Wiluna’s sulphide gold transformation is well underway
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Wiluna’s sulphide gold ambitions at its namesake project are progressing well with the successful commissioning of the Stage 1 concentrator being just one of the achievements.
In a landmark quarter – and as that concentrator produced over 600 bags, totalling some 1,160 wet tonnes – the company raised $53m ensuring the Stage 2 Feasibility Study will be locked and loaded by the end of March 2022.
During the December 2021 quarter, Wiluna Mining (ASX:WMC) spent $46.7m on mine development and getting the Stage 1 concentrator outperforming its nameplate capacity with a full production run rate of between 100,000oz per annum and 120,000ozpa targeted for the end of June 2022.
Underground sulphide development remains on track with 88,731 ore tonnes mined in the financial year to date with about 139,000t of sulphide ore stockpiled and ready for processing as of 31 December 2021.
Construction of the Wiltails project, which seeks to unlock the low-grade gold locked in the tailings of the mine, is also progressing with 20% of the work completed to date and commissioning expected in May 2022.
This is expected to contribute a material increase in gold production over a long life by accessing some 31.6Mt of easily mined material grading 0.6g/t gold.
Wiluna generated positive net cash from operations of $8.3m during the quarter from the sale of 5,863oz of gold at an average price of $2,439.42/oz and toll treating 84,794t of third-party ore.
The company is currently awaiting assays from grade control drilling carried out at the Happy Jack and Bulletin ore zones.
It is also planning to start a 40,000m drill campaign in February that is aimed at testing nine new targets for new high-grade sulphide shoot discoveries “under the headframe” at Wiluna.
Discovering new +5 grams per tonne (g/t) shoots will substantially enhance the early years of the current mine plan.
Wiluna will initially focus on shallow strike extensions in the upper 600m on both the East and West structures, and below the major historical production areas to 1,200m below surface.
These targets are a subset of the Exploration Target at the Wiluna Mining Centre of 5Moz to 7Moz grading between 4.5g/t and 7g/t gold.
The company’s geologists have identified multiple targets where the Wiluna orebody remains open along strike, down dip and on parallel structures.
Sulphide shoots are interpreted to have formed in a predictable structurally repeated pattern controlled by the steeply south-plunging shoot corridors in conjunction with conjugate north-plunging trends.
In addition, the Company’s first-pass seismic transverse lines acquired during 2021 showed that gold structures extend well below and beyond the current resource limits.
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.