The ore reserve at the Wiluna Mining Centre has climbed to 36.8Mt at 1.20 g/t for 1.42Moz contained gold, supporting medium to long-term plans to grow gold production at the site.

In parallel, the company’s underground ore reserve has increased by 51% (tonnes) and 31% (ounces) to 6.5Mt at 4.11 g/t for 861.9koz of contained gold while feasibility studies are ongoing.

Given the multi-million ounce scale and potential of the Wiluna ore body, Wiluna Mining (ASX:WMC) says further drilling to define the resources and reserves will be the focus as it tries to gain a greater understanding of the true size of the opportunity, particularly at the southern end of the Wiluna Mining Centre.


Optimising stage-1 to commercial production

This means the gold explorer will shift its attention from original stage-2 expansion plans, which it has delayed, to bringing stage-1 up to commercial production and optimisation.

The decision has been made following economic and social circumstances of rising inflation, COVID disruptions, significant shortages of skilled labour in the state of Western Australia, shipping and equipment supply constraints, as well as the uncertainty over the war in Ukraine.

“These factors have played a major role in convincing management and the board that launching into a two year, multi-million-dollar expansion is not prudent at this time,” the company said.

“A full ramp up will be undertaken by the end of CY2022 with steady stage production estimated between 110,000 to 125,000 ounces per annum.

“With further minor, low-cost modifications this could increase incrementally to produce 150,000 ounces per annum.


Feasibility study

Meanwhile, feasibility work has been continuing for the past 12 months on stage 2 and 3 expansions of the Wiluna mining operations.

Stage 1 of the overall expansion has largely been completed with underground mine development in the northern end of the centre, commissioning of the concentrator and tailings retreatment operations all wrapped up.


Next steps

Feasibility work has identified that additional resource and reserve development drilling is required over the next 18-24 months, particularly at the South Mine Area at the Wiluna Mining Centre.

The South Mine has historically been one of Wiluna’s better performing mines but because of water and access issues it has not been accessible to develop and fully drill out the deposits from underground.

WMC is currently working on a de-water, develop and drill program which is expected to take 18-24 months before the full feasibility of the entire Wiluna Mining Centre can be completed.

Feasibility studies are ongoing.


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This article was developed in collaboration with Wiluna Mining, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.