Lending Association

Bluebird Gold mine expansion plans based on recent drilling results

The results of a new round of drilling have prompted Westgold to seriously consider expanding its Bluebird gold mine in the Meekatharra region of WA’s northern goldfields.

The Bluebird operation currently produces approximately half a million tonnes of ore annually, with an average gold grade ranging from 4 to 5 grams per tonne.

Westgold believes that, based on the latest results and additional work conducted in the area, it can increase production to 750,000 tonnes of ore per year at the same grade. The company refers to this as a ‘steady-state’ expansion.

This expansion would involve mining deeper below the current operations and would require the construction of a third decline into the new orebody areas.

Westgold cites three intervals from recent drilling to support its case for expansion. These intervals include 35.31 meters at 5.71 grams of gold per tonne from a depth of 282 meters, 42 meters at 4.55 grams per tonne from a depth of 334 meters in a second hole, and 23.68 meters at a high 12.63 grams per tonne from a depth of 178 meters in a third hole.

“These results add to the growing body of data that warrants consideration of another mine expansion,” Westgold stated in Thursday’s announcement.

The company also highlighted the opportunity for further exploration along the Bluebird trend, emphasizing the potential for discovering a repeating orebody within Westgold’s tenure, close to the 1.6-1.8 million tonnes per annum Bluebird processing hub and supporting infrastructure.

“The current Bluebird mine has been developed to approximately 200 meters below the Bluebird open pit, along a strike of approximately 600 meters. The full extent of this mineralization has not yet been closed off along strike or at depth,” the company explained, indicating that there is still untapped potential.

Westgold has initiated systematic drilling to the south and below the current Bluebird mine. The initial program underway will involve infill drilling of the known extent of the South Junction orebody, with the aim of increasing Ore Reserves and finalizing the location for a new portal into the South Junction orebody.

Additional staged campaigns will explore further along the strike of mineralization and at greater depths beneath the known extents of the South Junction and Bluebird orebodies.

“Current drilling below the Bluebird mine has defined over three years of life below the existing stoping operation. Three underground and one surface rig are currently in operation, with a second surface rig arriving shortly. This additional drilling has the potential to extend the mine life, while also aiming to enhance the current Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves,” the company stated in Thursday’s statement.