Vancouver – Bema Gold (BGO-V) and Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank AG have agreed to increase the US$60 million bridge loan facility arranged last July, to US$100 million. Bema intends to use the loan to develop its Kupol gold-silver project in the Chukotka region of northeastern Russia.
Feasibility work at Kupol is slated for completion in May. Bema has shipped most of the supplies it will need ahead of an exploration and development program set to start in the second half of 2005, to two Russian ports before transporting them to the property.
The project contains indicated resources of 6.4 million tonnes grading 20.3 grams gold and 257 grams silver per tonne, for 4.2 million oz. gold and 53 million oz. silver. Another 4.1 million tonnes grading 12.4 grams gold and 171 grams silver are inferred.
The main Kupol deposit remains open along strike to the north and south, and at depth in the north. A drill program, set to begin in May, will entail drilling some 45,000 metres to test the northern and depth extents of the deposit and the offset of the structure southwards.
Bema owns 40% of the Kupol high-grade vein deposit and can increase its stake to 75%.