Westgold Resources has recommenced underground sub-level cave stoping at the Big Bell underground mine in Western Australia.
Westgold’s executive chairman, Peter Cook noted that despite the Big Bell site having been idle and flooded since 2003, it was previously one of the largest single mine gold producers in the Australian gold sector.
“This is a major milestone for Westgold and a terrific achievement by our Cue Gold operations team,” he said.
Westgold noted that it has made significant capital reinvestments over a three-year period to bring the Big Bell site up to specifications in order to restart operations.
The gold miner initiated the first mass cave blast on March 2. With this, the company believes it is well placed to reach its target steady-state production rates by the end of this year.
The gold miner added that Big Bell will become its largest single mine in the Murchison region. After the operations recommence, the mine still has a 10-year mine life and Westgold believes it has excellent resource extension potential.
“Big Bell is key to Westgold’s plans as it represents the last critical piece in our Murchison strategy. Our dominant land position, three operating process plants, over 9 million ounces resource base and our unique position as owner-operator provides the strategic platform to underwrite more than 300,000 ounces of production per annum in the longer term,” Cook said.
Westgold currently owns three operating gold projects located in the gold production belts of Western Australia: the Meekatharra Gold Operations, Fortnum Gold Project, and the recently started Cue Gold Operations.