Central Rand Gold has rerated its mine operations in the Witwatersrand Central Basin to ‘mineral resource’ of between 450 metres and 900 metres below surface, the company announced this week.

This follows the successful implementation of the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) pumping and treatment solution, conducted by Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA).

Witwatersrand Central Basin is said to be one of the highest AMD-affected areas in Gauteng Province, South Africa.

Reclassified mineral target

The basin was previously downgraded to ‘exploration target’, but was reclassified to ‘mineral resource’ by independent consultants, Venmyn Deloitte.

Central Rand Gold CEO, Johan de Toit, said that reclassification of resources and the progress made in the dewatering of the basin is positive for all stakeholders in the region.

He said, “We have always believed that responsible mining goes hand in hand with improving the local economy, not only from a financial and social aspect, but also environmentally. The lower water table not only increases the life-of-mine of our assets through having higher quality reserves and resources, it also provides job opportunities as well as a sustainable AMD management system.”

Resource-base doubled

The reclassification has more than doubled the resource base of the Company from 4.51 million ounces to 9.90 million ounces of contained gold.

Further exploration work is ongoing, and includes trial mining and processing of this shallow target to establish grade and ore body continuity, mineability, dilution and throughput characteristics.

As recently announced, within the Company’s mining area in the Central Basin, the water level is currently approximately 165 metres below surface and therefore the focus is to exploit the resources currently available to it above this level.

Mid-term focus

The company focus in the short to mid-term will remain on the exploitation of resources above 450 metres, which will be throttled by the success and discharge rate of the pumping and HDS treatment.

This basin wide increase in Mineral Resources will also significantly augment Reserve scheduling and Pre-Feasibility level studies on adjacent mining targets such as Crown and City Deep.