Gold miner Wiluna Mining has approved the A$81m (approximately $58m) Stage 1 sulphide development at its Wiluna gold operation located in Western Australia (WA).

Located about 750km northeast of Perth, the Wiluna mine is in the North-Eastern Goldfields of WA.

With the staged sulphide development project approval now in place, the company intends to transition its current production profile of producing 62,000 ounces (oz) per annum from mining free milling ore to initially producing 100,000–120,000 ounces per annum of gold as well as gold in concentrate.

By the end of 2023 or early 2024, the company aims to increase production of gold and gold in concentrate to approximately 250,000 ounces per annum.

Wiluna Mining has appointed GR Engineering as an engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for Stage 1 of the concentrator development programme.

Wiluna Mining executive chair Milan Jerkovic said: “A significant hurdle was met when the Board of Directors approved the construction of the concentrator and the appointment of GR Engineering to undertake the EPC contract for construction.

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“The timetable is confirmed and the capital requirements for Stage 1 will be fully funded with the expected draw down of the Mercuria second tranche debt facility and work will commence immediately with commissioning planned for September 2021.

“The challenge now is to deliver on Stage 1 and scope out the optimum size for Stage 2 given the considerable size of the Wiluna orebody. This will take shape in the Feasibility Study which is currently being undertaken.”