Blackham Resources (ASX: BLK) has grown the total Matilda Gold Project Resource to 12.4 million tonnes at 1.9 grams per tonne (g/t) for 757,000 ounces of contained gold following a 193% increase in the Resource at the Regent deposit.
The Regent deposit now has an Inferred Resource of 3.5 million tonnes at 2.1g/t for 237,000 ounces of contained gold on the back of a review by independent geological consultants Runge.
Previous open pit economics, estimated in June 2006, indicate the Regent deposit is likely to be economic above a gold price of A$700 per ounce.
Importantly, there is the potential to exploit the down plunge extension of the resource by underground mining methods.
Blackham plans to reassess the economics of an open pit under current gold price and cost parameters.
The company is also reviewing historical data to determine whether part of the resource can be upgraded to the higher confidence Indicated category.
Blackham will begin a further 2,000 metre reverse circulation drill program next week.
Blackham finalised the acquisition of the Matilda Gold Project in Western Australia's Wiluna gold belt in late November last year.
The company acquired 100% of Kimba Resources, the owner of the project which includes the Matilda and Williamson Gold Mines and numerous other deposits and prospects.
The over 600 square kilometre project surrounds Apex Minerals' (ASX: AXM) operating 12.7 million tonnes at 5.4g/t Wiluna Gold Mine, in a region that has produced more than 4 million ounces of gold.
In January Blackham confirmed an Inferred Resource for the Matilda Gold Project of 10.2 million tonnes at 1.8g/t for 601,000 ounces of gold, including 301,000 ounces remaining at the Williamson Mine since the completion of mining.
In doing so this confirmed an acquisition cost for the Matilda Gold Project of just $5 per gold ounce, which is considered to be good value when compared to other Western Australian gold project acquisitions, the prospectivity of the region and the close proximity to an existing gold plant.
Blackham's maiden 2,000 metre drilling program at the Matilda Mine Centre has delivered grades of as high as 71g/t from individual metres within broader zones.
The company recently identified a further three priority areas of mineralisation. Drilling targeting shallow extensions of mineralisation adjacent to several open pits at Matilda has returned intercepts of 13 metres at 2.79g/t gold from 58 metres and 22 metres at 1.7g/t gold from 42 metres.
All of these holes lie outside the existing JORC Resource. Importantly, these results indicate potential for open pittable ore along strike from the historical pits at Matilda.
Another upside at Matilda is the potential for early cash flow from a toll treating agreement.
At around the same time the acquisition was completed, Blackham and Apex initiated discussions with regard to the possibility of processing ore through Apex's Wiluna gold plant, which could provide additional funding for Blackham to explore the area.
With the acquisition, Blackham now has one of the largest landholdings in the mining centre and one of Western Australia's major Archean greenstone belts.