Big Picture – A Deep Dive Examination of West Wits Mining Limited
West Wits Mining Limited Snapshot
WEST WITS MINING (ASX:WWI) is an ASX-listed exploration and development company with a focus on conglomerate gold in two premier regions, Pilbara and Witwatersrand.
MT CECELIA PROJECT
The due diligence process identified Mt Cecelia’s area to be highly prospective for conglomerate-hosted gold mineralisation, with the geology similar to Novo Resources (TSX-V: NVO) Purdy’s Reward and Beaton’s Creek projects where the gold is found in the Lower Fortescue Group
Mt Cecelia’s geology is consistent with the Witwatersrand-style conglomerate gold mineralisation found in South Africa, where West Wits has the highly complementary Witwatersrand Gold Project
The prospect is located circa 150km ENE of Marble Bar close to critical infrastructure
West Wits is in a unique position among peers to be able to leverage its geology team’s hands-on experience in the Witwatersrand Basin Project to expedite understanding the Mt Cecelia project area
Mining costs would be expected to be low if operations commence, due to the nature of the targeted conglomerate which typically present with high gold purity (96-98%) and which are amenable to, relatively simple and inexpensive extraction processes
As can be seen from the map below (Figure 1), Mt Cecelia’s Project area is located in the eastern Pilbara some 150km ENE of Marble Bar and covers an area of 224 sq km and is close to critical infrastructure.
This Lower Fortescue Group link for the Mt Cecelia project area, is an asset which the West Wits geology team will be well placed to rapidly evaluate, given their experience in the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa.
An early observation has been that if a JORC compliant conglomerate gold resource can be generated, then it is anticipated that operating costs will be low given the nature of the targeted conglomerate which typically present with high purity (96-98%) and simple extraction process comprising: blasting, open pit mining, crushing, gravity then fine gold chemical separation.
The geology team will produce a detailed exploration plan for the Board to review upon completion of the acquisition.
A site visit by WWI’s geology team confirmed the presence of conglomerates of the Bellary Formation stratigraphically below the Mt Roe Basalt within the Lower Fortescue Group, which is a lateral equivalent as the gold bearing conglomerate of Novo Resource’s (TSX-V:NVO) Beatons Creek Project
The Tambina project is located in the east Pilbara, circa 150km southeast of Port Hedland and, like West Wits’ Mt Cecelia project area, is part of the Lower Fortescue Group (Figure 1). Access to the Tambina project is via a well maintained road and exploration tracks.
Tambina was established to secure highly prospective tenements in Western Australia to explore and develop gold producing assets. The Tambina project comprises three mining leases (M45/988; M45/990; M45/991), granted between 2004-06, covering a total area of 102 hectares. A small-scale gold mining operation was in progress at the time of acquisition, focused on areas of outcropping mineralized conglomerate.
WWI’s geology team visited the Tambina conglomerate gold project and filed a preliminary report, which highlighted the following key takeaways:
- The three mining leases cover conglomerates of the Bellary Formation at the Base of the Fortescue Group stratigraphically below the Mt Roe Basalt;
- There is gold at surface which is documented in historic rock chip, soil and trench sampling results within all three mining leases;
- Within the mining leases, the conglomerate package is a minimum of 50m true thickness;
- The conglomerates are gently folded into a syncline and probably with increased thickness near the centre of this structure;
- Notably, the area of conglomerate with surface mineralisation is approximately 1,600m north-south and 350m east-west which is large enough for a modern sized operation if gold mineralisation can be proved up;
- Within the area of exposed conglomerates previous exploration sampling has returned results from rock chips of up to 4.7g/t Au and trenching 5.7g/t over 4 metres (refer WWI ASX announcement 21 November 2017); and
- Brief prospecting with a metal detector discovered a gold nugget weighing approximately 2g that could only have come from the surrounding conglomerates within the mining leases (Figure 2).
WITWATERSRAND BASIN PROJECT
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).
The gold mineralisation of the WBP deposits form part of the Central Rand Goldfield hosted by the Witwatersrand Super-group sediments. The Central Rand Goldfield is situated immediately to the south of Johannesburg and has been host to one of the most extensive gold reserves in the world (Figure 2). The reefs have been mined continuously on strike for approximately 32 km in an east/west direction, bounded by DRD in the west, and down-dip, to the south, for about 6 km from its outcrop position, to vertical depths of approximately 3 km.
