Australia’s West Wits Mining has said that it has upgraded its Emerald Mineral Resource in Johannesburg, South Africa, in order to fulfil the company’s ambition of beginning production by the end of 2009.

The resource has been upgraded to the measured and indicated category in JORC Code reporting standards.

West Wits’ independent consultants CSA Global have advised that the area includes a 95,600oz measured mineral resource at an average grade of 1.81g/t, down to an average depth of 85m across a 2km strike length.

The company believes that the existing infrastructure significantly reduces the capital spend required to access underground areas.

West Wits executive and technical director Grant Ferguson said the proximity to potential toll treatment facilities and the shallow depth of the resource gives the company reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction.

West Wits has finished metallurgical studies which showed overall gold recoveries of 93%, including gravity recovery of 30%.

The company has begun toll treatment discussions with various gold processing operators as well as commencing pit optimisations and environmental studies.

West Wits expects to complete ore reserve estimations by mid July 2009.

By staff writer