Westgold Resources has resumed operations at the Bluebird underground gold mine in Western Australia after works were suspended following COVID-19 labour issues earlier in the year.
During the temporary suspension, a significant underground drilling program was completed at the Meekatharra site with excellent results extending the resource and mine design.
According to a statement from Westgold, Bluebird is the third satellite underground mine feeding high-grade ore to the group’s 1.8 million-tonne-per-annum processing hub at Meekatharra.
“With the recommencement of mining at Bluebird, Westgold now operates three underground mines in this area – Paddy’ Flat, South Emu – Triton and Bluebird,” the company stated.
“At steady state, these three underground mines alone will combine to deliver more than 100,000 ounces per annum to the Bluebird processing plant with additional supplemental open pit ore available from the Aladdin, Albury Heath and Maid Marion deposits.
“Alongside the short-range strategy of developing the higher-grade underground ore sources within this package, Westgold is, as per its recently announced exploration and growth plan, accelerating its greenfield exploration efforts with target definition work across the broader package utilising new aeromagnetic and gravity geophysical datasets.”
Westgold established decline access at Bluebird in early 2000 to expose and sample mineralisation below the historic Bluebird pit.
According to a company statement, additional shallow resource drilling targeting validation of the resource model and improving drill density has resulted in material mine plan increases, with the entire mineralised system gold endowment being approximately 950 ounces per vertical metre..
The Bluebird processing plant sits strategically in the centre of these goldfields and provides a platform for further expansion.