Blackham Resources (ASX:BLK) has expanded its global JORC resource by 400,000 ounces gold to 6.4 million ounces at the Matilda/Wiluna Gold Operation located in Western Australia.
This increase is associated with the Stage 2 expansion study aimed at growing production beyond 200,000 ounces per annum.
The new estimate includes new open pit JORC resources at the Happy Jack – Bulletin and Adelaide – Moonlight areas.
This is a result of the successful exploration drilling programs to date.
Consequently, Blackham is advancing its mining and processing studies to increase the processing capacity to more efficiently develop the large resource base.
Bryan Dixon, managing director, commented: “The latest Wiluna resource upgrade is likely to add significant base load open pit and high grade underground feed for the Wiluna expansion study.”
Resource upgrade details
JORC resources have now been updated for the Happy Jack, Creek Shear, Bulletin, Adelaide, Moonlight and Lone Hand open pit deposits.
This is in addition to the December resource expansion at the East and West Lodes.
The global resource at Matilda and Wiluna incorporating all the recent updates is now 63 million tonnes grading 3.2 g/t gold for 6.4 million ounces of gold.
This is up from 58 million tonnes grading 3.2 g/t gold for 6.0 million ounces of gold
All resources are within a 20 kilometre radius of the Wiluna gold plant.
Blackham’s 100% owned Matilda and Wiluna Gold Operation is located in Australia’s largest gold belt.
The Wiluna Gold Plant is located in the centre of the combined operation and can process circa 100,000 ounces of gold per annum, known as Stage 1.
The 1,000+ square kilometre tenement package has historically produced in excess of 4.3 million ounces of gold.
A mill expansion study is now in progress, known as Stage 2, which is exploring the potential to grow production beyond 200,000 ounces of gold per annum.
The resource upgrade plays a vital role in justifying and progressing gold production to the Stage 2 level.
Furthermore, the successful drill program speaks to the prospectivity of the ground and its ability to host additional gold resources, which ensures the project has an enduring mine life.
The current mining studies are aimed at feeding half the planned 1.5 million tonnes per annum additional throughput from the open pits and half from the underground.
This indicates a 3+ million tonnes per annum total processing capacity across the Matilda/Wiluna Operation.
Further growth in the open pit resources is likely to underpin the base load feed and growth in the underground resources will provide important grade profile for Wiluna processing plant.
The resource upgrade means there has been a 25% increase in the global JORC resource since last quarter.
It continues to be a transformational period for Blackham whose share price has tripled over the past 12 months, currently priced at $0.775.
The Matilda/Wiluna Operation is one of few Australian gold projects capable of hosting a long-life 200,000+ ounces per annum operation.