Engineers and miners are sinking exploratory mining shafts at WIDGIEMOOLTHA (pronounced wig-ee-mool-ta. oo as in?
Engineers and miners are sinking exploratory mining shafts at WIDGIEMOOLTHA (pronounced wig-ee-mool-ta. oo as in moon) near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. It is the latest move int eh Australian mining boom -- and the potential for nickel development is said to be promising.
In a joint announcement International Nickel Australia Ltd. and the Broken Hill Proprietary Company stated that several nickel sulphide showings had been located and that shafts would be sunk to evaluate potential.
As part of the investigation in the area a program of diamond drilling is being undertaken. Several hundred tests have ben made and the core samples from these are first identified then sent to Kalgoorlie for further laboratory trials.
With the completion of the head frame and associated equipment, the first load of waste was hauled from the shaft.
Miners are working in two shifts in the shaft, which will eventually reach a depth of 1000 feet. From the shaft, horizontal workings will e driven into the mineral zones to check the continuity and nickel content of the mineralisation. Samples will be obtained for mill and metallurgical testing.
Because the rock is weathered and faulted, the first 200 feet of the drill is hard going. At the end of each shift miners come to the surface to fire charges set below. The next shift removes the blasted rock.
Apart from information about possible nickel deposits, the shaft is also expected to increase knowledge of the geological formation in this desolate outback area. The district was combed formerly for gold by early prospectors who had only picks and shovels.