PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Blackham Resources has downgraded the production expectations at its Matilda/Wiluna project, in Western Australia, on the back of heavy rainfalls and lower mill grades.
Blackham had initially forecast output of 60 000 oz to 70 000 oz of gold in the financial year to June 30; however, the miner on Monday downgraded this to between 42 000 oz and 51 000 oz.
Since declaring commercial production in January, the Matilda/Wiluna site has received 265 mm of rain, compared with the 110 mm historical average for the quarter. Total rainfall in March was four-times that of historical March averages.
Some 26 days of openpit mining was lost during this period, including 15 days towards the end of March.
Blackham noted that all the openpits at Matilda have experienced slow dig rates due to the wet conditions, which significantly reduced the total material and ore mined.
Significantly less underground ore was also extracted from the Golden Age underground mine, and both development and stope tonnes and ounces were lower than anticipated, with stoping production taking longer to ramp up. The mining schedule at Golden Age is being amended and a revised mine plan will be updated over the coming weeks.