West Wits continues to pursue blended financing options for Witwatersrand Basin project

28th April 2023

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


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ASX-listed West Wits has revealed that it has been in advanced discussions with multiple funders to secure a funding solution for its Witwatersrand Basin project (WBP).

West Wits said on April 28 that there were various forms of potential financing under consideration. These include debt, quasi debt involving attaching equity rights, royalty finance, gold streaming finance and equity capital.

As such, the company is engaged with a range of financiers and said it expected the ultimate financing solution would likely involve a combination of financing structures.

At the release of the company’s West Wits quarterly activity report for the first quarter ended March 31, the company said it had raised $1.6-million through the issue of shares at $0.014 a share during the first quarter by way of more than 107-million fully paid ordinary shares for $1.5-million in a placement to unrelated sophisticated and professional investors, as well as more than seven-million fully paid ordinary shares for $98 000 under the share purchase plan to eligible shareholders.

“The company is pleased with the progress of these discussions and remains confident it will be able to secure commitments to finance the recommencement of operations in the near term,” West Wits said.

Previously, the company announced that it had received approval from Joburg City Power for a 7.5 MVA power supply to WBP’s Phase 1 Qala Shallows.

In August last year, West Wits announced its updated definitive feasibility study (DFS) results, which assumes that the project will run on diesel power during the 15-month build-up phase.

The company said the approval of the 7.5 MVA power supply is expected to reduce the assumed timeline in the DFS by six months or more, resulting in lower energy costs during the critical construction and build-up of the mine’s production.

West Wits believes that, in the longer term, the optimal power supply for its WBP will be a combination of grid-based, solar, and diesel electrical power to ensure that the mine can operate with the lowest practical power costs.

Meanwhile, at the company’s Mt Cecelia project, in Paterson Province in Australia, final assays have been received from the maiden drilling campaign, which comprised four reverse circulation (RC) drill holes.

The first pass drilling programme was conducted by farm-in partner Rio Tinto Exploration (RTX) and targeted a moderately strong electromagnetic (EM) anomaly identified from airborne and ground EM surveys previously undertaken by West Wits.

The anomalies were interpreted as potential bedrock conductors that may represent base metal sulphide mineralisation. RTX successfully completed 1 036 m of RC drilling on target SGC_1 in four holes late last year, with samples sent to minerals testing company ALS for assaying.

The assay results received for holes WEWI0001 and WEWI0004 were reported on January 17, highlighting significant intervals of gold mineralisation, with both holes ending in gold mineralisation.

Hole WEWI0004 was shown to contain 24 m at 0.95 g/t gold within a broader mineralised interval of 82 m at 0.51 g/t of gold, while hole WEWI0001 contains 20 m at 0.93 g/t of gold within a broader mineralised interval of 56 m at 0.55 g/t of gold.

The assays received for holes WEWI0001, WEWI0004 and WEWI0005 contained relatively low levels of base metal anomalism for the initial target, but elevated gold results.

Holes WEWI0003 and WEWI0005 were located about 200 m northwest of the initial holes – WEWI0001 and WEWI0004 – and were designed to test the northwest boundary of the modelled EM plate. Hole WEWI0005 contained 10 m at 0.16 g/t of gold and, similar to WEWI0001 and WEWI0004, the mineralisation was hosted in variably altered metasediments with some minor disseminated sulphides and variable quartz veining, coinciding with arsenic anomalism, West Wits explained.

The company said exploration results for the Mt Cecelia project motivate further ground exploration, with RTX finalising planning for down-hole EM geophysical surveys with mobilisation expected in early May.

Follow-up drilling planned for late in the September quarter will serve to better define and understand the mineralisation intersected last year.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online





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