In total Matilda hosts 25 million tonnes at 1.9g/t gold for 1.5 million ounces, with 408,000 ounces in the high confidience Measured and Indicated categories.
The Williamson Mining Centre has a resource of 6.3 million tonnes at 1.7g/t gold for 350,000 ounces, of which 2.7 million tonnes at 1.7 g/t gold for 147,000 ounces is in the Indicated category. Williamson is located 26 kilometres by existing haul road from the Wiluna Gold Plant.
Preliminary open pit mining optimisations show an open pit based on a A$1,240/oz gold price would contain around 1.7 million tonnes at 1.7g/t gold for 90,000 ounces of potentially recoverable
gold, with a stripping ratio of 6:1.
Blackham said that the low stripping ratio on the cut back is achievable due to the deposit being 30 to 40 metres wide, with the mining optimisation demonstrating the near-term development opportunity at Williamson.
A major benefit for Blackham is that three-quarters of the ounces within the pit are already in the Indicated category, allowing for quick conversion to reserves. The existing pit is only 60 metres deep at the southern end and contains high-grade mineralisation immediately below the pit floor.
Potential to add additional ounces
Blackham added that a recent resource update and subsequent review of mining economics has defined numerous exploration targets where opportunities lie to add additional resources for both open pit and underground development at Williamson.
The priority is to extend high-grade mineralisation at the southern end of the pit, stepping out from earlier drilling including: 5 metres at 5.47g/t gold, 18 metres at 2.33g/t gold, including 1 metre at 20.7g/t gold, and 24 metres at 2.08g/t gold, including 2 metres at 7.19g/t gold.
The company said that drilling in these areas is currently too widely spaced to sufficiently define mineralisation. Further drilling will also convert a greater portion of the Inferred resource into the Indicated category as well.
Planning for drilling at Williamson is well advanced with drilling due to commence in the coming dry season.