WWI announced an Updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the WBP under the JORC 2012 Code (WWI ASX release 18 Dec 2017 Competent Person Hermanus Swart). The new estimate was based on a detailed technical review completed on the extensive database generated by the previous leaseholders, Durban Roodeport Deep Limited (“DRD”). This database formed the basis of the previous Mineral Resources Estimate (under an earlier version of the JORC code) released by DRD to the ASX in 2000 (refer WWI ASX release 28 August 2015).
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DEREWO RIVER GOLD PROJECT
The Derewo River Gold project is situated on the Derewo River within the central mountains of the Papua Province, Indonesia. The project is located approximately 110km north west of Freeport McMoRan’s Grasberg complex. This is a promising placer gold project based on evidence from existing artisanal operations, but the real opportunity and focus of this project is in the potential of discovery of the primary source of nuggets being found.
The recent strategic review resulted in increasing WWI’s alliance with local Indonesia Partners who have extensive experience in delivering outcomes in Indonesia’s complex regulatory & political environment. This move has also reduced West Wits’ on-going capital requirements to an immaterial level yet maintaining upside exposure for the Company to this high-grade placer deposit.
Last updated 13th December 2018
Michael Quinert has over 30 years experience as a commercial lawyer, including three years withASX Limited and over 15 years as a partner at Melbourne law firm, Quinert Rodda & Associates.He has extensive experience in assisting and advising public companies on capital raising andmarket compliance issues, regularly advising publicly listed mining companies.
Michael sits as Chairman of the Remuneration and Nomination Committee and Chairman of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee. Michael is also holds a number of Executive and Non-Executive Board roles with other ASX-listed companies, including Victorian Livestock Exchange Ltd.
Dr Andrew Tunks
Ph.D, Hons. B.Sc
Dr Tunks is a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientist holding a B.Sc. (Hons.) from Monash and a Ph.D from the University of Tasmania. Dr Tunks has held numerous senior executive positions in a range of small to large resource companies including Auroch Minerals, A-Cap Resources, IMAGOLD Corporation and Abosso Goldfields.
In his role as CEO and director of A-Cap Resources Dr. Tunks led the discovery of the 10th largest uranium resource in the world and managed four separate capital raisings totalling AUD$45 million. Through his 30-year career within the resource and academic sectors Dr. Tunks has developed a unique skill set including technical, promotional and corporate.
Mr Savage has over 35 years experience in the building and mining industries, coupled with 20 years working within the insolvency and business advisory sectors. Mr Savage's experience has seen him lead corporate restructuring, refinancing and development projects for mining clients throughout Australia and internationally.
Over the last three years Mr Savage has been intimately involved in all governmental and regulatory issues involving the Derewo River Gold project as well as working closely with WWI’s local Indonesian partners.
BA Law, LLB
Hulme Scholes holds a BA Law and LLB degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa. Hulme specialises in mining and mineral law, has practised exclusively in the field for 18 years and is regarded as one of South Africa's experts within mining law.
Hulme was a partner of Werksman Attorneys based in Johannseburg from 1999 to 2008 and is currently a senior partner at Malan Scholes Attorneys. He started his professional career as a learner official for Harmony Gold Mining Co. Limited in the 1980's which provides him with a unique blend of experience.
Hulme currently holds a number of non-executive directorships at mining companies, including Randgold & Exploration Company Limited and Aquarius Platinum Limited's operating South African subsidiary, Aquarius Platinum South Africa (Proprietary) Limited where he previously held the Executive role of Commercial Director.
Niel Pretorius was appointed Chief Executive Officer of DRD Gold Limited on 1 January 2009. After joining DRD on 1 May 2003 as legal advisor, he was promoted to the position of Group Legal Counsel on 1 September 2004 and General Manager, Corporate Services on 1 April 2005. Niel was appointed CEO of DRD Gold SA on 1 July 2006 and Managing Director on 1 April 2008.
Niel is also a director of Rand Refinery Limited and collectively has over 15 years experience in the mining industry.
Last updated 13th December 2018
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