West Wits Mining Limited (ASX:WWI) is planning to secure mining rights across the whole Witwatersrand Basin project (WBP) in South Africa to substantially scale up gold production.
With W1 open pit set to deplete within the next 12-15 months, the company is progressing to secure a mining permit for another open pit project (W2) for small scale mining.
Expanding JORC compliant gold resource
Having recently increased the JORC compliant gold resource to 3.26 million ounces of gold (from 1.88 million ounces), the company can carry out a moderate sized mining operation, though further studies are required.
However, given it is clear there is significantly more gold mineralisation within WBP, West Wits is working towards expanding the existing resource.
It is worth noting that the historic resource was 12.8 million ounces of gold under the JORC 1999 code.
Progressing work on mining rights
West Wits is accelerating work towards securing mining rights for the whole WBP in 2018, as this will enable the operation to be substantially scaled beyond the current 1,000 ounces per month (from W1).
However, this is a complex process that requires input from multiple stakeholders and compliance with South Africa’s relatively strict environmental laws – the timeline could extend into 2019.
High-grade ore production at W1 for December 2017 continued to achieve the 10,000-to-15,000 tonnes target range. A total of 1,020 ounces of gold was produced in December.
Rehabilitation work is now commencing at pit one and will progress across all five pits within W1 as the resource is depleted.