The Weltevreden mine was opened by Gencor in 1992, but due to falling gold prices towards the mid-1990s did not reach full production. Its decline shaft is within eyeshot of the Tau Lekoa mine, with the resource also being accessible by way of a shallow extension of the Tau Lekoa operations at about 250 metres below surface. Potential production is estimated at several tens of thousands of ounces per annum, with a life of mine of up to 15 years.
Within the last 10 years, some 46 exploration holes were drilled on the site, with the data used by Minxcon to compile a resource model that formed part of an independent prefeasibility study. An additional drilling programme is currently underway to increase the confidence level of the resource base and to enable an optimised mine design. The reserve estimation will be published by the third quarter of 2018, after the current additional drilling programme has been completed.
Project capital expenditure is estimated at US$50 million, with first gold produced within six months from the start of development, followed by a three-year ramp-up to steady-state production.