Meekatharra Gold Operation (MGO)
MGO is located around the regional town of Meekatharra and encompasses Westgold’s central group of assets including the historic gold mining centres of Meekatharra North, Paddy’s Flat, Yaloginda, Nannine and Reedy’s.
The MGO project hub incorporates the 1.6-1.8 Mtpa Bluebird processing hub, a 420-person village, and associated mining infrastructure required to support a large FIFO and DIDO mining operation. The Bluebird plant receives underground ore from the Paddy’s Flat, South Emu - Triton and Bluebird underground mines and supplementary lower grade open pit ore from Five Mile Well, Maid Marion, Albury Heath and Aladdin open pits.
The Bluebird underground mine recommenced in FY21, following the temporary suspension of development works due to a skilled labour shortage. During the temporary closure, an extensive underground drilling program was completed producing excellent results and extending the resource significantly.
With the recommencement of mining at Bluebird, Westgold now operates three underground mines at MGO, including Paddy’s Flat and South Emu – Triton. At steady state production, these three mines are expected to deliver more than 100,000oz per annum to the Bluebird processing plant with potential supplemental ore available from the Aladdin, Albury Heath and Maid Marion deposits.
The Bluebird processing plant processes both underground and open pit ore, performing strongly this year treating more than 1,684,000 tonnes, inline with the plant’s capacity of 1.6-1.8 million tonne. The metallurgical recoveries rate for the ore blend was 85.21%. In-mine exploration at MGO focussed on the extension of the Paddy’s Flat and Reedy’s ore systems:
- Prohibition lodes returned excellent drill results demonstrating the ongoing, large-scale nature of mineralisation at Paddy’s Flat;
- Triton North lodes produced promising drill results underscoring the strong potential of the Reedy’s deposit;
- drilling results from the Three Sisters prospect indicates well for future small scale open pit mining at Nannine.
During the year the Company has accelerated new mine exploration activities at MGO with the primary focus being the Meekatharra North, Yaloginda and Reedy’s mining centres. This work has recently included the collection of new geophysical datasets and geological re-interpretations leading to the selection of new priority targets for drill testing in the second half of FY22.