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Exploration drilling intensifies at White River mine

Silver Lake Resources halted mining at Sugar Zone last summer
(Silver Lake Resources photo)

Mining operations remain paused at the Sugar Zone Mine, near White River, but a considerable amount of drilling is taking place towards a possible restart next year.

In its recent quarterly report, Silver Lake Resources said it’s building three underground exploration drives as part of a 93,000-metre drilling program planned for the remainder of its current fiscal year, which ends next June.

The Australian gold company called a halt to mining last summer and hauled in the drill rigs in taking a back-to-basics approach to get a better handle of the geological picture in and around the mine. 

The company said four drill rigs are turning at Sugar Zone, two underground and two on surface. A third rig for the underground is being brought in this fall.

The company wants to define the size of the entire gold resource, the grade, and improve knowledge and predictability of the ore body close to the mine.

The Sugar Zone Mine is 30 kilometres north of White River.

Since last August, the tight-lipped company has made no mention of any layoff notices or its near or long-term plans for its workforce. The company also said during the summer, it is moving its worker accommodations facility from White River to the mine site. 

With underground drilling still in its early stages, the company maintains gold mineralization at Sugar Zone looks to be “open in multiple directions.” One area, dubbed the Sugar Zone south target, shows gold potential close to the surface that could be accessed from the existing underground mine workings.

Silver Lake took control of the mine from Harte Gold in early 2022 following a CCAA sales process. 

The Sugar Zone Mine is the Perth-based company’s only operation outside of Western Australia. Before the shut down, Sugar Zone produced 5,142 ounces during the quarter.