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Brightstar Resources

Overview

The price of gold is nearing a record high. Earlier this year, it topped $2,041.30 per ounce — the second-highest value in history. And there is every indication the previous metal’s value will only continue to climb.

The reason is multifaceted. The world teeters on the brink of a severe recession. Amidst ballooning interest rates, bank failures and falling bond yields, demand for gold continues to rise.

This is to be expected, as bullion almost always becomes a hot commodity during times of economic uncertainty. At this precise moment, gold is simultaneously an excellent portfolio diversifier and a compelling hedge against ongoing inflation — particularly if one invests in the right company.

Brightstar Resources (ASX:BTR) aims to be that company. An emerging mining and development company, Brightstar occupies a strategic land position of roughly 300 square kilometers in the Laverton Tectonic Belt and 140 square kilometers of the Menzies Shear Zone.

The company also owns an existing processing facility that can potentially provide tremendous shareholder value in a low-capital cost restart scenario. In fact, Brightstar has engaged experts for a scoping study to assess the refurbishment of its wholly owned onsite processing plant.

That plant, once fully refurbished and operational, could prove a key differentiator for the company, enabling fast gold production at a low capital cost. This is especially noteworthy given that many other gold companies trading on the ASX are largely focused on greenfield exploration and development. Even once those companies discover a promising resource, mining and processing facilities would still need to be built, undertakings which can incur significant upfront capital costs and take a number of years.

Brightstar also recently finalized a merger agreement with Kingwest Resources (ASX:KWR), under which Brightstar acquired 100 percent of the shares in Kingwest. From a strategic standpoint, this merger has allowed the two companies to consolidate their assets, resulting in combined JORC mineral resources of roughly 1 million ounces, all on granted mining leases.

The strategic merger also allows Brightstar to accelerate development and expansion of its existing mineral resources while also establishing the company as a potential near-term developer.

Brightstar’s Laverton Gold Project assets are all centered on a 100%-owned 300-square-kilometer tenure in the Laverton Tectonic Zone and all within 70 kilometers of the Laverton Processing Plant. Additionally, all resources within this zone are open along strike and at depth. Only minor drilling programs have been conducted in recent years, paving the way for significant exploration upside with the potential for further regional and greenfields discoveries.

Brightstar also owns 100% of the Menzies Gold Project, a contiguous land package of granted mining leases over a strike length of roughly 15 kilometers along the Menzies Shear Zone and adjacent to the Goldfields Highway.

Company Highlights

Brightstar Resources is an emerging ASX-listed mining and development company with more than one million ounces of gold resources and potential on-site processing infrastructure.The company has engaged experts to conduct a scoping study of its processing infrastructure with the goal of refurbishing and potentially expanding it.Once refurbished, this infrastructure will allow Brightstar to fill a growing investment void for near-term gold developers in Western Australia, producing large quantities of gold at low capital cost. Brightstar’s mineral assets are situated across roughly 300 square kilometers of 100-percent-owned land in the Laverton Tectonic Zone. Together, they account for a current total JORC Resource of more than a million ounces.Brightstar’s Menzies Gold Project is a highly promising asset which has already undergone extensive historic mining and development. The Menzies Gold Project’s total current resource estimate is 11.7 Mt @1.33 g/t gold for 505koz gold (40 percent measured and indicated; 60 percent inferred)Brightstar plans to continue generating shareholder value through a combination of development and strategic acquisitions along with some exploration.

Key Projects

Brightstar Processing Facility

Situated close to Brightstar’s existing mineral assets at Laverton, the Brightstar Processing Plant provides the company with a considerable operational head start over its peers. The 485 kilo-tons per annum carbon-in-leach plant is currently on care and maintenance. Brightstar is assessing a refurbishment and expansion strategy for the plant, building on a 2021 report from Cosmo Engineers.

Highlights:

Extensive Infrastructure: Current facilities at the plant include two ball mills, a power station and gravity and elution circuits. Other infrastructure includes:A tailings storage damAn on-site process water pond An operational 60-person accommodation campAn airstrip at the nearby Cork Tree Well ProjectVehicles and equipment including a forklift, bobcat, two loaders, multiple light vehicles and a 30-tonne crane. A Leg Up Over Competitors: The presence of pre-existing processing infrastructure represents significant time savings compared to greenfields development. Low Upfront Capital Cost: A 2021 report from Cosmo Engineers showed that fully refurbishing the plant to a 650-ktpa throughput represents a capital cost of roughly $5.5 million, including $1.9 million in owner’s costs and a 30 percent contingency. Further Expansion: In June 2023, Brightstar announced that it has engaged a team of independent experts to conduct a scoping study which will assess refurbishment requirements and expansion opportunities. Close to Existing Assets: Brightstar’s three major development projects — Cork Tree Well, Beta and Alpha — are all in close proximity to the plant.

