Wiluna Mining (ASX: WMX), previously known as Blackham Resources, has announced further shallow high-grade results from resource development and infill drilling at the Essex and Bulletin prospects within its Wiluna Mining Centre in WA.
The company reported that the high-grade results from additional sulphide resource drilling at Essex include 8m @ 5.31g/t from 168m, incl. 2m @ 18.12g/t; 8m @ 15.20g/t from 248m, incl. 5m @ 23.00g/t, and 5m @ 3.95g/t from 287m, incl. 3m @ 6.26 g/t; 4m @ 24.46g/t from 159m, incl. 1m @ 94.5g/t, 6m @ 16.78g/t from 174m, 5m @ 3.13g/t from 199m, incl. 2m @ 21.30g/t, and 11m @ 10.51g/t from 220m; 14m @ 9.52 g/t from 162m, incl. 1 m @ 10.50g/t, and 4m@ 6.75 g/t from 230m, incl. firstname.lastname@example.org/t; 3m@ 8.49g/t from 226m, and 5m@ 4.06g/t from 246m
The high-grade results from sulphide resource drilling at Bulletin include 7.4m @ 15.82g/t from 40.56m; and 4.1m @ 4.88g/t from 44.15m.
The company reported that the additional shallow drilling results at Essex and Bulletin add to the outstanding results released on 26 May 2020.
Wiluna Mining said that multiple parallel lodes in Essex drill holes confirm mineralisation improves to south and at depth.
The company noted that the results continue to underpin its strategy to grow and increase the geological confidence in the high-grade sulphide resources around the existing mine infrastructure at Wiluna.
WMX said that the initial 45,000m of drilling associated with the Stage 1 sulphide mining strategy is now continuing at the highly prospective Calvert and East/West deposits. The company said that seven rigs currently in operation at Wiluna. 45,000 metres to be completed by the end of June 2020.
The company said that the Mineral Resource updates are due in late September 2020; reserves update in December 2020.
WMX said that further drilling beyond June 2020 is also planned to continue to grow resources and reserves and build on the >10Moz geological endowment at Wiluna.
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.
Wiluna is a large gold system with greater than 10M ounces of gold endowment including current Mineral Resources and historical production. With a combined open pit and underground Mineral Resource of 35.5Mt @ 3.90 g/t for 4.45Moz, including 2.2Moz (49%) in the Inferred category, there are significant opportunities for additional Mineral Resources and life-of-mine extensions.
Resource development and infill drilling
The company had recently commenced resource development and infill drilling at Wiluna. The initial 45,000-metre drilling program at the Wiluna Mining Operation primarily focus on drilling the sulphide ore bodies in support of the proposed mine development sequence at the Wiluna Mining Centre.
This is being done to significantly increase the confidence in the sulphide resources from inferred to indicated category which will in turn underpin the Stage 1 Reserve estimation, and add valuable tonnes and ounces to the Company’s overall Mineral Resources.
In addition, the drilling program aims to find new, high grade shoots that will enhance the ounces per vertical metre and, more importantly, increase the grade. This will help consolidate Stage 1 and enhance the transition into Stage 2 which has the plan to increase production to +200kozpa of gold dore and gold in concentrate over a long mine life.
Exceptional high-grade results
The company has now announced exceptional high-grade results from the resource development and infill drilling at the Wiluna Mining Centre.
The latest results relate to the Essex deposit and the Bulletin deposit within the Wiluna Mining Centre. It may be noted that high-grade results were released on 26 May 2020 for the Bulletin program.
Wiluna Mining said that it’s initial drilling at Essex and Bulletin zones is designed to methodically increase the geological confidence in sulphide resources that underpin Stage 1 production. Essex and Bulletin are located close to surface and close to existing infrastructure, which allows for rapid and low-cost development.
WMX said that high-grade results were reported from Essex deposit. The company said that these latest results are expected to improve the grade and geological confidence of current resources and reserves at Essex, where the mining inventory is currently 38koz @ 4.6g/t.
