Vancouver, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 26 February 2009 – Great Basin Gold Limited (GBG) – an emerging mid-tier gold producer listed on the Toronto and American stock exchanges – has announced the execution of its mining right, and the approval of its environmental management programme by the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) for the Burnstone gold project in South Africa.
A statement released here said the mining right to allow the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Southgold Exploration (Pty) Limited, to mine gold, silver and aggregate in the Burnstone mine area had been initially granted on 28 October 2008.
“This mining right was notarially executed in the name of Southgold on 17 February 2009 by the DME Regional Manager: Mpumalanga,” the statement added. “The mining right is valid for an initial period of 18 years from date of execution, and gives Southgold the right to mine for gold and silver in the mining area known as Area 1. The company will apply for an extension of the licensing period, and will do so in terms of the Act which makes provision for the renewal of the mining license for periods not exceeding 30 years at a time,” it said.
GBG went on to say that, simultaneously with the execution of the mining right, the environmental management programme for Area 1 of the Burnstone Mine had been approved by the DME. In terms of section 23 (5) of the MPRDA, a mining right comes into effect on the day the environmental management programme is approved.
The statement pointed out that the mandatory legislative Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Area 2 had commenced. It was envisaged that the EIA will be completed by September 2009, after which the DME would be approached for approval to access this mining region by way of a twin decline shaft.
Currently approximately 7.5 million tonnes in Area 2 is in the mine plan, which will initially extract approximately 50 000 tons of ore per month. Although Area 2 would be accessed by a dedicated twin decline shaft, mining operations would share the surface infrastructure currently established for Area 1, with the exclusion of ventilation shafts. In addition to exploration drilling in Area 4, a further phase of surface drilling is planned to begin during the second half of 2009 in Area 2, to evaluate the area of the decline in more detail, as well as confirm extensions of the Kimberley Reef.
President and CEO Ferdi Dippenaar commented: “This is another important milestone in the history of Great Basin Gold, as it clears the way for commercial mining at the Burnstone project. We look forward to delivering a commercial mining operation by June 2010.”