Blackham Resources (ASX:BLK) has completed yet another resource upgrade at its Wiluna open pits located within the Wiluna Gold Operation located in Western Australia.
The revised JORC resource estimate for the Wiluna North open pits encompassed the Happy Jack, Bulletin, Squib, Essex, Golden Age North and Starlight ore bodies.
This has more than doubled the Wiluna North open pit resource to 7.3 million tonnes at 2.69 g/t gold for 630,000 ounces gold, of which 81% is in the Indicated category.
The Wiluna open pit resources now total 17 million tonnes at 2.8 g/t gold for 1.5 million ounces gold, which have been delineated at an economical cost of $7 per resource ounce.
Exploration of the Wiluna open pit resources suggests a likely open pit operation stretching over 3.5 kilometres in length.
Bryan Dixon, managing director, commented
“Since drilling commenced in September last year a total of ~$10.5 million has been spent on Resource and Reserve definition drilling on the Wiluna open pits.
“In this time, the Mineral Resource has grown from 80,000 ounces to 1,505,000 ounces in just one year, of which 76% is classified as Indicated.
“This represents a very attractive resource addition cost of $7 per ounce.
“This large open pit resource and reserves underpin the growth opportunity as seen in the expansion pre-feasibility study released late in August.
“We also expect a significant reserve upgrade to flow from the latest resource upgrade.”
Resource upgrade details
The latest JORC resource estimate for the Wiluna North lodes is based on an additional ~23,000 metres of reverse circulation and diamond drilling completed between March and May 2017.
Drilling was successful in proving the continuity of mineralisation.
Mining studies which will allow an updated open pit Ore Reserve estimate for Wiluna North are underway.
Over the last six years, Blackham has consolidated the Wiluna Goldfield with a tenement package covering over 1,100 square kilometres into one operation.
The Matilda-Wiluna Gold Operation comprises 6.5 million ounces of gold resources grading 3.1 g/t all within a 20 kilometre radius of the Wiluna Gold Plant.
Operations recommenced gold production in October 2016.
Blackham has focused its exploration strategy around ensuring it has a long open pit mine life to provide certainty with feeding an expanded 3.3 million tonnes per annum processing facility.
The expansion pre-feasibility study released late in August supported the operation’s growth to 207,000 ounces per year of gold production.