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Westgold hits production guidance to close financial year

Updated: May 2

Westgold Resources has achieved its production guidance for the past financial year. Credit: File

Westgold Resources has finished the financial year with a flourish by reaching the upper echelon of its production guidance for the past 12 months to produce 257,116 ounces of gold.

The debt-free company set a production guidance target of between 240,000 and 260,000 gold ounces for the financial year, with a record output from its Bluebird mill at Meekatharra in Western Australia helping it to reach its goal.

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 1 million gold ounces from shallow open pits and small-scale underground workings.

Management expects its full-year all-in sustaining costs to be in the mid-range figure of between $1900 and $2100 per ounce of gold, with a fourth quarter production total of 68,377 ounces. The company also lifted its cash, bullion and liquid assets in the fourth quarter to $24 million – up from $9 million at the end of the third quarter.

Westgold commences FY24 debt free and can internally fund organic growth opportunities such as the expansion of Big Bell and commencement of the iconic Great Fingall underground mine. Importantly our fixed forward hedges are complete in July and the Company will be fully leveraged to the gold price from August, further enhancing our profitability in FY24. Westgold Resources managing director Wayne Bramwell

The result polishes off a year of records for Westgold. Its Bluebird mine in WA’s Mid West region produced 49,000 tonnes at 4 grams per tonne gold for 6300 ounces in May – an 8 per cent increase compared to the previous month’s figures at the site.

The April result had set a new record for the mine when it delivered 48,000 tonnes at 3.7g/t gold for a total of 5800 ounces during that month.

Management says it has doubled the output from Bluebird in the past year and pointed out that drilling was yet to define the vertical or lateral limits of the system that forms part of its Meekatharra operations.

The company’s September quarterly report shows the gold miner’s flagship Big Bell mine produced a record 274,444 tonnes at a steady grade of 2.5g/t tonne gold for a total of 22,100 ounces. The September production figure is an improvement on the previous record quarter at the end of the 2022 financial year when the company delivered 272,124 tonnes from Big Bell at a similar grade.

The miner has implemented several initiatives to improve its operational and financial performance, including a focus on grade, mining efficiency and overbreak in both development and stoping areas within its operations.

That strategy appears to have paid off at Bluebird where the company achieved record production of 90,588 tonnes at 3.2g/t gold at the underground mine in the first quarter of the financial year. The figure increased again in the second quarter with the delivery of more than 110,000 tonnes at 3.47g/t.

While Westgold appears to have been unsuccessful in a recent takeover bid for neighbouring gold explorer Musgrave Minerals in a $177 million all-scrip off-market move, it has capped off its financial year with a raft of quality assets that continue to deliver precious gold ounces for the producer.

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