Wiluna Mining Corporation Ltd (ASX:WMX) has received more high-grade gold results from resource development and infill drilling at the Wiluna, Regent and Lake Way mining centres of its Wiluna Mining Operation in Western Australia.
Sulphide resource drilling at Calvert and East Lode produced strong results with 76.5 metres at 1.77 g/t from 380.5 metres intersected at Calvert demonstrating a large-scale gold system.
This included results of 1.65 metres at 7.35 g/t from 431.25 metres and 2.47 metres at 12.78 g/t from 448.53 metres while Calvert also returned 1.92 metres at 10.05 g/t from 358.08 metres.
East Lode South returnéd 6 metres at 8.66 g/t from 298 metres and 8 metres at 8.35 g/t from 102 metres while best Lennon results were 5.21 metres at 5.82 g/t from 28.43 metres and 2.56 metres at 8.46 g/t from 67.54 metres and 5.15 metres at 18.25 g/t from 90.38 metres.
“Great confidence in Wiluna”
The results will enable the company to complete detailed mineral resources and reserves estimates as part of the Wiluna stage one sulphides expansion project.
Wiluna Mining executive chair Milan Jerkovic said: “These ongoing results from drilling ‘under the headframe’ are continuing to deliver into our stage one sulphide strategy as we pursue shallow high-grade resource development targets.
“Our initial sulphide resource drilling program commenced at the Wiluna Mining Centre at Bulletin and Essex and has progressed to Calvert and the East Lode.
“We have had exceptional drilling results from all these areas and this has given us great confidence that Wiluna remains one of the largest undeveloped gold systems in Australia.”
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Calvert cross section showing high-grade zone within very wide lower-grade zone that may be amenable to bulk underground mining.
Mineral resource estimate pending
The company intends to update mineral resource estimates in September 2020 and reserves in December 2020.
Jerkovic said: “Our plan to convert the large sulphide inferred resources at Wiluna into indicated resources continues to gather momentum and confidence with every new hole.
“These results will lead to new resource and reserves updates and mine planning work scheduled before the end of the calendar year.
“We believe that from these results we will add meaningful ounces to our already significant mineral resource, which is currently 6.4 million ounces, and our reserves which are currently 1.4 million ounces.
“We aim to convert resources to reserves very economically at approximately $50-$60/ounce, and to discover mineral resources at $15/ounce."
Stage 1 expansion plan
The company plans to commence underground mining of sulphide ore at an annual rate of 750,000 tonnes of ore for the stage one processing sulphide expansion which is expected to produce around 120,000 ounces in gold doré and gold in concentrate from September 2021.
In the preliminary stage one mining plan, the average head grade of the underground ore at the Wiluna Mining centre is 4.7 g/t but historically the average grade mined was between 6 to 8 g/t, and the Bulletin shoot alone produced 900,000 ounces at 8 g/t.
These high-grade drilling results give confidence that it may be possible to increase the mined grade.
The company is targeting high-grade zones, because every 1 g/t increase in the grade in the sulphides should result in an additional 25,000 ounces per annum of production in stage one and 50,000 ounces per annum in stage two.
Jerkovic said: “It is important that we emphasise our current operations, until the commencement of stage one concentrate production in September 2021, is purely to provide valuable operating cashflow to assist in funding this transition to stage one and producing gold concentrates to achieve our goal to become a tier-one gold mine in a tier-one jurisdiction.”
Stage two includes plans to increase production to +250,000 ounces per annum of gold and gold in concentrate over a long mine life.
Map of the Wiluna Mining Centre and planned stage one sulphide expansion mining areas (coloured) and latest drill hole locations.
Six rigs are in operation at Wiluna and the ongoing drilling program has five objectives:
- Increase sulphide reserves at Wiluna for the stage one expansion;
- Increase sulphide reserves for stage two expansion;
- Make a new discovery in the wider Wiluna Mining Operations;
- Reveal the true scale of Wiluna sulphide resource; and
- Extend the free-milling mineral resources and reserves.