Final mining contract is anticipated to be negotiated with Digmin, after MR83 permits and completion of the trial phase

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Digmin will be responsible for two box cuts in the future Iota and Browns Hill pits. (Credit: Khusen Rustamov/ Pixabay)

Theta Gold Mines has chosen Africa-focused Digmin Group for trial mining activities at the Starter Theta Project in the Pilgrim’s Rest area of South Africa.

Digmin, which is experienced in providing contract mining services throughout Africa, has been selected following a competitive tendering process.

The selection of the mining contractor will enable Theta to rapidly mobilise trial mining operations, which are expected to begin upon receiving final permit.

The environmental permit for open pit mining on Theta’s existing underground mining right is expected to be secured in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Theta chairman Bill Guy said: “The company has delivered another key milestone in the development of the Theta Project with Digmin selected as our preferred mining contractor.

“They have intimate knowledge of the Theta Open Pit Project having spent many months with our mining team in order to deliver a well-costed schedule of works which presently remain in line with our May 2019 feasibility study costs.

“Digmin’s broad range of capabilities including mining, rehabilitation, civil and road works, and open pit and underground drilling give Theta’s project development team the flexibility to now focus on the successful build and operation of the Theta Open Pit Project.”

Trial mining phase is planned for the end of 2020

The Theta Open-pit Starter Project consists of the Columbia Hill deposit and part of the Theta Hill deposit, within Mining Right 83 (MR83), in the Pilgrims Rest area of South Africa.

Expected to cost approximately $34.3m, the project is expected to produce more than 201,000oz of gold over its estimated mine life of five years.

The trial mining phase for the project is planned to be conducted by the end of 2020, after receiving the final permit.

During the trial phase, Digmin will be responsible for two box cuts in the future Iota and Browns Hill pits.  Final mining equipment and grade control practices will be finalized during the phase.

Digmin will also perform some of the some of the bulk earthworks and civils as part of the project infrastructure establishment, following the trial mining phase.

Final mining contract is anticipated to be negotiated with Digmin, after MR83 permits and completion of the trial phase.

Guy said: “We are making excellent progress in a number of critical project development initiatives. There is broad enthusiasm at a community and government level for the Theta Project and we are now at the point where significant value will start to be realised.”