Significant hits include WURC0856: 8m @ 5.31g/t from 168m, incl. 2m @ 18.12g/t, 8m @ 15.20g/t from 248m, incl. 5m @ 23.00g/t, and 5m @ 3.95g/t from 287m, incl. 3m @ 6.26 g/t; WURC0861: 4m @ 24.46g/t from 159m, incl. 1m @ 94.5g/t, 6m @ 16.78g/t from 174m, 5m @ 3.13g/t from 199m, incl. 2m @ 21.30g/t, and 11m @ 10.51g/t from 220m; WURC0862: 14m @ 9.52 g/t from 162m, incl. 1 m @ 10.50g/t, and 4m@ 6.75 g/t from 230m, incl. email@example.com/t; and WURC0864: 3m@ 8.49g/t from 226m, and 5m@ 4.06g/t from 246m.
The company announced that at Essex, drilling to convert the existing inferred resource to the indicated category has defined a new high-grade zone and discovered a high-grade parallel lode. WMX said that further drilling is planned to the south to follow up on these results, while mineralisation is now largely closed off to the north.
The company reported that at the Bulletin zone, infill drilling has targeted inferred resources along strike to the north and south of previous mine workings.
WMX said that the latest drilling from the first target area located north of the main historical workings has returned significant results.
Highlights include BULP0014: 7.4m @ 15.82g/t from 40.56m; and BULP0015: 4.1m @ 4.88g/t from 44.15m.
The company said that these latest results are expected to improve the grade and geological confidence of current resources and reserves at Bulletin, where the mining inventory is currently 67koz @ 4.2g/t, including approximately one quarter in the inferred resource category.
WMX said that further infill drilling is planned from underground at further inferred resource targets, with a view to updating resources and reserves in the September quarter
Stage 1 drilling to be completed by June
The company reported that drilling is now taking place concurrently at third and fourth targets Calvert and East West, which are important ore sources in the first four years of the Stage 1 sulphides mine plan.
WMX said that the results expected in the next month. This will round out the first stage of the sulphide drilling by the end of June 2020.
The Company announced that following the successful commissioning of Stage 1 sulphides, it intends to, at a minimum, double the size of its concentrator and produce +200kozpa of gold and gold in concentrate.
The company announced that follow-up resource definition drilling is likely, as mineralisation is interpreted to remain open in various directions.
WMX announced that the updated resource and reserve estimates are expected to be published for the Wiluna Gold Project in the September and December quarters respectively.
Enhanced resources and reserves underpin the Company’s 24-month, five-point strategy which is to strengthen the balance sheet; increase operational cash flow; transition to include gold concentrate production; expand production; and undertake exploration and feasibility studies to fully develop a more than 200kozpa, long life gold operation.
The current mine plan includes 28% of inferred mineralisation in the first two years when mining is focussed at Essex and Bulletin, and 43% inferred in years three to four when mining extends to Calvert and East Lode.
Wiluna Mining’s Executive Chair, Milan Jerkovic said: “These ongoing outstanding results “under the headframe” are continuing to deliver into our Stage 1 sulphide strategy as we initially pursue shallow high-grade sulphides targets. The fact that we have now had exceptional drilling results from both Essex and Bulletin is exciting (see also ASX announcement 26 May 2020).
Our plan to convert the large sulphide Inferred Resources at Wiluna into Indicated Resources continues to gather significant momentum and confidence with every new hole. These results will lead to new resource and reserves updates and mine planning work scheduled over the coming months.
Wiluna Mining is a development and growth Company currently focused on Stage 1 Sulphide development by September 2021, as well as expanding our Mineral Resources and increasing grade to feed into Stage 1 and to make new discoveries.
The current underground sulphide resource at Wiluna averages 4.8 g/t but historically the average grade mined was between 7 to 8g/t, and the Bulletin shoot alone produced 900,000oz @ 8 g/t.
We’re targeting high-grade shoot discoveries because every 1 g/t increase in the grade in the sulphides, could result in an additional 25kozpa of production in Stage 1 and 50kozpa under our Stage 2 scenario so grade is obviously extremely important to the project’s economics. Our 4-5-year goal with the development of Stage 2 is to become a Tier 1 gold mine in a Tier 1 jurisdiction”.