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Bluebird to drill high-grade Lobo gold prospect in the Philippines

Published by , Editor
Global Mining Review,

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd has announced a fully funded 5666 m drill programme at the Lobo prospect of the Batangas Gold Project in the Philippines.

The 34-hole three phase programme is aimed at further delineating the project’s identified high-grade targets, upgrading the current mining inventory, and providing data to develop an underground mine plan.


  • Lobo is a high-grade gold mining opportunity within the Batangas project area being developed in tandem with a local highly experienced JV partner in the Philippines.
  • The three-phase drill programme will be initially focused on the South West Breccia (SWB) target, which has not been tested at depth or along known extensions; this is just one of nine targets in the system, which has a current 15 km strike.
  • SWB has only been drilled to 80 – 100 m but produced the majority of the initial Probable JORC Compliant Ore Reserves of 171 000 t at 6.6 g/t for 36 000 oz Au excluding silver credits that can be mined in the first 18 months of any operation – indicated resource of 82 000 oz Au.
  • Results at SWB extensions included:
    • 6.7 m at 11.6 g/t Au from 9.3m.
    • 18 m at 6.85 g/t Au from 31 m down hole.
    • 6 m at 7.16 g/t Au from 43 m, including 3 m at 11.5 g/t Au.
  • SWB is likely to be the first area to be mined by the JV – drill data will be used for a mine plan and included in the definitive feasibility study (DFS).
  • Lobo licence area is highly prospective with results across the nine identified targets including:
    • 2.1 m @14.4 g/t Au and 3 m at 12.1 g/t at West Drift, which already has an indicated and inferred resource of 350 000 t at 3 g/t Au.
    • 8.35 m at 18.3 g/t Au and 6.0 m at 31.2 g/t Au located immediately west of the SWB Extension.
    • 19 m surface channel sample with intersections of 19 m grading 9.8 g/t Au at Ulupong.
  • Limestone Target trenching yielded 3.5 m at 25.9 g/t Au including 1.5 m at 56.8 g/t Au.
  • Batangas is one of three gold projects being developed by Bluebird – the other two, Gubong and Kochang, are in South Korea where encouraging progress is being made regarding the grant of the Temporary Mountain Use Permits, the final permit to allow production.

Colin Patterson, Bluebird CEO, said:

“The Batangas Gold Project, one of three high grade gold projects in our portfolio, is being advanced to a production decision by our local JV partners in the Philippines. The focus is on the development of the Lobo 1160 ha. area where five parallel running high grade epithermal veins have been identified over a 15 km strike. Previous shallow drilling over just 1 km delineated a resource primarily at the South West Breccia prospect and included 150 000 t at 6.4 g/t from just the upper 80 m of the mineral resources. To put this into context, it is open at depth and there are nine other identified high-grade gold zones.

“The fully funded three-phase drill programme will test the most prospective and upper parts (below the current identified resource) first and then, if the results are as expected, progressively test deeper extensions and less well-known areas downdip of SWB. There is evidence that mineralisation grade may increase at depth and the aim is to dramatically expand the resource inventory and develop a mine plan for the submission of a DFS and final permitting.

“Importantly, the wider project potential, which will be further tested in the future to expand mine inventory, is clear to see. Drilling at the SWB extension produced results including 2.1 m @ 14.4g/t Au and 3 m @ 12.1g/t. At Ulupong, a high-grade epithermal vein was exposed in a 19 m surface channel sample with intersections of 19 m grading 9.8 g/t gold, while at the Pica Prospect, a series of epithermal quartz-barite veins including 1.5 m at 8.5 g/t Au from 29.8 m and 13.65 m at 2.49 g/t Au from 110 m have been identified. Southwest of Japanese Tunnel, a 500 m strike length zone produced 2 m at 31.1 g/t Au and 3 m at 22.2 g/t Au, while at the Limestone Target, trenching yielded 3.5 m at 25.9 g/t Au including 1.5 m at 56.8 g/t Au. These are exciting results.

“To provide some value context, Batangas was the original listing asset of the company in 2016, and when we raised our interest to 25% it was valued at US$6.8 million. We believe there is huge potential to expand the resource inventory across the wider project, so are delighted with the progress being made by our local JV partner, which has extensive in country mining experience and is funding all work including permitting to a production decision in return for 60% of the project.”

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