ASX-listed Wiluna Mining continues to deliver impressive drilling results in areas targeted for expanding underground production at its namesake operations in Western Australia. Ongoing diamond drilling across the East and Happy Jack lodes has turned out a welter of new high-grade intercepts grading up to 773 g/t gold in the Happy Jack area.
ASX-listed Wiluna Mining continues to deliver impressive drilling results in areas targeted for expanding underground production at its namesake operations in Western Australia’s north eastern goldfields. Ongoing diamond drilling across the East and Happy Jack lodes has turned out a welter of new high-grade intercepts grading up to 773 g/t gold in the Happy Jack area.
Happy Jack and East Lode are earmarked as the initial mining areas in the company’s stage one development plan to increase gold production at Wiluna to about 120,000 ounces per annum next year. Redevelopment of the underground operation is reported to be on track with production building to 750,000 tonnes per annum.
Drilling at Happy Jack has coughed up 1.99m at 298.8 grams per tonne including a staggering 0.76m at 773 g/t gold and an impressive 8.67m at 18.44 g/t including 4.01m at 36.28 g/t and 0.72m at 35.1 g/t gold.
Wiluna reported a slew of high-grade intercepts at Happy Jack over good mining widths within 300m of the surface and close to existing mine workings.
Interestingly, the company said the high-grade mineralised shear zone intersected in the latest round of drilling extends below the current resource limits.
Results from drilling at East Lode also continue to deliver wide, high-grade intercepts such as 14.9m at 8.6 g/t and 10.2m at 4.42 g/t, including 6.95m at 5.06 g/t, in a single hole. A further notable intercept was 14.3m at 3.86 g/t including 8.52m at 5.71 g/t gold.
The company said East Lode had only been adequately drill tested to depths of 400m-to-500m below the surface, with mineralisation remaining open at depth. Management said depth extensions of East Lode represented key targets for future resource growth.
The latest batch of results come from an additional 34 diamond holes for more than 8,800m of resource development drilling.
Wiluna currently boasts resources in the order of 60 million tonnes grading at close to 3 g/t gold, including a high-grade resource of 26.9 million tonnes at 4.89 g/t gold using a 2.5 g/t cut-off.
Historically, mined grades at the Wiluna mining centre averaged 7 g/t to 11 g/t depending on the ore zone. The company said the high-grade intercepts at Happy Jack and East Lode suggested future mined grades would likely improve.
While not included in current resources, the company has calculated that every 1 g/t increase in mined grade adds an additional 25,000 ounces per annum to production in stage one, increasing to 50,000 ounces per annum in stage two, when Wiluna Mining is aiming to lift annual output to around 250,000 ounces.
With gold prices near 10-year highs, richer underground grades could provide a substantial boost to the company’s stage one cash flow projections of circa-A$450 million.
Multiple rigs continue to turn at Wiluna, adding to the nearly 100,000m of RC and diamond drilling completed in the past eight months. Drilling is aimed at infilling and growing the large-scale, high-grade gold system from 2.14 million ounces at 5.26 g/t measured and indicated resources to 2.5 million ounces measured and indicated resources as part of the company’s ongoing stage two feasibility study.
The historically significant Wiluna mining centre currently hosts a gold endowment of about 10 million ounces, with most of the drilling across the mining area reaching depths to about 600m below surface. In light of ongoing exploration success, and a slew of drill ready targets, Wiluna’s aim of building a long-life operation looks to be well on track.
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