Blackham Resources Ltd (ASX:BLK) has commenced drilling the reserve extension targets in what is planned to be an initial 13-hole diamond program at its flagship Matilda-Wiluna Gold Operations in Western Australia.
This program will test extensions for immediate mining at the Golden Age underground orebody, which produced 4,958 ounces of gold in the recent September quarter.
There are four high-grade free-milling target areas near Golden Age that are intended to be brought into the mine plan over the next 12-18 months and beyond:
- Footwall ore at Golden Age Upper;
- Golden Age Lower & Golden Age Deeps;
- Golden Age Fault; and
An Exploration Target has been calculated for these targets producing an estimated range of 87,000-317,000 ounces of gold grading 5-6 g/t gold.
Pathway to 120,000 ounces per annum production
Blackham’s executive chairman Milan Jerkovich said: “The recent gold production at Golden Age underground demonstrates the potential to continue to define extensions at our highest-grade ore body, with increased levels of gold production possible over the next 12-18 months.
“This is consistent with Blackham’s strategy to focus on mining our highest margin free-milling ore bodies whilst pursuing the low-cost expansion pathway to 120kozpa gold production from sulphides.”
Targeting production growth in FY20
Blackham has previously guided to production of between 70,000 and 80,000 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of A$1,550-$1,750 per ounce in FY2020.
This represents annual production growth of 7-22% on FY19 which produced 65,406 ounces of gold at an AISC of A$1,760 per ounce.
Production in FY20 will be focussed on free milling ore bodies prior to Blackham transitioning to Stage 1 of its Sulphide Expansion Project, which is planned to commence production during FY21.
Production for the recent September 2019 quarter came in at 17,565 ounces at an AISC of A$1,519 per ounce, the AISC beating quarterly guidance.