Stonewall Resources has completed the second part of a scoping study into the company’s combined Rietfontein and Beta staged hard-rock mine development. 

While the scoping study's first part focused on an initial low capital and operating cost development approach at the fully permitted Rietfontein mine, the second part focused on the Beta project and was delivered by mining and project consultants Bara Consulting.

The company has reported that ore will be processed at the Stonewall-owned TGME processing facility at Pilgrims Rest in South Africa following planned upgrade and refurbishment. 

The study demonstrated that a combined Rietfontein and Beta development can produce up to 100,000ozpa from both mines, with low capital requirements.

It quoted a base-case pre-tax NPV of $166m and overall C1 cost of $495/oz. 

"The low capital and low operating cost of the TGME project means the economics appear very robust."

Stonewall Resources managing director Rob Thomson said: “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. 

“The low capital and low operating cost of the TGME project means the economics appear very robust, and we are confident as the feasibility work progresses, the project will attract development funding. 

"We plan to commence drilling at 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.”

Stonewall Resources expects to begin mine construction and plant refurbishment in early next year.

In order to upgrade the resource, drilling activity at Rietfontein is expected to start in coming weeks, while production from the mine is slated to begin next year.