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Bellevue Gold is one step closer to producing its first gold from the Bellevue processing plant in WA in the upcoming quarter.

Stoping is now underway, with the first stope being fired last week in the upper Armand mining area.

Stoping will also occur in the mining areas of Marcelline and Bellevue South during the pre-production phase, which will provide stockpiled tonnes ready for processing plant commissioning.

The fourth production area, Deacon, will be accessed by Bellevue’s development team this quarter with grade control drilling currently underway.

Additionally, the processing and commissioning team has arrived on the site and is working with the site’s construction team to facilitate completion and start-up of the processing plant.

“The project ramp-up is proceeding to plan as we continue to meet key project milestones such as first stoping and the start of commissioning,” Bellevue chief executive officer Darren Stralow said.

Bellevue has obtained an additional $25 million debt facility limit from Macquarie Bank, which is separate to the existing project loan facility with Macquarie.

The new debt facility limit is expected to provide a source of contingent funds and further balance sheet flexibility. There is no requirement or current intention to utilise the facility and it will expire if it is unused on March 31 2024, or earlier if otherwise voluntarily cancelled.

“We are also pleased to have the ongoing support from our bankers Macquarie, which reflects the strength of the project. While we don’t currently intend to draw down the facility, it provides us with a further liquidity buffer and balance sheet flexibility,” Stralow said.

Bellevue has also seen a successful start to toll treating, with the first gold bar being poured. This was achieved through Bellevue’s toll treating agreement with Genesis Minerals.

Additional campaigns are scheduled for September and October 2023.