Regis Resources Ltd has officially opened the Balkau Decline at its Garden Well South underground mine, in Western Australia, named after Regis General Manager of Exploration, Jens Balkau, who passed away in 2021.
Garden Well South underground is an underground extension of the Garden Well open-pit mine, which is a key production source at Regis’ Duketon gold project, located in the Goldfields region of Western Australia.
The original Garden Well deposit was discovered as a “blind deposit” by the Regis exploration team led by Jens Balkau.
Balkau was one of the first and longest serving employees of Regis, joining in January 2006 as the General Manager of Exploration, and remaining in that role until February 2016 when he retired from full-time work. He remained a consultant to Regis before he passed away from a long-term illness in November 2021.
The Balkau Decline provides access to Regis’ second underground operation, located at Garden Well South, which commenced commercial production during May 2023. This is part of the mineralised system that extends for at least 1 km underneath the existing Garden Well open pits, which resulted from the original discovery by the team that Balkau led, Regis said.
This milestone is the culmination of more than two years of preparation, commitment and hard work from Regis teams with support from major mining services providers Barminco and MACA, it added.
Garden Well Underground will become a key part of the wider Duketon operations, which produced 356,000 oz of gold in the year ending June 30, 2021.
The official opening ceremony for the Balkau Decline was attended by Balkau’s family, local Traditional Owners as well as many former and current Regis employees, including Regis Chairman, James Mactier, and Managing Director and CEO, Jim Beyer.
Beyer said: “The official naming of the Balkau Decline yesterday reflects this positive evolution for the Garden Well operation, so it is fitting we name it after the man who led the initial discovery of Garden Well. Jens was a much-loved and valued colleague, friend and mentor to many at Regis. He led the exploration team for over a decade with enthusiasm and an abundant willingness to nurture the next generation of geologists.
“Jens is deeply missed, but his legacy will always be remembered at Regis.”