The Meekatharra Gold Operations (MGO) are located around the regional towns of Meekatharra. MGO have consolidated the considerable historic gold mining centres of Meekatharra North, Paddy’s Flat, Yaloginda, Nannine and Reedy’s.
MGO comprises the Bluebird CIP processing plant (approx. 1.6 million tpa on blended feedstock) and associated infrastructure including a 350 person workers village. Bluebird is located in the centre of the groups Murchison holdings and hence being the largest and lowest cost of the ground processing facilities can take ore feed from any of the region's mines.
At the core of the MGO output is the Paddy’s Flat underground mine which the company has now been operating from for four years. Two other underground mines operate at MGO being the South Emu-Triton underground mine at the Reedy’s gold mining centre and the Bluebird underground mine at Yaloginda just 1km south of the Bluebird Plant. South Emu is now in a steady state of production, the Triton underground lodes are just being developed and the Bluebird underground mine has just hit its first ore and is also in a development phase. These three underground mines combine to deliver more than 100,000oz per annum to the Bluebird processing plant over the long term.
Underground ores are supplemented by a procession of smaller open pits, primarily cut-backs which have become economically viable as the gold price has risen. In the 20-21FY open pit mining will occur at the Five Mile Well, Maid Marion, Albury Heath and Aladdin open pits.
Westgold’s strategy at MGO is focussed on the higher grade underground ore sources. As such Westgold’s primary exploration focus in the Meekatharra area is the continual definition of extensions to these mines, as well as the testing of the next round of underground projects to be developed such as Aladdin (at Nannine), Boomerang and Rand mines at Reedy’s which could add another 3 modest underground mines to the group’s output. All of these additions are high-quality underground exploration targets proximal to existing historic mining centres and provide the options of leveraging the benefits of existing infrastructure.
Westgold has been blessed with defined targets to date and has until now focussed its efforts to their development. Westgold is now beginning to re-visit conceptual exploration over the significant land package associated with Meekatharra Gold Project. Focus in the coming year in this sphere will rest upon the newly acquire Banjo Bore Project north of Meekatharra as well as the Nannine Project proximal to Lake Annean, where a trial pit at Aladdin in 2019 produced encouraging results, prompting a plan for a returning to full-scale surface mining in the area in Calendar Year 2021.
MGO has been the base-load gold output for Westgold over the past 4 years averaging about 105,000oz per annum. Going forward expected long-term output of 110 – 130,000oz per annum is planned.