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West Wits Mining Sets Stage for Qala Shallows Gold Rush

Financial Groundwork Laid for Rapid Development of Qala Project

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe
West Wits Mining Sets Stage for Qala Shallows Gold Rush

West Wits Mining, an ASX-listed company, is gearing up for the rapid development of its Qala Shallows project, buoyed by a robust financial position and promising funding prospects. As of December 31, the company reported a cash and cash equivalent position of $1.4 million. This financial stability is set to be bolstered by a proposed $15.8-million debt facility from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and an additional $26-million from other potential partners, positioning West Wits to kickstart the project expeditiously.

The Qala Shallows project, poised to significantly contribute to the gold mining sector, is projected to yield 924,000 ounces of gold over an 18-year mine life, maintaining a steady production rate of approximately 70,000 ounces per year for the first nine years. An updated definitive feasibility study highlights the project’s lucrative potential, forecasting a free cash flow generation capability of $522 million and a post-tax net present value of $255 million, assuming a gold price of $1,850 per ounce. The estimated payback period from the start of mine construction is a promising 4.1 years.

With an ore reserve of 4.03 million tonnes at 2.71 g/t gold, translating to 351,400 ounces, Qala Shallows is ready for development. West Wits has secured all necessary regulatory approvals, including mining rights and environmental permissions, facilitating a smooth transition to production once financing is finalized.

In addition to IDC’s support, West Wits has attracted formal interest from the South African Wealth Fund and Wingfield partners, amounting to nearly $26 million—about half of Qala Shallows’ peak funding requirement of $54 million. These due diligence processes are currently underway.

The existing infrastructure at Qala Shallows, comprising offices, change houses, lamp rooms, and training facilities, along with collaborations with mining contractor Modi Mining, ensures the readiness of requisite labor and skills for an efficient project start-up. West Wits is also in advanced discussions with equipment manufacturers and suppliers to secure and maintain specialized plant equipment, further advancing the project’s development timeline.

Moreover, the company is exploring the expansion potential of Kimberley reefs south of Qala Shallows through a prospecting right application currently under review by South African mining authorities. Additionally, West Wits is evaluating the feasibility of a standalone uranium and gold project around the Bird Reef Package within its mining right area, considering the engagement of a strategic joint venture partner for its development as a separate operation from Qala Shallows.

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