On 7 September 2023 Lexington Gold announced the acquisition of a 76% interest in White Rivers Exploration (Pty) Ltd, (WRE).
- Technical summary of WRE’s projects
WRE is a major tenement holder in the Witwatersrand gold fields, with tenement interests covering 10 prospecting right applications and certain existing licences, which are grouped into five projects, including the Jelani Resources JV, which is an incorporated joint venture arrangement with Avgold Limited a subsidiary of Harmony Gold. The areas of interest represent brownfield and greenfield targets predominantly located in the Free State Province and one project situated in the North West Province. The main commodity to be explored for is gold, with uranium as a possible by-product.
The Witwatersrand gold fields have accounted for more than a third of the world’s total gold production since 1886 and, collectively, represent the world’s largest single gold producing district. It is estimated that the Witwatersrand gold fields have produced over 2 billion ounces of gold during over a century of mining and that approximately 1.2 billion ounces of gold still remain.
WRE has a database with a vast number of borehole logs (approximately 2,500 mother holes) and associated assays from historically drilled holes in the Witwatersrand Basin. Such borehole database was assembled from 25 different sources and is considered by WRE to be the most comprehensive collection of surface Witwatersrand exploration drilling data within South Africa.
WRE’s existing licences and prospecting right applications are divided into five projects (see Figure 1 below) namely:
- Jelani Resources JV (JV with Harmony Gold);
- Bothaville NE;
- Klerksdorp South; and
Jelani Resources JV:
The Jelani Resources JV is located adjacent to Harmony Gold’s Target Mine lease area in the north-western portion of the Welkom Goldfield. It comprises one Prospecting Right and is currently jointly held by WRE (65%) and subsidiaries of Harmony Gold (35%). The Prospecting Right covers an area of 9.568km2 (see Figure 2 below).
In 2018, WRE established an independently estimated gold resource estimate attributable to the Jelani Resources JV but such estimation has not yet been formally verified or accepted by the partners. Although not independently audited, the resource estimate comprised 6.02Moz of gold, of which approximately 2.95Moz would potentially be attributable to WRE if all hurdles in respect of the JV are ultimately achieved, including successful feasibility studies, a decision to mine being made by the JV partners and if WRE choses to participate in the funding of future development costs to retain a 49 per cent interest in the JV. The Mineral Resources within the one kilometre Buffer Zone are attributable solely to Harmony Gold (100%). Harmony Gold has indicated that the Jelani Resources JV, subject to the successful completion of a bankable feasibility study, will be afforded the opportunity to mine the resources in the Buffer Zone on tribute once a commercially acceptable future agreement has been negotiated between the parties.
Non-JORC/Non-SAMREC compliant resource estimates
WRE’s internally estimated non-JORC/non-SAMREC compliant resources for all five of its projects are set out in Table 1 below.
Table 1: WRE’s non-code compliant Resource estimates derived utilising WRE’s internal historical database
|Project||Mt||Grade cmg /t||Grade Au g/t||Au Moz|
|Jelani Resources JV *||14.18||717||6.47||2.95|
- * – WRE’s attributable resource post a potential future decision to mine
- (WRE assumed retained interest of 49%; Harmony Gold 51%)
WRE’s Kroonstad project, has an independently estimated non-code compliant gold exploration target of between 6.06 million ounces and 62.41 million ounces with a gold grade of between 4.96 g/t and 11.54 g/t and potentially constitutes a new Witwatersrand goldfield.
Table 2: WRE’s Prospecting Licences and Prospecting Right Applications as at 7 September 2023
|Project||Tenement||Area (hectares)||Status||Expiry date|
|JelaniResources||FS 30/5/1/1/2/10350 PR||956.76||Renewal Awarded||Note 2|
|Kroonstad||FS 30/5/1/1/2/889 PR||13845.77||Renewal under appeal||Note 2|
|Kroonstad||FS 30/5/1/1/2/10520 PR||12429.45||Renewal under appeal||Note 2|
|Kroonstad||FS 30/5/1/1/2/10519 PR||22193.1||Executed||28-May-24|
|Bothaville||FS 30/5/1/1/2/10578 PR||9510||Executed||03-Mar-24|
|Bothaville||FS 30/5/1/1/2/10579 PR||9119.58||Executed||17-Mar-24|
|Ventersburg||FS 30/5/1/1/2/888 PR||8418.7||Executed||09-Dec-23|
|Ventersburg||FS 30/5/1/1/2/10489 PR||8965.9||Executed||09-Dec-23|
|Ventersburg||FS 30/5/1/1/2/10528 PR||2248.6||Executed||21-Aug-24|
|Klerksdorp||NW 30/5/1/1/2/11335 PR||1816.9||Renewal under appeal||Note 2|
1 In South Africa renewals are for 3 years from granting of renewal rights.
2 Renewals under appeal by WRE following an initial rejection due to technical non-compliance of original renewals previously submitted by WER. New applications by Lexington Gold SA have also been submitted over the same areas.
Figure 1: WRE’s tenement interests located in the Witwatersrand Goldfields (including major estimated historic gold production)
Figure 2: Location of Jelani Resources JV relative to Harmony Gold’s existing Target Mine operations. Historically mined out areas, shaft positions and underground developments are indicated.
- Proposed Work Programme
The Company’s Directors believe that a multi-million ounce JORC 2012/SAMREC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate (“MRE”) can be established in respect of WRE’s asset portfolio and intends, subject to funding, for the Company to:
- Undertake detailed analysis and modelling of the existing geological database and extensive drilling data set; and
- Establish and implement the requisite work required to convert the current non-JORC/non-SAMREC complaint Mineral Resources into a code compliant MRE including verification and duplication drilling, as appropriate, as well as the re-sampling and assaying of historical drill core, where possible.
Furthermore, the Directors plan to unlock value from the Jelani Resources JV by engaging and working closely with Harmony Gold with the aim of progressing the project into future gold production.
Whilst WRE has internally estimate that it potentially has over 37 million ounces of non-code compliant gold resources across over its projects (see Table 1 above) there can be no guarantee that the planned exploration and technical work by the Company, subject to funding, will be sufficient to establish JORC (2012) compliant Mineral Resources.