Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) has made quite a fuss about the commencement of work at the legendary Great Fingall mine in the WA Goldfields. This statement comes just a day before the release of the company’s September quarter production and sales report on Wednesday, October 25.
You might wonder why companies separate major news items when both could complement each other – ‘Work Starting at Great Fingall’ would make an excellent headline for a quarterly report.
The initiation of the Great Fingall project, located near Cue, is a testament to Westgold’s swift action. The green light was given in August, and the company promised to start in the fourth quarter. It’s only 28 kilometers from Westgold’s Tuckabianna processing hub, ensuring cost-effective processing. Westgold is utilizing the existing underground fleet, surface infrastructure, and a high-speed development team to kickstart the project in less than two months.
On October 19, Westgold’s Great Fingall development team successfully completed the first cut into the existing decline access, aligning with the feasibility study.
Historically, Great Fingall has produced approximately 1.2 million ounces over the years. Westgold believes it has discovered enough gold reserves under the old workings (known as Great Fingall Deeps) to sustain mining for another 8 years, yielding around 45,000 ounces annually. This estimate is likely conservative, as mines often reveal more reserves as companies, geologists, and miners become more familiar with the terrain.
“Great Fingall is one of four +1Moz (more than one million ounces) historic producing mines in Westgold’s portfolio,” stated Westgold CEO Wayne Bramwell to the ASX. “At steady state, Great Fingall will be a long-life, high-grade, high-margin underground mine, producing +45,000oz a year. Our base case plan offers compelling returns, is fully funded from operational cashflows, and focuses on deeper virgin reef extensions only. Importantly, significant upside exists from known shallow high-grade, flat, and linking structures that we will develop as we extend the decline past the shallow remnant mining areas to the virgin extensions of this high-grade orebody. These opportunities, which could deliver additional ounces during FY24 (2024 financial year), have not yet been included in the current business case or design,” he added.
In 2022-23, Westgold conducted a $4 million drilling campaign targeting the area below the old workings of the Great Fingall mine. This campaign proved successful in confirming the continuity and quality of the Great Fingall Reef extensions. It also unveiled the existence of a parallel high-grade quartz reef, leading to a significant upgrade in the Great Fingall Mineral Resource Estimate to 588,000oz of contained gold.
Combined with the nearby Golden Crown Mineral Resource of 194,000oz, the Great Fingall Base Case development plan is based on a total resource of 782,000oz of contained gold. Westgold notes that the new Great Fingall Mineral Resource remains open at depth.
The first ore from the latest iteration of Great Fingall is anticipated in the first half of 2025.