Modern Mining

Pan African Resources has broken first ground at its Elikhulu tailings retreatment project in Evander, Mpumalanga, officially marking the start of construction of the plant which is expected to produce an average of 50 000 ounces of gold per year for the next 13 years.

Speaking at the sod-turning ceremony on 8 September, Pan African Resources CEO Cobus Loots said: “Elikhulu’s capital expenditure of approximately R1,7 billion (approximately US$130 million) is a substantial investment in the South African mining industry and is expected to contribute materially to economic development and employment in the Mpumalanga province. Elikhulu is scheduled to produce first gold in the final quarter of the 2018 calendar year and deliver an average of 50 000 ounces per annum for the next 13 years, at an all-in sustaining cost of less than US$550/ounce.”

Pictured at the Elikhulu sod turning are (from left): Cobus Loots, Pan African’s CEO; Eric Kholwane, MEC: Finance, Economic Development & Tourism, Mpumalanga; and Advocate Thabo Mokoena, Director General: DMR (photo: Arthur Tassell).
Pictured at the Elikhulu sod turning are (from left): Cobus Loots, Pan African’s CEO; Eric Kholwane, MEC: Finance, Economic Development & Tourism, Mpumalanga; and Advocate Thabo Mokoena, Director General: DMR (photo: Arthur Tassell)

The Elikhulu project entails establishing facilities and infrastructure at Evander Gold Mining (Proprietary) Limited, owned and operated by Pan African Resources, to retreat historic gold plant tailings at a rate of 1 Mt per month. The definitive feasibility study was undertaken by DRA Projects, which has been appointed as the engineering, processing and construction contractors to the project.

Three existing tailings storage facilities will be reclaimed in the following order: Kinross, Leslie and Winkelhaak. The three tailing facilities will, after processing, be consolidated into a single enlarged Kinross facility, thus reducing Evander Mines’ environmental footprint and associated environmental impact.

The project will create more than 700 jobs during construction and approximately 250 direct permanent jobs once the plant is in production.

The mineral reserve estimate is a probable 185,3 Mt, comprised of the Kinross (45,2 Mt), Leslie (70,1 Mt) and Winkelhaak (70 Mt) tailings storage facilities at Evander Mines. The combined 185,3 Mt will provide feed material to the existing Evander Tailings Retreatment Plant (ETRP) at 200 000 tonnes per month, and to the new project process plant at a rate of 1 Mt per month (of which 40 000 tonnes per month will be from run-of-mine tailings).

The low-cost, long-life Elikhulu project is expected to reduce the Group’s average all-in cost of production.

 

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