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Bluebird mine delivers record month for Westgold

Westgold Resources continues to break production records at its Bluebird underground gold mine. Credit: File

Westgold Resources has achieved record production figures from its Bluebird underground mine throughout April to deliver 48,000 tonnes at 3.7 grams per tonne gold for a total of 5800 gold ounces for the month.

The company recently revealed an expansion strategy to about 600,000 tonnes per annum that has seen a flurry of extensional drilling to the south of its current mine plan at its Bluebird South and South Junction deposits, as part of its Murchison operations.

Management says it has almost doubled its monthly mining rate from Bluebird in the past year, while also returning impressive drilling results from outside the mine’s footprint. Assay highlights include an 11.94m hit at 7.32g/t gold from 195m, 5.72m grading 8.53g/t gold from 141m and a solid 17.59m going 3.94g/t gold from 140m.

Westgold now has three rigs operational across its sites, including a second surface diamond drill mobilised to help speed up testing of the company’s greater Bluebird-South Junction prospects. The producer’s holdings in the Murchison region include three underground mines and two processing plants that stretch from Cue in the south to Meekatharra in the north.

The Bluebird and Paddy’s Flat underground mines are the primary ore sources for the 1.4 to 1.8-million-tonne per annum Bluebird processing plant. Historically, the two mines produced more than one million gold ounces from shallow open pits and small-scale underground workings.

Our confidence in this system continues to build and with three drill rigs extending mine life and defining the South Junction opportunity, Westgold is now accelerating the next stage of expansion for this asset. Westgold Resources managing director Wayne Bramwell

The production record at Bluebird follows similar results at the company’s Big Bell underground gold mine near Cue, with the site recording production of more than 190,000 tonnes of ore during January and February. Its flagship operation delivered 100,700 tonnes at 2.61g/t gold for a total of 8447 ounces in January, before increasing its grade with 90,500 tonnes at 2.71g/t gold for 7895 ounces during February.

Westgold says recent drilling results from the deeper mine expansion area at Big Bell have exceeded its modelled expectations, with results including 38.08m at 4.22g/t gold from 396m, 63.73m grading 3.68g/t gold from 357m and 64m going 2.62g/t gold from 428m.

Big Bell has been the company’s top performer in the past year. It produced 293,614 tonnes at a grade of 2.5g/t gold for a total of 23,400 gold ounces during the December quarter. That represented an increase from the previous record of 274,444 tonnes at 2.5g/t gold for 22,100 ounces in the September quarter.

However, with the record production at Bluebird in April and the success of the company’s extensional drilling program around the site, the market will be keeping a close eye on what Westgold can deliver from its impressive Murchison operations in the near future.

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