WPG Resources Ltd. said Dec. 29 that maintenance issues at the mill and some underperforming stopes at the Challenger gold mine in South Australia, along with its refocused strategy, will result in lower-than-expected production for the December quarter.
The combined production from the Challenger and Tarcoola mines for the December quarter is now expected to be approximately 11,000 ounces, with the fiscal 2018 output from the two mines now estimated at 60,000 ounces.
The company's wholly owned unit Challenger Gold Operations Pty. Ltd. recently secured a A$20 million secured debt facility with Byrnecut Group, the mining contractor at the Challenger mine.
WPG and Byrnecut are working together to optimize the longer-term production strategy at Challenger. This optimization study, which will not be finalized until February 2018, will de-emphasize short-term production from high-cost remnant mining in the older parts of the mine, and focus more on developing the virgin Challenger Deeps area, where stoping will commence in February 2018.