Blackham’s plans to double production boosted by latest drill results

Blackham Resources are off to a flying start with their latest round of drilling at the Wiluna gold project, boosting confidence in the potential to expand their production outlook from 100,000 ounces a year to 200,000 ounces a year.

The Perth-based gold producer last month began a 50,000m program of RC and diamond drilling to improve reserve definition at the historic East and West lodes. The massive program is being funded by last month’s $35m placement, which was strongly supported by old and new investors.

The first assays from the program have confirmed significant broad zones of mineralisation between the East and West lodes, all of which is outside the existing resource estimate.

Drilling has confirmed and extended the high-grade, open pit mineralisation on the East and West lodes, which is likely to extend the planned East West open pit further north.

Among the best drill results were 28m at 3.78g/t gold from a depth of 38m, 7m at 6.53 g/t from 146m and 18m at 6.72g/t from 160m.

Whilst the aim of the program is to upgrade resources to reserves to underpin the Stage 2 expansion to 200,000 ounces a year, the fact that even more mineralisation has been identified means a further increase in the total resource may now be on the cards.

The Wiluna resource has enjoyed a series of upgrades since Blackham set about reviving the project two years ago. The last upgrade was as recent as January, when total mineral resource grew from 6M to 6.4M ounces of gold.

The company is currently forecasting production of 60,000 to 70,000 ounces this financial year, although mining started only in October.

Blackham is planning to install 1.5Mtpa milling capacity in addition to the recently refurbished 1.7Mtpa oxide circuit.

Blackham’s Managing Director, Bryan Dixon, said “The latest Wiluna drill results, when combined with our mining studies, suggest a large East West open pit with strong grade 1.5km long, 600m wide and 230m deep to feed an expanded Wiluna gold plant. Mining studies are aimed at feeding half the planned throughput from open pits and half from underground. The latest drilling results give us extra confidence we can sustain a 200,000ozpa operation with a long mine life.”

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