THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Blackham Resources (ASX: BLK) announced lower than expected gold production for the recently completed June 2017 quarter.
Blackham Resources said that although improvements in crusher and mill performance were seen during the quarter at the company’s 6.4 million ounce Matilda/Wiluna gold operation, a lower grade profile resulted in lower than forecast production of 15,709 ounces.
This was however, an improvement on the previous March 2017 quarter, when the company produced 14,920 ounces.
Blackham indicated gold production for the September 2017 quarter is expected to increase due to both higher tonnes processed and a higher-grade profile from the open pits.
The company explained that the Matilda open pits have experienced slow ore dig rates due to recent wet conditions and wall slips reducing the total ore mined.
Strip ratios during the June 2017 quarter were reduced to 11.9 times – compared to the March 2017 quarter ratios of 15.2 times – but, as the company indicated, are still higher than the 8:1 life of mine strip ratio.
Blackham expects stripping ratios to be reduced next quarter.
“The higher investment in waste stripping this half has allowed access to expected higher-grade ore in the September 2017 quarter,” Blackham Resources said in its ASX announcement.
“Mining at the higher-grade Galaxy pit started in early April.
“Access to the higher-grade zones in the M4 pit are expected to be achieved during July.”