BESRA is in the final stages of closing a long-awaited corporate financing which the company hopes will set it on a path to recovery, progress development of its world-class Central Bau project in Sarawak, East Malaysia and enable migration of Besra’s incorporation to New Zealand, as approved by shareholders.
The Can$15 million financing with InCoR Holdings will be used to help place the company’s finances in order and help restore operations at Besra’s Vietnam gold properties. It is also hoped that the financing, in conjunction with the Vietnamese operations, will enable Bau exploration to resume.
Bau has the potential to catapult Besra into a new category. It is a multi-million ounce deposit that the company intends to continue to expand year on year. Located in the rich Kalimantan metalliferous belt on the island of Borneo in East Malaysia, Bau has a long history of gold mining. Itinerant Chinese miners first began working the area in the 1800s and modern techniques made it production-worthy again with the rising price of gold in the 1970s. When the value of gold went the other direction in the 1990s, mining operations ended.
It’s estimated that more than 3 million ounces of gold have been mined at Bau yet previous operations never exceeded 60 metres below surface, and no exploration or mining has been done at depth.
In 2009, Besra obtained an exploration licence on 1400sqkm of mining tenement spread across various regions. Central Bau is the primary focus, and specifically Jugan Hill and Young’s Hill, which both have known deposits.
In January 2014 Besra released the stage 1 feasibility study. Having already brought two gold mines into production in Vietnam, Besra will turn its attention to East Malaysia where it has established an economic justification and the technical feasibility of bringing the multi-deposit Bau property into first stage production.
The initial four year mine life will be extended as nearby deposits are developed utilizing existing plant and infrastructure, and having the effect of further improving the project economics. A stage 2 pre-feasibility study has commenced incorporating south-westerly extensions of Jugan Hill deposit and adjacent deposits. Stage two is expected to extend the mine life to 12 years, increase total production to more than 1 million ounces and should at least replicate or exceed the financial returns of stage 1.
Once in production, Bau is estimated to be in the top 15 largest gold producing properties in Asia.