Blackham Resources has experienced a drop in gold production from its Matilda, Wiluna and Williamson gold mining areas in Western Australia, leading the company to lower its full year production and sale guidance.
Blackham’s March quarter production was 12,950 ounces at an all in sustaining cost (AISC) of $2287 per ounce, down from the December 2019 production of 20,003 ounces.
Blackham has now lowered its full year production and cost guidance by 66,000 ounces at an AISC of $1875 per ounce, subject to there being no further COVID-19 impacts.
The main reason for poorer-than-expected production performance, Blackham noted in its quarterly report, was due to limited access to high grade ore from the mines, requiring the company to treat lower grade stockpiles.
The production was also affected by COVID-19 restrictions and poor weather, particularly Cyclones Blake and Damian, which resulted in mining being constrained in both the open pits and underground operations.
However, Blackham expected operations to return to normal levels over the next 18 months following a heavy investment by the company to secure higher grade ore supplies from the Williamson open pit mine.
Blackham has invested in pre-production mining to expose major free-milling orebodies at Williamson, and invested capital into infrastructure including tailing storage capacity and mill improvements.
In mid-April, Blackham raised $52 million equity through investors, which has helped the company pay its outstanding debts to shareholders and investors.
Blackham is in discussions with Swiss international commodity trading company, Mercuria, regarding findings available via a project loan facility. Once approved, this could lead to a $40 million project loan facility for Blackham.