West Wits Mining Limited (ASX:WWI) is in the process of applying for two mining permits to enable a substantial increase in gold production from its Witwatersrand Basin Project (WBP) in South Africa.
This positive news flow comes at a time when the Rand is strengthening due to improving conditions in South Africa’s political and economic environment.
Michael Quinert, chairman, said: “The board’s main task for the South African business in 2018 remains clearly focused on fast-tracking the application and approval for full mining rights for the Witwatersrand Basin Project, with submission scheduled for April.
“Upon regulatory approval, this will likely create significant incremental value for shareholders, as it would enable production to be ramped up materially.”
Small scale open pit operations ahead of full scale mining rights
West Wits’ consultants have advised that South African mining laws will allow the company to apply for two mining permits which will enable small scale open pit operations within five hectares.
Target area for new mining permits
This is positive for West Wits as with the depletion of WBP Kimberley Central Open Pit due within 10-12 months, it is important to ensure continuity and preferably, grow ore production and cashflow.
The mining permit applications are scheduled to be lodged in March and granted by September, allowing ore production to materially increase during 4Q 2018.
Mining rights application planned in April
West Wits is continuing to fast-track the application for the full-scale mining right across the WBP and is targeting to submit the paperwork to the government in April.
Upon approval, expected within 12-months, the prospective gold production from WBP can be scaled up significantly.
The swearing in of successful mining entrepreneur Cyril Ramaphosa to the presidency points to a favourable turnaround in South Africa’s economic and political environment.