Blackham Looking to Expand Matilda/Wiluna Gold Production

Blackham Resources has received a draft report from Orway Mineral Consultants that supports the addition of 1.5 million mt/y of throughput capacity at the Wiluna processing hub on its Matilda/Wiluna gold operations in central Western Australia. Commissioning of the added capacity alongside the recently refurbished 1.7-million-mt/y oxide circuit would see total throughput capacity increase to about 3.2 million mt/y across both the oxide and sulphide circuits. The expanded Wiluna plant would bring significant economies of scale to the combined project, with all the resources located within a 20-km radius of the processing plant.

If the plant expansion is realized, Matilda/Wiluna gold production could increase to more than 200,000 oz/y from the current level of about 100,000 oz/y.

Expansion of the Wiluna processing facility is supported by a recent 25% upward revision of estimated mineral resources across the several mineral deposits that are feeding or will feed the plant. Combined Matilda/Wiluna measured, indicated, and inferred mineral resources have grown to 63 million mt grading 3.2 g/mt gold for a total of 6.4 million contained oz. Open-pit resources stand at 37 million mt grading 2.1 g/mt for a total of 2.4 million contained oz, while underground resources stand at 26 million mt grading 4.8 g/mt for a total of 4.0 million contained oz.

A 60,000-m drill program is in progress around the Wiluna open pits as part of the plan to upgrade resources. Blackham also reported that it has raised A$35 million through a share placement, with the proceeds to be used to fast track growth at Matilda/Wiluna operations. Current work includes conversion of resources to reserves, acceleration of studies of expansion economics, and finalization of a feasibility study, to be followed by engineering and ordering of long-lead items.

As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 03 -