| Western Australia|
The Bluebird Gold Mine is a gold mine located 15 km south-south-west of Meekatharra, Western Australia.
The mine was owned by Mercator Gold PLC, who placed it on care and maintenance after the company went into administration in October 2008. In January 2011, the mine was sold to Australian mining company Reed Resources for A$26.7 million. The company hopes to reopen the mine by late 2012.
Bluebird Gold Mine Wikipedia
The mine was owned by St Barbara Mines Ltd from 1991 to October 2005, when St Barbara sold it to Mercator, for A$18 million in cash and shares and an $3 million environmental bond. At the time of the purchase, Mercator already owned a number of exploration leases in the area.
St Barbara spent A$30 million on the mine in the early 2000s on upgrading plant and developing its surface and underground operations. Mining at Bluebird was suspended in May 2004. St Barbara subsequently sold the mine to Mercator Gold for A$38 million.
Mining resumed under Mercator in the fourth quarter of 2007. The company planned to produce 90,000 ounces of gold in its first year, rising to 120,000 in 2008. Mining was carried out at the Surprise and the Bluebird open pit.
Mercator announced on 25 September 2008, that mining at its Surprise pit had been suspended because the proximity of the pit to the Great Northern Highway raised concerns. Milling was to continue until October that year and then resume in January 2009. Mercator also planned to raise A$58 million to refinance its operations and pay off its debts.
On 9 October 2008, Mercator requested a suspension of trading following the appointment of Ferrier Hodgson as administrators to the company's operating subsidiary, Mercator Gold Australia Pty Ltd. All mining activities at Bluebird were suspended and the mine placed in care and maintenance. For the 2007-08 financial year, Mercator posted a loss of £31,883,479. Some of the reasons for the closure were a poor mine plan and the inability of the company to raise necessary capital during the global financial crisis.
At the end of 2009, Mercator was hopeful, that the sale of the mine to Meekatharra Gold Corporation, a company to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, should be finalised in 2010. After the Meekatharra Gold Corporation failed in its attempt to purchase the mine, it was sold to Reed Resources for A$26.7 million in January 2011.
Reed hopes to reopen the mine by late 2012 and carry out mining in both an open pit and underground operation.
Production of the mine:1 Figures for January to September 2002 only.