PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A scoping study into a second gold mine for Stonewall Resources in South Africa’s Eastern Goldfields has proved positive.
The company on Tuesday announced the completion of the second part of its scoping study on the combined Rietfontein and Beta staged hard-rock mine development.
This part of the scoping study focused on the Beta project, while the first part focused on an initial low capital and operating cost development approach at the Rietfontein operation.
The initial scoping study estimated that for a capital investment of $31-million, Stonewall could develop a 60 000 oz/y operation, by using the existing TGME processing plant near Pilgrims Rest, in Mpumalanga, and establishing initial underground development and related infrastructure.
The scoping study into the Beta project has now indicated a combined Rietfontein and Beta development can produce up to 100 000 oz/y from both mines over a mine life of nine years, with a capital requirement of $29-million, and a C1 cash cost of $495/oz.
“Both Rietfontein and Beta are designed to underpin the company’s growth plans, which we believe will be complemented by other nearby low-cost ore sources also being investigated,” said Stonewall MD Rob Thomson.
“The low capital and low operating costs of the TGME project mean the economics appear very robust, and we are confident as the feasibility work progresses, the project will attract development funding.”
Stonewall is hoping to start mine construction and plant refurbishment in early 2018, pending available funding, with the first ore slated to be delivered to the plant by the end of that year.
“We plan to commence drilling at Rietfontein to upgrade the resource in coming weeks and remain focused on bringing Rietfontein into production in 2018. The fully permitted, high-grade Rietfontein project is expected to underpin our medium-term development strategy, and this will be supported by the Beta development.”