Drilling and mining studies are focusing on the extension of the Matilda Mine resources totalling 13 million tonnes at 1.8g/t for 760,000 ounces as a base load feed of soft free milling ore for the 1.3 million tonne per annum Wiluna gold plant.
The Scorchers Zone is expected to extend the planned M4 open pit south to merge with the M3 pit, reducing stripping ratios.
Blackham is currently re-estimating the free milling Matilda Mine resource to include the new mineralised extensions to the north (Iceberg 2 zone) and the south (Scorchers zone). This is expected to be released in May.
Drilling is also continuing at the high grade Republic Reef.
Holes MARC0216 to MARC0220 intersected a new zone of shallow high-grade mineralisation to the south of the planned M4 pit cut-back.
Mineralisation was intersected immediately below the recognised depletion zone, in oxide-transition mafics.
It plunges gently northwards consistent with the other Matilda lodes and remains open up and down plunge.
Notable results were:
- 8 metres at 5.16 grams per tonne gold from 58 metres to end of hole (MARC0217);
- 8 metres at 5.6g/t gold from 49 metres including 2 metres at 16.4g/t gold (MARC0218); and
- 2 metres at 5.96g/t gold from 43m (MARC0220).
Consistent high grade intercepts on each drill section to date suggests that the planned M4 pit design is likely to extend further south into the Scorchers Zone.
As the M4 pit pulls further south it is likely to merge into the M3 pit which will lower the stripping ratio on M3 allowing it to extend deeper into the higher grade mineralisation immediately below the current designed pit floor.
Further drilling is now being planned to follow up these results as a priority.
Blackham's drilling and mining studies have been focusing on the extension of the Matilda Mine resources totalling 13 million tonnes at 1.8g/t for 760,000 ounces of contained gold as a base load feed of soft free milling ore for the 1.3 million tonne per annum Wiluna gold plant.
The aim is to identify further shallow resources along the 3.5 kilometres strike of Matilda which are amenable to open pit mining.
The Matilda Mining Centre resource is currently being re-estimated for the current drill programme which will include the additional Iceberg 2 and Scorchers zones.
Both the newly confirmed Iceberg 2 and Scorchers zone sit outside of Matilda Gold Project's initial Mineral Inventory of 5Mt at 2.8g/t for 454,000oz of contained gold ounces.
This could increase the project's mine life beyond the current 4 years.
Blackham has also mobilised a replacement reverse circulation rig to site to finish the recently announced Republic drill program that was delayed due to a rig malfunction.
The replacement rig arrived on site today and drilling at the Republic quartz reef will re-commence shortly.
The initial 3 hole (1,300 metre drill program from surface) is aimed at following up on the 7 historical successful intercepts by testing the most prospective core of the reef close to the East Lode Fault.
Blackham Resources' focus on free milling gold targets continues to be rewarded with the discovery of the new Scorchers Zone.
This could extend the planned M4 open pit south to merge with the M3 pit, which will lower stripping ratios and allow the M3 pit to extend deeper into higher grade mineralisation immediately below the current designed pit floor.
An update on the free milling Matilda Mine resource that includes the new Iceberg 2 zone to the north and Scorchers zone to the south is expected to be released in May.
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