Westgold to continue systematic Starlight approach

Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) will continue with its systematic and disciplined approach to its Starlight underground mine at its Bryah Operation to progressively deliver a mineral resource and subsequently ore reserve growth. 

The $947.24 million market capitalisation company says defining Nightfall is also underway, before the geology team moves to delineating the extensions to the Twilight system and then defining the Water Bore orebody for future extraction. 

Exploration drilling will continue across the entire Bryah package with the first target in Starlight (the Dougie’s prospect), approved for initial drill testing in January 2024.

Westgold, meanwhile, has outlined more exploration drilling in January 2024 across its entire Byrah Operations package in Western Australia, upon returning a 443 grams per tonne (g/t) Au intersection at its Nightfall lode. 

The company reports ‘exceptional’ drilling results in recent grade control hole NF1160GC38 returned 10.01m @ 443.75g/t Au, including 0.27m @ 16,031g/t Au from the collar. 

Exposing the Nightfall lodes is considered a ‘high priority’ for the company as a ‘larger’ opportunity exists to enhance production further by establishing 2 additional and independent mining fronts. 

Westgold Managing Director Wayne Bramwell says: “The Nightfall lode continues to outperform and highlights the value drilling can unlock, with the first northern stope on the 1160 level currently averaging +12g/t Au in production sampling.”

Bramwell says the company is extending Starlight’s footprint into new areas such as Water Bore and Twilight. 

“This systematic and focussed approach to mineral resource definition and ongoing optimisation of our mining practices sets Starlight up to take maximum advantage of an Australian dollar gold price unseen by any of its previous owners.”

Westgold says the most significant aspect of Starlight’s return to profitability is the optionality it creates. In regard to mine optimisation and expansion Westgold has internally committed to extending the mine another 320 vertical metres which equates to circa 4 years of life at expected vertical advance rates. 

This decline advance is largely predicated on the Starlight lodes as currently defined and was underpinned by the +70,000oz mineral resource growth after mining depletion announced in Westgold’s 2023 Mineral Resource and Ore Reserves on 11 September 2023. 

Given the geological complexity of the Starlight system, Westgold takes a conservative approach to Mineral Resource Estimation and Ore Reserve definition. 

An intense drilling campaign is planned to better define Starlight mineralisation and reduced the variance between the current Ore Reserve (1.1Mt at 2.75g/t Au for 97,000oz Au and the latest life of mine design (1.6Mt at 2.61g/t Au for 138,000oz Au).

The Bryah Operation sits in the Bryah Basin of Western Australia, about 140km north of Meekatharra. The Starlight underground mine is the predominant feed source to Westgold’s Fortnum processing hub.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au    

Images: Westgold Resources
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.