Ensuring payment is on time and that the long term service of their business partners is assured.
The Current Main Focuses Refurbishments of the existing plant equipment and the heap leach facilities play a vital role in the near-cash term projects for Bilboes Gold, these include the treating of oxide materials at the existing mines. This along with the procurement of additional equipment at a cost US$8 million (Bilboes Gold Summary Report July 2013). This investment is expected to pay significant dividends as it is anticipated to produce approximately 12koz/y of gold by the first quarter 2014. In the long term, the future of BIlboes Gold lies within the sulphide resources that underlie the oxide material. Thanks to a US$3 million drilling programme a total JORC resource of 4Moz of gold was established. (Bilboes Gold Summary Report July 2013). US$4.5
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million has been put aside to spend on the project in 2013/2014 on infill drilling, metallurgical and technical studies to put together a definitive feasibility study. To fund the company and the score of feasibility studies a total of US$17 million was raised at the end of 2012, indicating the strong reputation and steady focus of Bilboes Gold. Thanks to these raised funds, Bilboes has the potential to further develop its mineral resource base by taking advantage of the oxides and sulphides within its mines. Which leads us to the Matabeleland Oxide Project
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BILBOES GOLD LTD
Matabeleland Oxide Project The Matabeleland claims host two EPOs, covering Isabella, McCays, When and Bubi. Bilboes have already started treating the oxide material through the existing plant and heap leach facility with the aim to produce around 11koz/y of gold in order to establish a positive cash-flow by first quarter 2014 (Bilboes Gold Summary Report July 2013). By July 2013, in refurbishing the existing infrastructure, which including the earthmoving fleet and the process and crushing plant, Bilboes had invested US$8 million and reached 30% capacity finding themselves solidly on course to reach 100% by first quarter 2014 with future potential to increase production due to current exploration in the transition ore zone.
Matabeleland Sulphide Project
Gold mineralisation occurs in veins and quartz stockworks associated with disseminated sulphides, mainly arsenopyrite and pyrite and between August 2011 and June 2012 Bilboes drilled over 69 diamond drill holes, alongside a total of 123 holes previous drilled by Anglo American in the 1990s, to a depth of 200-250 m and over a 6km strike at a campaign cost of US$3 million in order to compile a resource estimate. Thanks to the results, in October 2012 SRK estimated a total JORC resource of 4 Moz of gold in sulphides across the Isabella, McCays and Bubi Mines. Bilboes is projecting gold production from the Sulphide project of a minimum of 100koz/y within a five year period. (Bilboes Gold Summary Report July 2013).
Gold Quarry Project Within the Mutare EPO application, lies the Gold Quarry, approximately 50km west of Mutare City, the Manicaland properties
Beneath the oxide resources lies sulphide material and in here lies
were acquired by Bilboes in 2006 from Anglo American. Here there
the most ambitious of Bilboesâ€™ plans. The claim areas are underlain
is potential for both open pit oxide and underground sulphide mining
by felsic and mafic schists and greywackes of the Upper and Lower
with silver being a by-product.
Bulawayan volcanic units that form part of the Archaean Bubi
The claims are located within the Mutare Greenstone Belt
Greenstone Belt. This area is transected by three major structural
where gold deposits are scattered throughout the belt within the
breaks known as the Peter Pan, Robin Hood and Courtleigh faults
surrounding quartz diorite stocks, most of them have high silver
with a number of associated northeast-trending splays which control
content with associated lead, zinc and nickel. Of the sulphides present
the hydrothermal vein and replacement mineralisation.
included are galena, chalcopyrite, pyrite, pyrrhotite and arsenopyrite.
Successful feasibility studies pending, Bilboes is anticipating first production from Gold Quarry at a rate of 30koz/y within a five year period.
Future Projects Interest in contiguous areas in Matabeleland (Gwizaan and Isabella) has led to the application for EPOs in those areas. Another pair of applications in the Midlands Province (Gweru and Lower
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Gweru) and in Manicaland (Mutare). Four out of the five EPOs have already been recommended by the Mining Affairs Board for approval by the President of Zimbabwe. US$0.7 million will be spent on reconnaissance work covering mapping, geochemical, geophysical surveys and trenching over the next twelve months and desktop studies have commenced with a view of generating potential targets for further exploration work. In conclusion, Bilboes Gold is a leader in their field for a reason. A combination of strong leadership, long standing relationships and a good reputation have put this company in its current location and with such fruitful projects approaching in the future we are expecting great things from Bilboes Gold.
16 Oxford Avenue, Newlands, Harare P.O. Box BW 449 Borrowdale Tel/Fax: 04-707780/6
srk consulting zimbabwe 28 Kennedy Drive, PO Box GD773, Greendale, Harare Tel: +263 (0)4 496 182; Fax: +263 (0)4 490 144; Mobile: +263 (0)774 490 478 Email: email@example.com
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