Westgold's operations around the regional town of Meekatharra encompass Westgold’s central group of assets including the historic gold mining centres of Meekatharra North, Paddy’s Flat, Yaloginda, Nannine and Reedy’s.

The assets at Meekatharra include the 1.6-1.8Mtpa Bluebird processing hub, a 420-person village, and associated mining infrastructure required to support a large FIFO and DIDO mining operation. In FY23, the Bluebird plant received ore from the Bluebird, Paddy’s Flat and Triton – South Emu underground mines, along with excess ore from Big Bell and supplementary low-grade stockpiles.

The Bluebird underground mine has been expanding rapidly since recommencement of mining in mid FY22, with further extensions and opportunities being identified. A second decline commenced in mid FY23 to expand the mining footprint with outputs continuing to rise with grades well above the original plan. The South Junction zone to the South of Bluebird has shown potential for further expansion and is a subject of current investigation.

The Bluebird processing hub performed strongly in FY23 treating 1,494,123t, slightly below the plant’s capacity, mainly due to the now high percentage of hard rock feed (minimal oxide). The hub produced 112,614oz of gold in the year at a metallurgical recovery of 89%.

An operational pause has been implemented at Paddy’s Flat to allow the mine to transition to an exploration phase, targeting a restart of the mine once a three-to-four year mine plan is defined. Westgold has a strong track record of pausing and restarting mines to achieve a superior economic outcome, with Fender and Bluebird cases in point.

Work continues on re-evaluating the Triton – South Emu system which was put into care and maintenance in early FY23. Westgold is investigating an alternative approach to mine planning and execution at Triton – South Emu which offers a more sustainable and economically compelling project which best utilises the significant infrastructure and mine development in place.