Theta Gold Mines Ltd (ASX:TGM) has received an indication of support from South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) for its application to amend Mining Right 83 to also permit open pit mining at the Theta Gold Project.
MR83 is an approved and executed mining right and has an approved Environmental Authorisation (EA) for underground mining activities, as well as approval for processing of ore and deposition of residues onto an existing tailings dam.
In a letter received on October 26, 2020, the DMRE confirmed that the application for EA to permit open-pit mining on MR83 is being reviewed and the record of decision should be finalised on or before the end of November 2020.
“Commitment for decision”
Theta Gold Chairman Bill Guy said: “We are pleased to receive the DMRE’s confirmation of support towards our EA application for MR83 and its commitment for a decision by the end of November.
“Through the EA process, Theta Gold has implemented a positive and wholistic environmental strategy that has gained traction with local communities.
“Environmental offset strategy has been employed to further strengthen the company’s environmental credentials.”
Stimulating economic growth
The DMRE has confirmed its support for Theta Gold’s investment and stated that it would do the necessary to ensure appropriate permits are processed and granted expeditiously.
In the letter, the DMRE acknowledged and appreciate the progress Theta Gold has made in relation to its mining investment which has potential benefits to the South African economy and the local municipal area in particular.
It noted that the mining sector had been identified as one of the most important catalyst to stimulate economic growth in the country post-COVID-19.
Theta Gold’s core project is next to the historical gold mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest, in Mpumalanga Province, 370 kilometres northeast of Johannesburg by road or 95 kilometres north of Nelspruit, which is the provincial capital.
Following small-scale production from 2011-2015, the company is focusing on the construction of a new gold processing plant within its approved footprint at the TGME plant, and for the processing of the Theta Open Pit oxide gold ore.