Permitting Update for TGME Underground Gold Project
The Final Scoping Report was submitted on 12 April 2022 has been reviewed and accepted by the South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy ('DMRE') allowing the Company to proceed to the EIA phase of the Environmental Authorisation ('EA') application process. The acceptance of the Scoping Report is an important milestone for Theta Gold highlighting in that it marks the conclusion of all environmental specialist and engineering designs required for the MR 83 permitting process necessary to progress underground mining at the Beta, Frankfort, and CDM mines.
Theta Management will now focus on securing approval for the Draft EIA Report and Environmental Management Programme (Draft 'EIA/EMPr') which has been compiled for the public comment. This document is presently available for a 60-day public review and comment period which commenced on 19 April 2022. During this public review period, various meetings and a public open day will take place to address any comments and concerns from stakeholders. The final EIA/EMPr will be submitted to the DMRE for approval in Q3 and a decision on the EA application is expected in Q4.
In addition, the Water Use Licence ('WUL') application has been registered with the Department of Water and Sanitation ('DWS') and a pre-application meeting was conducted with a DWS case officer.
The WUL is a separate process from the EIA, as highlighted by Table 2* showing permitting workstreams have already been completed. The draft Integrated Water and Waste Management Plan ('IWWMP') as been compiled and is also available for public review, running parallel with the EIA phase public review period. The final submission of the WUL application is scheduled for Q3. Once submitted the DWS will have 90 days to assess the application.
To continue mining in parts of the Beta and CDM Mines, approval from the Minister of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment ('DFFE') is also required. The DFFE has been offered an Ecological Compensation Programme to assist with securing the future of the local catchment system.
As part of Theta ESG programs, Theta will cornerstone the investment with other NGO'S to protect, rehabilitate and ensure the long-term sustainability of the local catchment area. The proposed Ecological Compensation Programme includes;
- Eradication and control of invasive alien plants species,
- Fire belt implementation,
- Rehabilitation of diverted streams and drainages,
- Implementation of erosion and sediment control,
- Facilitating the re-establishment of native grasslands and indigenous forests,
- Optimising the hydrological functioning of the catchment area.
The Frankfort and Rietfontein Mines which fall outside the Morgenzon forest nature reserve areas are excluded from the above DFFE dealings and will not have to meet this DFFE requirement. Frankfort and Rietfontein and are only subject to the normal EA process highlighted above.
Chairman Mr. Bill Guy commented: "The acceptance of the final scoping report received from the MRE marks a significant milestone for Theta as we have now completed all the required environmental specialist and engineering designs required for MR 83 permitting. Its pleasing to see the support and endorsement we have received not only from the government, but from our local communities and landowners who all have a direct interest under the BEE structure. As we move to the Environmental Impact Assessment stage, we expect to witness the same level of support from all stakeholders during our meetings and public open day.
"At the Beta and CDM mines, by including the ecological compensation into our growing ESG program, we will positively affect the local catchment area for years to come. Our decision to cornerstone this investment and work with stakeholders and the DFFE is set to benefit future generations in the region.
As we continue to make encouraging progress towards the DFS, I look forward to providing shareholders with ongoing updates."
*To view tables and figures, please visit:
About Theta Gold Mines Limited
Theta Gold Mines Limited (ASX:TGM) (OTCMKTS:TGMGF) is a gold development company that holds a range of prospective gold assets in a world-renowned South African gold mining region. These assets include several surface and near-surface high-grade gold projects which provide cost advantages relative to other gold producers in the region.
Theta Gold Mines core project is located next to the historical gold mining town of Pilgrim's Rest, in Mpumalanga Province, some 370km northeast of Johannesburg by road or 95km north of Nelspruit (Capital City of Mpumalanga Province). Following small scale production from 2011-2015, the Company is currently focussing on the construction of a new gold processing plant within its approved footprint at the TGME plant, and for the processing of the Theta Open Pit oxide gold ore. Nearby surface and underground mines and prospects are expected to be further evaluated in the future.
The Company aims to build a solid production platform to over 100Kozpa based primarily around shallow, open-cut or adit-entry hard rock mining sources. Theta Gold Mines has access to over 43 historical mines and prospect areas that can be accessed and explored, with over 6.7Moz of historical production recorded.
Theta Gold Mines Limited