The West Australian: 9 February 2018

Production boost lifts Blackham

Stuart McKinnon

Shares in beaten-down gold miner Blackham Resources jumped yesterday after it announced record monthly production of 6498oz in January — a 19 per cent hike on its December output.

Crucially, the company cited a 15 per cent reduction in all-in sustaining costs in the month to $1158/oz against an average realised gold price of $1663/oz.

It also noted a build-up in high-grade ore stockpiles of 108,000t at 1.5g/t gold.

Blackham’s 6.5Moz Matilda-Wiluna operations bled cash last year because of high strip ratios and a lack of access to high-grade ore resulting in average operating costs of $1962/oz.

The miner came close to the brink when a $60 million funding package failed to materialise, leaving it unable to meet a $14.8 million debt repayment due on December 31.

Chairman Milan Jerkovic has since stepped into an executive role at the Bryan Dixon-led miner to help with a restructure and recapitalisation plan.

“This operational performance, in conjunction with the current strong Australian-dollar gold price, is expected to make 2018 a transformational year,” he said.

Yesterday’s news comes ahead of a company-saving, underwritten $36 million rights priced at 4¢-a-share, which is set to close on Monday.

Blackham shares closed up 1.1¢, or 22 per cent, at 6.1¢.