Wiluna’s high grade gold hits to improve early underground mining
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The early years of Wiluna’s underground mine plan may have been bolstered by the discovery of high grade intersections with visible gold near existing mine workings.
Drilling at the Essex zone returned high-grade intercepts of up to 0.37m grading 313 grams per tonne gold within a broader zone of 2.35m at 61.05g/t gold, while the Starlight zone intersected up to 2.17m at 9.45g/t gold and 5.04m at 6.09g/t gold.
The bonanza grades at the Essex zone follow on from previous intersections such as 2.45m at 31.3g/t gold and 1.75m at 19.55g/t gold, validating Wiluna Mining’s (ASX:WMX) strategy to focus on the development of shallow, high-grade sulphide ore bodies early in the mine plan.
Under the three-year staged production plan, the company started producing gold ore last year at a rate of 60,000 ounces per year and expects to reach full production of 250,000 ounces per year by the 2024 financial year.
Access to the Essex orebody, installed by previous operators, is currently being dewatered and rehabilitated to facilitate infill drilling around the deeper visible gold intersections with the view to delineating additional resources and reserves.
At the Starlight zone, the intersection of further high-grade sulphide intersections is also encouraging as the zone is just 200m from existing underground mine development activity, meaning that it can be quickly bought into production at low capital cost if further drilling demonstrates economic reserves.
The results at Essex and Starlight are certainly positive for Wiluna but they are not the only pieces of good news enjoyed by the company.
Drilling has also returned multiple shallow gold hits at other zones within the large Wiluna Mining Centre.
At the high priority East Lode and Calvert zones, drilling continues to generate excellent results such 5m at 12.21g/t gold along with 16.02m at 5.41g/t gold and 4.64m at 12.62g/t gold within the same hole.
The results demonstrate their potential to add mine life and improve the head grade of the resource.
Calvert is an un-mined ore shoot located on the West Lode structure immediately north of the historical underground workings. While East Lode was originally mined via underground between 1931 and 1946 and produced 720,000oz at an average grade of 6.7g/t.
West Lode remains open and sparsely drilled in the northern Inferred Resource area and at depth while further resource and reserve additions to the south and at depth are being targeted along the extent of the East Lode structure.
Wiluna also continues to define exceptional high grade extensions at the Golden Age zone with hits such as 6.87m at 30.61g/t gold expected to enhance head grade at the current operation as large open pit stockpiles continue to contribute the major portion of processing feed ahead of sulphides production.
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.