Cork Tree Well

Cork Tree Well is a former operating mine, producing 45 koz of gold over its lifespan. Located roughly 35 kilometers north of Laverton on Bandya Station Road, the project’s JORC 2012-compliant mineral resource of 5,610 kilotons (kt) at 1.4 g/t for 252 koz of gold has increased by 20 percent to 303 koz, delivering a combined JORC Resource base of 1.02 million ounces gold from the Laverton and Menzies gold projects.

Highlights:

Promising Drilling Results: Two 6,000-meter drill programs were completed in late 2022, and in the first quarter of 2023 delivered an uplift in tonnages and ounces at a discovery cost of AU$30 per ounce. The JORC 2012 Mineral Resource Estimate increased by 20 percent to 303 koz delivering a combined JORC Resource base of 1.02 million ounces of gold and representing a 65-percent increase to the indicated ounces to 157 koz @ 1.6g/t gold. These results further provide a more robust base for mining scoping studies.

Menzies Gold Project

Situated 130 kilometers north of the globally significant Kalgoorlie gold deposit, Menzies represents one of Western Australia’s leading historic gold fields. The project, fully owned and operated by Kingwest prior to its merger with Brightstar, consists of a contiguous land package of a strike length in excess of 15 kilometers. All deposits are now 100-percent-owned by Brightstar and lie within granted mining leases.

Brightstar intends to leverage its processing infrastructure to monetise the high-grade open pit ounces produced by this mine.

Highlights:

Significant Historical Production: Menzies has hosted multiple historically mined high-grade gold deposits which together produced a total of over 800,000 ounces at 19 g/t gold. This includes 643,000 oz @ 22.5 g/t gold from underground. Area Geology: The Menzies Gold Project is hosted along the Menzies Shear Zone in the western margin of the Menzies greenstone belt. It displays a geologic setting similar to the Sand Queen Gold Mine at Comet Vale.

LAVERTON GOLD PROJECT – OTHER RESOURCES

Beta

Located immediately adjacent to the Brightstar Plant, the Beta Project includes a 60-person camp. It contains a combined JORC 2012-compliant mineral resource of 1,882 kt at 1.7 g/t for 102 koz of gold. The deposit occurs along the Eastern Margin of the Laverton Tectonic Zone, notable for hosting multiple major gold occurrences including Granny Smith, Keringal, Red October and Sunrise Dam.

Alpha

Hosting a combined JORC 2012-compliant mineral resource of 1,452 gold at 2.3 g/t for 106 koz, the Alpha Project. Future exploration programs and feasibility studies will seek to potentially capitalize on Alpha’s close proximity to Beta.

Management Team

Alex Rovira – Managing Director

Alex Rovira holds a Bachelor of Science (geology) and Bachelor of Commerce (corporate finance) from the University of Western Australia, and for the past nine years has been working as an investment banker at a global financial services company that focused on the metals and mining sector.

Greg Bittar – Non-Executive Chairman

Greg has extensive experience in public and private markets mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and strategic advisory assignments across a range of sectors including general industries, metals and mining, mining services and energy.

Jonathan Downes – Non-executive Director

Jonathan Downes has more than 25 years’ experience in the mining industry and has worked in various geological and corporate capacities. He has worked with nickel, gold and base metals and has also been intimately involved with numerous private and public capital raisings.

Josh Hunt – Non-executive Director

Josh Hunt is an experienced capital markets and M&A lawyer and has extensive experience in all aspects of mining and energy project acquisitions and disposals and general mining legislation compliance throughout Australia. Hunt has advised on numerous IPOs, fundraisings, and acquisitions by both public and private companies on the ASX and internationally. He will assist the Brightstar board with corporate governance, company law and capital market management going forward.

Tony Lau – Non-executive Director

Tony Lau is currently the chief financial officer of Stone Group Holdings based in Hong Kong. Lau has worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong for 12 years. Over the past two decades, he has been advising numerous Chinese companies on IPOs and capital raising in the Hong Kong capital market and investing in the mining industry in Australia.

This post appeared first on investingnews.com
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