ONE of Australia’s previous largest single mine gold producers has restarted operations in the Murchison, WA, with plans to bring it back to its former glory.

Westgold Resources (ASX: WGX) yesterday announced underground sub-level mining has recommenced at its Big Bell mine, located within the company’s Cue Gold operations.

Westgold executive chairman Peter Cook said this was a major milestone for the company and paves the way for planned ramp-up in mine output, targeting steady-state production rates by the end of 2020.

“Big Bell will become our largest single mine in the Murchison region and restarts with a 10-year mine life with excellent resource extension potential,” he said.

The first mass cave blast broke about 103,000t at 3g/t of gold over three levels.

“Our dominant land position, three operating process plants, more than 9m oz resource base and our unique position as owner operator, provide the strategic platform to underwrite more than 300,000oz of production per annum in the longer term,” Mr Cook said.


Gold was first discovered around Big Bell in 1910 with about 2.7m oz of gold produced from the area prior to Westgold ownership.

The mind closed in 2003 due to technical and economic factors driven by a gold price under $500/oz.