With a 10Moz gold endowment, the scale of the Wiluna orebody rivals that of world-class, billion-dollar systems. Expansion ‘under the head frame’ at the Wiluna Mine, targeting high-grade gold shoots to 1000 metres below the surface, intends to unlock the true potential of the Wiluna Mine which has, to date, laid dormant.
The Wiluna Mining Centre includes the Wiluna Mine with its large sulphide resource at Bulletin, Happy Jack, East Lode and other deposits. The Wiluna Mining Centre also includes Regent and the Quartz Reef deposits of Golden Age, Galaxy, and Monarch.
Wiluna is a world class gold system that was first discovered in 1897 and grew to become one of the largest gold mining operations in the British Empire by the 1930’s. Gold was initially mined from the extensive quartz reef system before the focus shifted to the rich sulphide zones 60m or more below surface. The mine was closed at the end of World War II and was not reopened until the 1980’s, when the advent of ‘carbon-in-leach’ (CIL) and BIOX® processing technology led to renewed open pit and underground mining.
Presently, the Wiluna Mine has a JORC Mineral Resource of 4.51Moz @ 3.90g/t and Ore Reserve of 876.9koz @ 4.02g/t. Wiluna ores are either oxide, refractory sulphide, or quartz reef free-milling ores, and the Wiluna Mining Operation is currently in development to transform Wiluna from a modest, cashflow positive producer of free milling ore via a conventional CIP plant to a multi circuit operation.
A major infill drilling program is underway to explore the huge exploration potential of Wiluna at depth. The program is targeting high-grade gold shoots to 1000 metres below the surface and is leveraging the substantial existing development ‘under the head frame’ at Wiluna. Northern Star and Kirkland Lake have provided the blueprint, having taken depleted Australian mines (Jundee and Fosterville) and reinvigorating them by deeper drilling, achieving outstanding value for shareholders in the process. Wiluna aims to achieve similar success by following the high-grade gold structures deeper.
Aerial shot of the Concentrator prior to commissioning
Rougher Flotation Circuit
Cleaner & Scavenger Flotation Circuits
Regent, which is located 8kms south of the Wiluna Mining Centre, is a very exciting prospect showing potential to be a very large gold system.
The area surrounding Regent is historically poorly tested owing to 30-50m of concealing cover sediments. The deposit is open all directions, with drilling planned to target down-dip and along strike extensions.
Regent is overlain by 30m of calcrete and the underlying profile is deeply weathered, with oxide and transitional mineralisation encountered to 60-80m below the surface, and sulphides at greater depths. The calcrete cover sequence has hindered past exploration as there is no obvious gold geochemical signature to guide drilling. However, high-resolution aeromagnetic imagery has revealed favorable bedrock structures in the Regent area for drill testing.
Reserve Development drilling is planned to define oxide and free-milling reserves and test the potential for a larger gold system at depth.
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