West Wits Mining Limited (ASX:WWI) has been as much as 58% higher after having the path towards production this year at the Witwatersrand Basin Project (WBP) in South Africa cleared by the reinstatement of the Environmental Authorisation (EA).
The company is buoyed after receiving a positive outcome from the Department of Environmental Fisheries and Forestry (DEFF) appeals process relating to West Wits’ EA at the WBP.
Through a detailed written decision, South Africa’s Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has dismissed all three appeals lodged against the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) EA approval.
Shares have been as much as 15 cents in early trade, a new high of more than 12 years, on strong volume of almost 33 million within an hour.
West Wits chairman Michael Quinert said: “The Minister’s decision to reinstate West Wits’ EA approval is a pivotal milestone for the company and clears the pathway for the DMRE to finalise the granting of WWI’s mining right at the WBP.
"The unconditional dismissal of the appeals is testament to the quality and thoroughness of the engagement process undertaken by our lawyers, specialist consultants and the executive team led by managing director Jac van Heerden.”
The decision of the Minister reinstates the DMRE’s EA approval that was initially granted on June 23, 2020, and paves the way to complete the granting of the mining right application through the DMRE.
West Wits’ team is re-engaging with DMRE officers as the company seeks to expedite granting of the Mining Right.
Managing director Jac van Heerden said: “The reinstatement of the EA comes at an opportune time for WWI with the resource restatement and BFS on the Qala Shallows project area scheduled for April and July 2021 respectively.
"The successful completion of the EA process significantly de-risks the project and is a major catalyst for execution of the next stage of the WBP’s development strategy, allowing the WWI team to ramp up activity as the company targets maiden underground gold production in 2021.”