Few exploration plays have attracted as much speculative interest this year as the Busang bulk-tonnage gold project operated by Bre-X Minerals (ASE) in the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan.
The company owns 80% of the Central zone, the most advanced of three zones being explored at Busang. This target hosts a potentially open-pit resource of 35.1 million tonnes grading 2.44 grams gold per tonne at a cutoff grade of 0.5 gram.
It is estimated that 2.75 million oz. are contained in the resource, of which 780,000 oz. are classified as measured, 1.8 million oz. as indicated and 170,000 oz. as inferred.
The project’s multi-million-ounce potential has driven Bre-X’s share price to a 52-week high of $59. Meanwhile, Bresea Resources (ME), which owns 24% of Bre-X, climbed to a 52-week high of $57.
In recent weeks, however, both issues have weakened, owing to delays in the reporting of results from the latest round of holes drilled at Bre-X’s 90%-owned Southeast zone.
Four rigs are currently employed in a fence-line drill program on the zone. The fences are spaced at 250-metre intervals, and holes, drilled to an average depth of 250-400 metres, are spotted on 50-metre centres.
To date, 50 holes totalling more than 16,000 metres have been drilled in the Southeast zone, although results have been reported for only 31 of these. The backlog of unreported assays is attributed to the large number of mineralized samples submitted for cyanide leach analysis, a process which Bre-X describes as time-consuming.
Nevertheless, initial results are encouraging. Fourteen holes have been drilled on two fences, and results from eight of these indicate that line SEZ 49 is mineralized over a 700-metre width, while line SEZ 54 is mineralized over 400 metres.
The most recent results are as follows:
Line Hole Width(m)Assay(g/t)
SEZ 1 BSSE-11 19 2.22
SEZ 14 BSSE-15 37 1.68
SEZ 9 BSSE-16 No significant assays
BSSE-17 No significant assays
SEZ 49 BSSE-67 197 2.41
including 62 3.81
BSSE-71 339 3.34
including 145 4.85
SEZ 54 BSSE-72 11 1.47
BSSE-75 11 2.26
including 40 3.99