WBP targets first gold production 6-months from project commencement
The Witwatersrand Basin Project (WBP) comprises two historic mining centres on the Northern Edge of the Witwatersrand Basin in the Central Rand Goldfield immediately southwest of the city of Johannesburg. Mining has been taking place within the WBP area since the discovery of the goldfields in 1886. The Central Rand Goldfields contain some of the world’s largest gold deposits and has produced over 247 Moz Au – over 35% of global production.
West Wits’ aims to becoming a junior gold producer targeting >60,000oz Au per annum over a 20-year plus mine life, supported by WBP’s JORC Compliant 3.55Moz Au Mineral Resource. The Company is targeting the first production at WBP within 6-months from project commencement, i.e. late 2021 to early 2022.
West Wits received formal communication from South Africa’s Director-General of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) on 19th July 2021 that the Company’s mining right application has been granted in terms of section 23(1) of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act 28 of 2002). The Department’s decision to grant West Wits’ Mining Right is a pivotal milestone for the Company which heralds in the development of WWI’s marque Witwatersrand Basin Project.
An independent scoping study was carried out by the highly regarded South African mining services firm Bara Consulting with results received in July 2020. The study confirmed the Company’s view that WBP offers multiple areas for mining, identifying five distinct areas which enables staged development.
The CAPEX profile to recommence mining is expected to be low due to the existing historical infrastructure and planned toll treatment.
A key objective of the Independent Scoping Study was to provide an assessment of the mining potential over the whole Project area. The Independent Scoping Study confirmed the Project’s distinct positive investment parameters which de-risks the Project and enables the Company to progress to a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on the Qala Shallows.
The DFS is expected to be completed in August 2021, the shorter timeframe compared to a typical DFS is due to the development plan not requiring a processing plant design and the mining method being determined in the Scoping Study phase which is well known.
A number of key decisions, such as mine layouts, processing and access options have been decided in the scoping phase, and the infrastructure requirements defined in the study have been to a level of detail that it is possible to move directly across into a DFS thereby avoiding the PFS & FS stages.
The Company is targeting the first production at WBP within 6-months from project commencement, i.e. late 2021 to early 2022.