New hope for Henty Gold Mine: the Advocate reports

A major drilling program which will determine if the Henty Gold Mine has a future has started.

The exploration program will cost up to $5 million, with the first results expected by the end of September.

The West Coast mine is scheduled to close late this year, as current gold resources are mined out.

Owner Unity Mining Limited recently announced a deal with the PYBAR Group, with PYBAR to fund the three-stage exploration drive to earn a stake in Henty.

"We are excited by the opportunity this agreement provides Unity and the Henty mine," Unity CEO Andrew McIlwain said yesterday.

"The PYBAR Group have committed to a significant drilling program with the intention of returning Henty to profitable and sustainable production.

"The targets selected are a mix of early stage, conceptual targets, as well as those that have potential to quickly grow the resources."

Closure of Henty is expected to cost about 150 jobs.

The mine opened in 1996, and was expected to last four years.

Unity said 2014-15 production would top 50,000 ounces and a further 10,000 ounces were expected during the wind-down stage.

The first stage of the drilling program will be worth $1 million.