Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has signed a joint venture deal with Southern Gold for the Kochang gold and silver project in South Korea.

BMV will be the operator of the 50:50 JV and intends to reopen the mine, which was closed in 1975 as it was determined to be unprofitable.

The company expects to complete a feasibility report for the project in September this year, with gold production anticipated to commence in the fourth quarter of next year.

“We now look forward to completing the report on feasibility as we progress towards reopening the Kochang Mine.”

The partners are targeting gold production of 100,000oz per year from the mine within five years of commencing operations.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures CEO Colin Patterson said: “We now look forward to completing the report on feasibility and to working together with our partners, Southern Gold, as we progress towards reopening the Kochang Mine.

“We have made good progress since taking on the South Korean projects and we now have two mines that we expect to bring into production.”

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The company has started the required farm-in activities under the terms of the Kochang JV deal reached with Southern Gold in February this year.

As per the agreement, Bluebird will spend $500,000 on a feasibility study to reopen the gold and silver mine.

Additionally, the company needs to complete a placing of A$250,000 in Southern Gold.

Once the feasibility report on Kochang is completed, Southern Gold and Bluebird will share the costs on a 50:50 basis.

Bluebird’s other project in South Korea, the Gubong mine, which was closed in 1971, is progressing towards the completion of a feasibility report next month.