The Jeanette project is still at the exploration stage. The original owners, Anglo American, sank two shafts on the property in the 1950s, abandoning it in favour of more attractive mines before a single ounce of gold had been produced. For half a century the property lay dormant, stripped of its infrastructure.
The availability of new mining technology, as well as the current gold market, prompted Taung to re-evaluate the project's potential. The purchase of the property from its most recent owners, Harmony Gold, was completed in March 2010. Exploratory drilling is taking place on the property. The results of the drilling will be considered together with historic exploration results, preparing the way for a bankable feasibility study.
Based on known details of the ore body, two scoping studies have suggested that the property could be mined to produce 6.7 million ounces of gold, largely from the Basal Reef over a 37 year life of mine. Jeanette's old ventilation shaft can be refurbished, but a new hoisting shaft will be required.
Preliminary estimates indicate that mining and processing facilities, as well as underground services, can be established at a capital cost of $652 million over five years. This will be followed by a three year production ramp-up period and 15 years of steady production. Scoping study estimates place Jeanette's life of mine capital cost at $1 068 million and operating costs at $72.06/t. The study estimates that the mine would be profitable even at gold prices as low as $1 000/oz.
Preparations for shaft sinking are expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2015 with the first gold being produced in 2017.
Additional exploration was conducted during 2012 by drilling one hole to the value of $0.54 million, as well as an extensive 3D seismic reflective survey programme to the value of $5.80 million.