Westgold hits processing roadblock at Meekatharra

The Meekatharra gold operations. Image: Westgold Resources

Westgold Resources faced further delay to recommencing its ore processing at its Meekatharra gold operations in Western Australia.

The company reported continued issues with the bearing on the semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill at its Bluebird plant, which has caused the processing plant to be offline since last week.

Westgold had expected to rectify the issue within 48 hours, but a new bearing is now only available for fitting towards the end of next week.

The company initially predicted the incident to result in a process loss of one week in the current quarter, and an estimated 2500 ounces shortfall in output from the Meekatharra operations.

Westgold is confident this further delay will only have “minimal additional impact” on its December quarter gold output for the mine.

“While this is impacting ore processing for Meekatharra, it does not impact mining activities and ore stocks are continuing to build,” Westgold said in a media statement.

“Westgold has commenced trucking some of its higher grade ores from Meekatharra gold operations to its Tuckabianna Mill at its Cue gold operations to offset the production losses.

“Further, the Bluebird process circuit is currently being amended to bypass the SAG mill and operate the ball mills in series.

“It is expected that the plant will be able to recommence processing at a reduced rate (60-80 tonnes an hour) in the coming days.”

The Bluebird plant has a normal processing capacity of 1.6-1.8 million tonnes an hour.

The Westgold team discovered the issues during a routine maintenance shut.

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