Name: Consolidated Murchison mine.
Location: The mine is situated in the Murchison greenstone belt near Gravelotte, in the Limpopo Province.
Brief history: Gold was discovered in the Murchison range towards the end of the nineteenth century, and was mined on a small scale for many years, with antimony as a by-product. Larger-scale mining started in 1937 and has continued without any marked interruption to date.
Brief description: The mine can be classified as a medium-scale mine and has been in operation for nearly 70 years.
During this time it has always maintained an ore reserve sufficient for six to seven years of production.
Products: Antimony and gold.
Mining method: Ore is mined by sublevel open stoping and is hoisted from three shafts, namely Athens, Monarch and Beta.
Reserves: As at June 2002, proved and probable reserves amounted to 1,7-million tons.
Resources: As at June 2002, 8,5-million tons.
Geology: The Murchison greenstone belt is an assemblage of ancient lavas and sediments dated at more than three-billion years.
The rocks are strongly sheared and strike WSW-ENE with a vertical dip. The primary antimony ore is stibnite.
Major infrastructure and equipment: Once the ore is crushed and milled, an antimony concentrate is produced by flotation.
Gold is recovered in a gravity circuit and a number of leach and carbon absorption stages.
The concentrate is dried and bagged.
Future prospects: The orebodies continue at depth and, provided the markets remain strong, mining can continue below the current depths.
Controlling company: Metorex.
Mine manager: Wessel Joubert.
Unique features: Consolidated Murchison is the oldest known antimony deposit in the world.
It is also the only producer of antimony concentrate in South Africa, and contributes 8% of world production.
Tel: (015) 318 8000
Fax: (015) 318 8004.
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. To access earlier articles, click Advanced Search and set an earlier date range.
To search for a term containing the '&' symbol, click Advanced Search and use the 'search headings' and/or 'in first paragraph' options.