The Wiluna gold mine is a world-class goldfield having produced about four million ounces of gold during its history. The mine is 1000 kilometres north-east of Perth and comprises mining leases covering about 50 square kilometres.
The operation includes gold resources in excess of 1Moz and a one million tonne per annum processing facility, along with other established infrastructure.
Previous production and known resources have occurred in two main fault structures; the East Lode and West Lode, to a depth of 1000 metres below surface level. It is estimated that only 50 per cent of the known extent of these lodes has been tested by systematic exploration drilling, with much of this carried out at very broad drill spacing. Considerable potential therefore exists for the delineation of additional resources with a high probability of converting these to reserves, according to current owner Apex Minerals.
Having purchased the mine in July 2007, Apex upgraded and reopened the mine in November 2008. The operation consists of several open pits, the largest being East Pit, which was mined until July 2007 and again in late 2008 and early 2009, and three underground operations. Two of those, Happy Jack and East Lode, are older workings. The third, Bulletin decline, was also mined until July 2007 and has since reopened. By the second quarter of 2009, Apex declared it had reached its production target of 30,000 ounces of gold per month at Wiluna.
In December 2010 Apex announced that a new resource estimate for the Wiluna gold mine had been completed with highlights including a 33 per cent increase in contained gold compared with the October 2009 estimate. The current indicated and inferred resources at Wiluna now stood at 12.7Mt grading 5.4 grams per tonne for 2.2Moz of gold.