Polymetal signs offtake deal with Blackham

The Wiluna mining centre has produced over 4 million ounces of gold from 20 open pits and 3 underground mines. Photo: Blackham Resources

Precious metals major Polymetal announced Tuesday it has signed a refractory gold concentrate offtake agreement and strategic alliance with Australian gold miner Blackham Resources.

The companies entered into the offtake agreement for the greater of 70% of refractory sulphide gold concentrate from Blackham’s Wiluna Stage 1 expansion project during its first three years of operation, or 122,500 tonnes of concentrate containing at least 195,000 ounces of gold.

The Wiluna deposit is located close to the town of Wiluna, approximately 750 km northeast of Perth.

Blackham is implementing the expansion project in two stages to unlock the value of refractory ores

Wiluna ores are either oxide, refractory sulphide or quartz reef free-milling ores, with most gold occurring within fine-grained sulphides. Currently the only operating CIL plant is treating oxide ores from both Wiluna and other nearby mining centres.

Blackham is implementing the expansion project in two stages to unlock the value of refractory ores. Stage 1 assumes 110,000 ounces of average annual gold production from sulphide ores during 2021-2027, followed by Stage 2 of expansion, which will see an increase of annual production to 250,000 ounces of gold for more than 10 years.

On the expiration of the initial three-year period of Stage 1 and during Stage 2 of the Wiluna expansion project, Polymetal will obtain exclusive offtake rights for up to 100% of Blackham’s concentrate production.

Polymetal said the alliance will establish a process of two-way technical data sharing in respect of the potential expansion of Wiluna concentrate production and certain regional projects. Its long-term goal is to reduce the global environmental footprint of refractory sulphide gold ores and concentrates processing.

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