• Slider Image

Witwatersrand Basin Project

Project Overview

The Witwatersrand Basin Project (WBP) comprises two historic mining centres on the Northern Edge of the Witwatersrand Basin in the Central Rand Goldfield immediately southwest of the city of Johannesburg. Mining has been taking place within the WBP area since the discovery of the goldfields in 1886.

The Central Rand Goldfields contain some of the world’s largest gold deposits and has produced over 247 Moz Au – over 35% of global production.

West Wits’ aims to becoming a junior gold producer targeting >60,000oz Au per annum over a 15-year plus mine life, supported by WBP’s JORC Compliant 4.37Moz Au Mineral. The Company is targeting first production at WBP by the end of 3Q 2021.

Currently the WBP contains the following JORC compliant Resource (see ASX Release 21/10/2020)

Table: Updated Global Mre For The Witwatersrand Basin Project At 2.0g/T Cut-Off1

Category Ore Tonnes (Mt) Grade g/t Au Ounces Au
Measured 6.73 4.21 912,000
Indicated 14.3 3.90 1,794,000
Measured & Indicated 21.1 4.00 2,706,000
Inferred 14.0 3.70 1,669,000
Total 35.10 3.88 4,375,000

Notes: The Global MRE set at a 2.0 g/t Au cut-off. Reported in accordance the JORC Code of 2012. Number differences may occur due to rounding errors. ASX Announcement 21 October 2020.

South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) approved the Company’s Environmental Authorisation (EA) in June 2020, a critical milestone towards the development of WBP.  The EA approval is currently subject to an appeals process, which is a normal part of South Africa’s permitting.  The DMR’s approval demonstrates the Governments support for the WBP and the Company is confident of a successful outcome in 4Q 2020.

An independent scoping study was carried out by highly regarded South African mining services firm Bara Consulting with results received in July 2020.  The study confirmed the Company’s view that WBP offers multiple areas for mining, identifying five distinct areas which enables staged development.

The CAPEX profile to recommence mining is expected to be low due to the existing historical infrastructure and planned toll treatment.

A key objective of the Independent Scoping Study was to provide an assessment of the mining potential over the whole Project area. The Independent Scoping Study confirmed the Project’s distinct positive investment parameters which de-risks the Project and enables the Company to progress to a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) on the Qala Shallows.

The BFS is expected to be completed in 1H 2021, the shorter timeframe compared to a typical BFS is due to the development plan not requiring a processing plant design and the mining method being determined in the Scoping Study phase which is well known.  A number of key decisions, such as mine layouts, processing and access options have been decided in the scoping phase, and the infrastructure requirements defined in the study have been to a level of detail that it is possible to move directly across into a BFS thereby avoiding the PFS & FS stages.

The Company is targeting first production at WBP by the end of 3Q 2021.

 

Resource Statement

West Wits’ Mineral Resource Estimate is derived from the historic DRD resource but only includes ounces to a 1,500m depth from surface and does not include deep underground material previously considered in the DRD estimation. The chosen headline cut-off grade of 2 g/t is based on historic figures and should ensure that the bulk of the resources can be reasonably expected to be exploited.

Table: Updated Global Mre For The Witwatersrand Basin Project At 2.0g/T Cut-Off

Category Ore Tonnes (Mt) Grade g/t Au Ounces Au
Measured 6.73 4.21 912,000
Indicated 14.3 3.90 1,794,000
Measured & Indicated 21.1 4.00 2,706,000
Inferred 14.0 3.70 1,669,000
Total 35.10 3.88 4,375,000

Notes: The Global MRE set at a 2.0 g/t Au cut-off. Reported in accordance the JORC Code of 2012. Number differences may occur due to rounding errors. ASX Announcement 21 October 2020.

WWI is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the announcement and confirms that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates above continue to apply and have not materially changed. The form and context in which the Competent Persons findings are presented have not materially changed.

WWI’s Geology Team is working with in-country geological consultant, Shango Solutions (“Shango”), on the resource work which is utilising historical survey and assay information, capturing data in a 3D environment to compile a 3D digital terrain model (Image 2) to expand the Mineral Resource on the K9A & K9B reef package of the Kimberley Central project area which includes the Qala Shallows & Qala Deeps.

WWI’s development plan aims to convert greater than 75% of the initial 10-year mining footprint of the Qala Shallows into measured and indicated resource categories to underpin the scheduled Bankable Feasibility Study on the Qala Shallows. Additional infill drilling is expected to start once the K9A target conversion project is complete. This will then allow Bara Consulting to assess a greater resource for conversion to a reserve following the completion of the BFS.

Additionally, the ore bodies are still open in multiple directions with additional reef packages of the prolific Witwatersrand Basin system yet to be explored by West Wits in the project area.

History of Leases

The Witwatersrand Basin Project (WBP) comprises two historic mining centres known as the Durban Roodepoort Deep and the Rand Leases on the Northern Edge of the Witwatersrand Basin in the Central Rand Goldfield immediately southwest of the city of Johannesburg (Figure 1). Mining has been taking place within these areas since discovery of the goldfields in 1886. During that time up to seven different gold bearing conglomerate horizons have been mined from surface down to a depth of 3,100 metres and total production for the combined Durban Roodepoort Deep and Rand Leases area was over 30 million ounces of gold at a grade in excess of 5 g/t (ASX: West Wits Mining Limited Prospectus 15/11/2007).

Figure 1. The boundary marks the extent of the WWI tenements in the area.

Historical JORC Mineral Resource Estimate

This historical estimate was compiled by the previous owners of the WBP leases Durban Roodeport Deep Limited (DRD) which was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange between May-1999 to July 2006 and is presented here directly from the DRD Annual Report of 2000 which also reported the closure of the mining operations. The historical estimates used categories of mineralisation as defined by the JORC Code 1997 which are substantially the same as the current JORC Code.

Table 1: Historical Mineral Resource Estimate – DRD and Rand Leases

Category Tonnes (millions) Grade g/t Ounces AU
Measured 27.1 5.03 4,380,000
Indicated 29.4 3.88 3,670,000
Measured & Indicated 56.5 4.43 8,050,000
Inferred 31.4 4.72 4,770,000
Total 87.9 4.6 12,820,000

The Mineral Resource statement from the DRD Annual Report of 2000 and quoted above was reported against an earlier version of the JORC Code (1997) and is not reported in accordance with the current JORC Code of 2012. At this stage no competent person has done sufficient work to classify these historical estimates in accordance with the JORC Code (2012). It is uncertain that following evaluation and further work that the “historical estimates” will be able to be reported as mineral resources in accordance with the JORC Code 2012.

The historical estimates are considered relevant and material to WWI as they encompass the area covered by the recently reinstated WBP’s Prospecting Right.

The process to reinstate the WBP Prospecting Right provided the impetus for an aggregation and full review of all the data. This also involved discussions with individuals who worked on the lease as an operating mine in the late 1990’s and who provided valuable information concerning those operations and their unrealised potential. The release of these historical resource estimates represents a significant step on the road to the redevelopment of the WBP. The next step will involve the formulation of Exploration Targets and commencement of a new exploration program designed around our upgraded knowledge of the area.