PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Junior Theta Gold Mines has reported an initial maiden underground reserve of 419 000 oz of gold for its namesake project in South Africa.
The company on Thursday noted that its global mining reserve now stood at 580 000 oz.
The maiden underground reserve resulted from a prefeasibility study into the Beta, Frankfort and CDM mines, which are collectively referred to as the TGME underground project.
Over the last six months, the ASX-listed company has focused on converting part of the large underground mineral resource into a mine reserve.
“Theta Gold has made good progress in demonstrating that a significant portion of the underground 4.5-million ounces could be converted into a mining reserve. The historical mining techniques of the mineral field in which we operate meant that the company has traditionally carried a large percentage of its mineral resource in inferred categories. Now the company is showing clearly that modern mining and production methods will allow us to develop this extensive shallow underground reef system,” said Theta chairperson Bill Guy.
“We have shown in a very short period that we can deliver an initial ore reserve, with high grades achieved. As we go forward with the underground mine development, the life-of-mine can be extended as more inferred resources are converted into mine reserve as part of the underground development work.”
Guy noted that later this year, a Rietfontein scoping study would be upgraded to a prefeasibility study, allowing for another round of mining reserve upgrade.
“We are very excited about the potential to follow up these results with future reserve conversions. As shareholders are also aware, we are working continuously on securing the permit to commence openpit mining.
“The openpit process is taking longer than first anticipated due to a backlog of applications caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which the relevant South African departments are diligently working their way through. Any delays in openpit permitting will not affect our ongoing works programme.
“Theta Gold’s continued investment is a reflection of our confidence in the area’s rich mining history,” said Guy.