Theta Gold Mines (ASX:TGM) (OTCQB: TGMGF) has highlighted its strategy to become a high-growth gold producer at the Mines & Money Online Connect Precious Metals webinar, a three day event showcasing 60 leading mining companies between January 27 – 29.
Sitting in the top 100 ASX listed resources companies, with one of the top three largest undeveloped gold resources not controlled by a major in South Africa, the company highlighted its goal to develop four mines targeting more than 160,000 ounces per annum within five years.
Within South Africa's Golden Triangle region
The company’s Theta Gold Project sits within the Eastern Transvaal Goldfields within a region known as South Africa’s ‘Golden Triangle’, which is host to the three largest gold reserves in the world producing around 6,000 tonnes of gold.
Peers include West Wits Mining’s (ASX:WWI) Witwatersrand Basin Project, DRD Gold – a 175,000 ounce producer and Pan African Resources.
Theta controls a large gold field, which remains almost unexplored since WWII with more than 43 historical mines to be investigated using modern day exploration technology.
Working towards an underground mining reserve, targeted for Q1 2021, the company plans to use the following methods and technologies to boost its underground mine economics:
- Modern mining methods – to recover maximum grade with improved dilution;
- Modern gold processing – to maximise gold recovery; and
- Modern mining planning – to maximise production rates.
Four stage mine developments
Stage 1 includes Theta’s starter pits, which are on MR83 while stage 2 comprises the company’s Southern Extension Pits on MR341, which currently have around 500,000 ounces in open-pit resources that are to be converted into ore reserves through in-fill drilling.
Stage 3 includes the Rietfontein shallow underground mine on MR358/10161 where a scoping study was completed in 2017 and stage 4 comprises the Beta shallow underground mine, host to 1.1 million ounces at 6 g/t gold.
Project PFS targeted for completion in Q1
On December 14, Theta’s board approved a pre-feasibility study to convert more of the company’s measured and indicated mineral resources into a mining reserve.
The PFS, targeted for completion by Q1 2021, will produce an underground mining reserve for the Beta and Frankfort Mines.
This will be the company’s first declared underground mining reserve, to be added to Theta Gold’s existing 205,000 ounces of open-pit mining reserves from MR83, which is already approved for underground mining.
Led by the new CEO (Africa), Mitford Mundell, a detailed survey has been completed on old workings where the team identified easily accessible gold faces with easy access to sampling.
The PFS will build on the scoping studies completed in 2017 for the Beta Mines.
Theta has 150 years of exploration and production data to assist with fast tracking the PFS.
In early Jan the company invested A$700,000 in Bullion Asset Management Services Pte Ltd (BAM), a Singapore-based technology company focused on financing, tokenisation of physical gold bullion and precious metals trading.
The move makes Theta a top-five shareholder in BAM, with about 5% in BAM, together with the three other large shareholders.
At the time, chairman Bill Guy said the unique investment provides the company with exposure to a rapidly growing bullion management business backed by Australia’s oldest and most reputable bullion and numismatic merchant, Jaggards.