VANCOUVER, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - Great Basin Gold Ltd, ("Great Basin Gold" or
the "Company"), (TSX: GBG; NYSE Alternext: GBG; JSE: GBG) announces the
execution of its mining right, and the approval of its environmental
management program by the Department of Minerals and Energy ("DME") for the
Burnstone Gold Project in South Africa.
A mining right to allow the Company's wholly owned subsidiary, Southgold
Exploration (Pty) Ltd ("Southgold"), to mine gold, silver and aggregate in the
Burnstone mine area was initially granted on October 28, 2008.
This mining right was notarially executed in the name of Southgold on
February 17, 2009 by the DME Regional Manager: Mpumalanga. 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 section 24 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources
Development Act, 2002 ("MPRDA"), which makes provision for the renewal of the
mining license for periods not exceeding 30 years at a time.
Simultaneously with the execution of the mining right, the environmental
management program for Area 1 of the Burnstone Mine was 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 program is approved.
The mandatory legislative Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") for
Area 2 has commenced. It is envisaged that the EIA will be completed by
September 2009, after which the DME will 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. To date, 80 surface boreholes have been drilled on Area 2.
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.
Ferdi Dippenaar, President and CEO, 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 wish to extend our appreciation
to the DME for all the guidance and assistance over the past year which
resulted in the Company obtaining the mining right and thereby initiating the
start up one of the few new gold mines in South Africa in the past 30 years.
We look forward to delivering a commercial mining operation by June 2010."
Johan Oelofse, PrEng, FSAIMM, Chief Operating Officer for the Company and
a qualified person, has reviewed this news release on behalf of Great Basin
President and CEO
No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information
contained in this news release.
Cautionary and Forward Looking Statement Information
This release includes certain statements that may be deemed
"forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than
statements of historical facts, that address possible future commercial
production, bank loan arrangements, reserve potential, exploration drilling
results, development, feasibility or exploitation activities and events or
developments that Great Basin Gold expects to occur are forward-looking
statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such
forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such
statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or
developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking
statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from
those in forward-looking statements include market prices for precious metals,
credit availability, development and exploration successes, continuity of
mineralization, uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary
permits, licenses and title and delays due to third party opposition,
geopolitical uncertainty, changes in government policies regarding mining and
natural resource exploration and exploitation, and continued availability of
capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions.
Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future
performance and those actual results or developments may differ materially
from those projected in the forward-looking statements. For more information
on the Company, Investors should review the Company's annual Form 40-F filing
with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and its Canadian
jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com.
For further information:
For further information: For additional details on Great Basin Gold Ltd.
and its gold properties, please visit the Company's website at
www.grtbasin.com or contact Investor Services: Tsholo Serunye in South Africa,
+27 (0)11 301 1800; Michael Curlook in North America, 1-888-633-9332; Barbara
Cano at Breakstone Group in the USA, (646) 452-2334