This represents annual production growth of 7-22% on FY19 which produced 65,406 ounces of gold at an AISC of A$1,760 per ounce.
Production in FY20 will be focussed on free milling ore bodies prior to Blackham transitioning to Stage 1 of its Sulphide Expansion Project, which is planned to commence production during FY21.
In the near-term, production guidance for the current September 2019 quarter has been set at 17,500-19,500 ounces at an AISC of A$1,550-$1,750 per ounce.
Blackham’s executive chairman Milan Jerkovic said: “Blackham looks forward to an improved period of production as it benefits from investments made so far during 2019 as well as continuing to improve operational performance through cost reduction, and by mining its highest margin reserves to improve operational cash flow.
“FY20 should be an exciting period for Blackham as it progresses its strategy associated with its Sulphide Expansion Project to unlock the large sulphide reserves and resources at Wiluna.”
FY20 AISC includes capex of $16 million
It is worth pointing out that the FY20’s AISC guidance includes $11 million of sustaining capex and $5 million of non-sustaining capex.
The $11 million sustaining capex mostly comprises the construction of a new tailings storage facility, which will provide storage capacity for the ongoing operations.
Expansion tipped to begin in October 2019
Blackham plans to expand production at Matilda-Wiluna through two stages of expansion, stage I targeting 100,000-120,000 ounces of gold per annum and stage two increasing to 250,000 ounces per annum.
Stage I focuses on the production of a gold concentrate predominantly from the Wiluna underground with flexibility to also process its free milling and tailings Reserves.
Blackham’s Stage 1 Sulphide Expansion Project1 is forecast to commence in October 2019.