Blackham Resources’ plans to double their Matilda Gold production have been boosted by solid new drill results that pave the way for another resource upgrade. The latest round of drilling found the mineralisation at Wiluna is more extensive than previously thought and amenable to open cut mining in some areas, providing a major boost for the economics of a proposed expansion.
The recently commissioned Matilda gold mine in Wiluna keeps on delivering for 100%-owner Blackham Resources, with a number of solid new intercepts from a new round of drilling paving the way for another resource upgrade and possibly even a mill expansion.
The Perth-based explorer, who achieved their first gold pour at Matilda just last month, this week announced some highly encouraging results from the first 15,000 metres of a 25,000 metre RC drilling program at its Wiluna sulphide mineral resource.
To the north of the East and West Pits, the best intercepts included 23 metres at 3.74 grams per tonne gold from 119 metres and 6 metres at 8.75 g/t. Drilling in the Gap Pit confirmed an extension of the underground Bulletin deposit, with intercepts including 9 metres at 4.08 g/t and 19 metres at 2.66 g/t.
There was also solid news from drilling near the Golden Age North Pit, which found additional high-grade, free-milling reef mineralisation that could be mined by open pit. The latest results include an 11 metre intersection grading 5.87 g/t gold.
Other notable results include a 19m hit grading 2.74 grams per tonne gold at Gap Pit and 6m grading 8.75 grams per tonne in the East and West Pit area.
The high-grade resource which currently contains about 5.1 million ounces of gold has been earmarked for a possible expansion from 100,000+ ounces a year to between 175,000 and 230,000 ounces a year.
If this was to occur the financial metrics at the project would be given a significant shot in the arm which will result in renewed market interest from a stock that has already run hard this year.
The sulphide resource was slated for underground development, but the new drill results show there is plenty of high-grade, shallow gold mineralisation that could be mined by cutbacks to old open pits.
Blackham’s managing director, Bryan Dixon, said “The latest Wiluna extensional drilling has demonstrated the potential to add significant base load open pit mining feed. Updated Wiluna open pit resources are likely to complement the recent drilling success in extending the Bulletin underground mineralisation. Both feed sources will be integrated into the Wiluna expansion study currently underway.”
The total resource at the project was upgraded in June to 48m tonnes grading 3.3 g/t for 5.1m ounces of contained gold. This figure is now being re-estimated to incorporate the flood of successful drill results since then at Bulletin, the old Matilda open pits and now Wiluna.
Whilst the market reacted positively to the latest drill results, it’s hard to see that the company is getting full credit for its remarkable potential upside.
With gold prices running following the US election, the gold bulls just might pause for a minute to do the maths on what Bkackham might look like with an expanded resource and annual output.