Westgold Resources confirmed the start of operations at the newest mine in its portfolio, Fender, near Cue in Western Australia.
MD Wayne Bromwell said that, with Fender in gear, it can now continue its focus on leveraging its existing capital to keep costs minimised and profitability on an upward swing in fiscal year 2023, during which it is eyeing 24,000 ounces.
“Fender achieves these objectives by utilising a simple mining method, and with high confidence in the geological model, execution risk is low,” he added.
“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.”
The company also feels that there is a “compelling” business case for Fender to take on underground development.
“Fender has the advantage of being able to leverage off Westgold’s substantial investment in infrastructure, fleet and support services associated with the nearby Big Bell mine,” Westgold noted.
“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 current Fender mine plan is limited to the area of the resource, which is well defined by grade control drilling.
Fender, which is situated on the Big Bell trend, was previously mined by Normandy Mining in the 1990s. Westgold completed a pit cut-back at the asset in 2020.