Blackham Resources’ plans to expand its 6.2 million ounce Matilda/Wiluna  gold project to a 200,000 ounce per annum operation has received a significant boost with a prominent New York-based fund manager throwing $72 million towards the expansion.

The $72 million deal with The Australian Special Opportunity Fund managed by The Lind Partners, will go towards Blackham’s Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the project’s expansion and manage its balance sheet.

Lind has been following Blackham since its first investment in 2012 after Blackham originally bought into Matilda.

Over that time, Blackham has grown from an explorer with a 300,000 ounce resource to a gold producer with a 6.2 million ounce resource. The company announced first gold production in October 2016.

It appears the funding deal provides Blackham with some breathing space as it seeks a final funding solution for the expansion. This funding ideally would minimise dilution to existing Blackham shareholders and also fund further exploration and reserve definition at Matilda.

The company is also using cash flow from its existing mine to fund the expansion.

News comes hot on the tails of Blackham’s (ASX:BLK) Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS) into the expansion of Matilda and Wiluna gold operation.

The PFS demonstrated robust economics, a large increase in reserves and improved economies of scale supporting the Operation’s expansion.

“As Blackham demonstrates strengthening production from its gold operations and pushes forward with the Expansion DFS, the Lind Facility gives the Company maximum flexibility in choosing the best future funding solution for shareholders to grow the Matilda-Wiluna Gold Operation into a 200,000ozpa long mine life asset,” Blackham’s managing director Bryan Dixon said.

The Matilda/Wiluna gold operation lies close to the town of Wiluna, some 1000km northeast of Perth, Western Australia.

Shares in Blackham have gained 1c to 30c in late morning trade, valuing the company at roughly $65 million.