Westgold Resources starts production at newest underground mine site, Fender, near Cue

Staff reporterMidwest Times
Fender gold mine site near Cue.
Camera IconFender gold mine site near Cue. Credit: Westgold Resources Ltd

A WA gold company has revealed it has started production at its newest underground mine near Cue, at Fender — a little brother of sorts to its Big Bell site nearby in the Murchison.

In an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange last week, Westgold Resources Limited said it would be starting operations at Fender this month, with 24,000 ounces of gold expected to be recovered in the 2022-23 financial year.

The company classes Fender as a “low capital development” with a “compelling” business case, as it leverages surface infrastructure and equipment from Big Bell.

“Westgold is focused on leveraging existing capital, driving our cost base down and profitability up in FY23,” Westgold managing director Wayne Bramwell said.

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“Fender achieves these objectives by utilising a simple mining method, and with high confidence in the geological model, execution risk is low. Bringing Fender online also gives Westgold optionality to alter the mix of our production sources to better maximise profit, without impacting group production or our long-term scale objectives.

“This mine can grow, and we are confident that with additional resource drilling over the next 12-18 months Fender can contribute more to our growth aspirations.”

Fender, 3.5km south of Big Bell and one of three underground mines the company has in its 1.4 million tonnes per annum Tuckabianna processing hub, was previously mined by Normandy Mining in the 1990s, with Westgold undertaking a pit cut-back during 2020, taking it to a vertical depth of 100m.

Big Bell has a production history of more than 11 million tonnes.

“Although costed as a standalone opportunity to ensure its commerciality, Fender will share facilities, manning and equipment with Big Bell, reducing its unit costs of operation,” the company told the ASX.

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