Theta Gold Mines Ltd (ASX:TGM) confirms that a study into increasing annual throughput at the TGME gold plant in South Africa by 20% to 600,000 tonnes can be achieved with a less than 1% increase in the proposed capex.
The independent study, which incorporates the 2.5MW ball mill purchased for the Theta Gold Plant in October 2019 into a revised plant design, was carried out by METS Engineering SA.
The 20% improvement in capacity is primarily the result of the new ball mill, is expected to cost less than 1% more than the original US$24.85 million cost outlined in a feasibility study for the Theta project.
“Plant can be readily expanded”
Chairman Bill Guy said, “The optimisation plant design study completed for the Theta project is a further demonstration of the robust nature of the project.
“The inclusion of the 2.5 MW mill and new design work means the plant can be readily expanded in future and the company has not lost sight of its medium-term production target of 100,000 ounces per annum.
“The team is updating the mine schedule to accommodate any potential production increases.
“The mill purchase mitigates potential future capital costs risks, but more importantly it is traditionally one of the longest lead timepieces of equipment.”
Results of the independent plant design optimisation study
Recent work has included ongoing optimisation of the Theta project and focused on improving the current throughput constraint of the tailings dam, specifically the annual deposition rate.
This annual deposition rate has now been confirmed at 600,000 tonnes, which matches the increased plant throughput capacity.
The company has also completed the removal of the 2.5 megawatts mill with the equipment manufacturer confirming it is in good condition with minor repairs expected to be completed on-site during installation of the mill.