Blackham Resources reports high-grade hits, extends Golden Age underground mine

Blackham Resources Limited (ASX: BLK) has announced a highly encouraging update on the reserve extensional drilling at the Golden Age underground mine within its Wiluna mining centre in WA.

BLK said that the drilling was aimed at extending and improving high-grade free-milling mine life and improving transitional cashflows for the next 12-18 months.

The company reported the high-grade results from Golden Age extension drilling. Highlights include 6.6m @ 8.24g/t from 46.6m incl. 0.6m @ 82.2g/t; 10.6m @ 3.45g/t from 62.1m incl. 5.2m @ 5.45g/t, & 3.8m @ 8.14g/t from 88.1m; 7.1m @ 6.31g/t from 65.7m; 0.9m @ 34.2g/t from 29.4m; and 2.7m @ 10.07g/t from 46.5m.

Blackham said that major sulphide reserve drilling program is also underway ahead of Stage 1 sulphides production.

Wiluna mining centre

The Wiluna mining centre is located close to the town of Wiluna in Western Australia, approximately 750km northeast of Perth. 

Altogether over 4 million ounces of gold have been produced from 20 open pits and 3 underground mines, including the Golden Age mine. All the mines are within 4kms of the Wiluna processing facility. 

Golden Age is a high-grade narrow-vein quartz reef deposit that provides supplementary high-grade mill feed along with baseload feed from the Company’s open pit mines.

Wiluna’s JORC 2012 Mineral Resources are currently 40.8Mt @ 3.9 g/t for 5.2Moz of gold. Wiluna is also endowed with a large underground sulphide resource that currently stands at 18.5Mt @ 4.82 g/t for 2.9Moz, including 1.7Moz (58%) in the inferred category, which presents the company with substantial reserve conversion and life-of-mine extension opportunities.

Drilling at Wiluna

The company had recently completed a further 15 holes for 1,201m drilled at Wiluna underground mine extension targets, Footwall ore at Golden Age Upper and Golden Age Lower & Golden Age Deeps.

The Company said that it continues to extend the high-grade free-milling Golden Age orebody with the aim to sustain or increase production and improve transitional cashflow over the next 12-18 months, ahead of Stage 1 sulphides production.

High-grade results reported

Blackham has now announced the results from the seven holes drilled above the upper levels of the underground mine. The company said that the results confirm both the up-dip continuity of the Golden Age reef and strong gold mineralisation within the footwall zone.

BLK reported that the results demonstrate the continuity of high-grade mineralisation above the upper-most mine levels.

Significant intercepts include GAGC0295: 2.7m @ 4.02g/t from 30.7m incl. 0.3m 13.4g/t and 0.7m @ 6.71g/t; GAGC0296: 6.6m @ 8.24g/t from 46.6m incl. 0.6m @ 82.2g/t; GAGC0300: 10.6m @ 3.45g/t from 62.1m incl. 5.2m @ 5.45g/t, & 3.8m @ 8.14g/t from 88.1m; and GAGC0301: 7.1m @ 6.31g/t from 65.7m.

Mining at Golden Age lower extensions

Blackham reported that it is also currently mining Golden Age Lower mineralisation on the 800 level, with current drilling of the 775 level aimed at extending the mine further at depth.

It may be noted that pre-Blackham drilling intercepts between the 600 and 700 levels, including AWD0502: 12.9m @ 6.88g/t and APX012312: 7.4m @ 7.56g/t, show that high-grade Golden Age reef mineralisation remains open for a considerable distance below the current workings.

The company said that this zone is the target of further drilling that commenced in late March with the arrival of a second rig to drill between the 775 and 650 levels, with results expected over the coming weeks.

Blackham announced that the current results from the 775 level drilling demonstrate continuity of high-grade mineralisation at depth.

Significant hits include GAGC0304: 0.9m @ 34.2g/t from 29.4m; GAGC0305: 2.7m @ 5.10g/t from 32.1m; GAGC0307: 2.7m @ 10.07g/t from 46.5m; GAGC0308: 1.6m @ 5.48g/t from 43.8m; and GAGC0310: 0.9m @ 12.20g/t from 68.4m.

Stage 1 Sulphide sulphide expansion project

Blackham announced that it has recently raised $52 million in equity from existing shareholders, global institutions, and major shareholder Delphi AG of Germany, to advance Stage 1 sulphides production.

The company said that drilling has commenced with the objective to increase Stage 1 sulphide reserves, and will accelerate with a second RC rig and a surface diamond rig engaged to mobilise to site during April.

The sulphide drilling program is designed to expand and upgrade inferred and indicated resource areas and to discover new high-grade shoots in modelled structural locations.

Blackham reported that its Stage 1 sulphide expansion project aims to see underground production ramp up through FY 2021 to 100-120,000oz per annum over an initial 6-year underground mine plan.

What’s next?

Blackham announced that follow-up resource definition drilling is likely, as mineralisation is interpreted to remain open in various directions.

Management comments

Milan Jerkovic, Executive Chairman of Blackham Resources said: “These excellent results further demonstrate the continuity of high-grade Golden Age mineralisation, both above the upper-most mine levels and at depth.

Pleasingly, the lower extensions build on pre-Blackman drilling showing high grade mineralisation remains open for a considerable distance below the current mining level. This is particularly supportive of an extension to mine life at Golden Age and thus, sustained production of high grade, free milling ore.

Together the results progress our strategy of ensuring solid transitional cashflow as we pursue to our staged Sulphide Expansion Plan which aims to see underground production ramp up to 100,000-120,000 ounces per annum by FY 2021.”

Written By Jonathan Norris
Jonathan is a founder of and has been covering the resources industry since 2018. With over 17 years experience in print, broadcast and online media, Jonathan has seen first hand the transformative effect of online niche media.