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Most of 500 employees for constructing gold-from-dumps project will be local

Mogale Tailings Retreatment project operations manager Oriel Shikwambana presentation covered by Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer. Video: Shadwyn Dickinson. Picture: Donna Slater

31st July 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Employees for the construction of the Mogale Tailings Retreatment project on Gauteng’s West Rand will be largely locally sourced.

“We aim to employ approximately 500 employees during construction and our aim is to source 60% of them from the local community and we also would like to train and employ over 300 permanent operating staff,” Mogale Tailings Retreatment project operations manager Oriel Shikwambana told the representatives of government, local authorities, technical institutions, finance houses, law firms, analysts and media attending the sod-turning ceremony. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)

“It will probably be anything between 300 and 400 permanent staff and we will ensure that most of the skills that we source will be local,” Shikwambana emphasised at the event covered by Mining Weekly.

The project involves the retreating of two sand dumps and eight slimes dams over a period of 20 years. Environmental approval was granted in June, with site work beginning this month. Commissioning is scheduled to take place between July and August next year.

The retreatment project is being undertaken by Pan African Resources, a midtier gold producer, which is dual primary listed on the London Aim and the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, as well as the A2X. Its shares trade on the OTCQX in the US through a Level 1 American Depository Receipt programme, sponsored by the Bank of New York Mellon, and ordinary shares.

The potential benefits to the local community from the R2.5-billion two-year investment include the resultant economic activities that will be stimulated in the Kagiso/Krugersdorp area. Various services that will be needed during construction, including accommodation, rental and supplies of certain consumables, will be locally procured. Also highlighted by Shikwambana was the positive effect of the release of land for redevelopment.

“Our project is more than just producing gold. It’s an environmental clean-up project,” he said.

ILLEGAL MINERS

Current environmental damage includes openpits. These have not been backfilled and are accessible.

“There are illegal mining activities taking place within the openpit and the surrounding areas. If you were to come here at night, you would see a lot of illegal mining activities and illegal miners who are armed to the teeth.

“There’ve been quite a number of shooting incidents and our being here as a formal operating institution will start getting the illegal mining activities away from this area,” Shikwambana predicted.

ACIDIC WATER

Earmarked for cleaning is a stream in the area that is polluted with acidic water and associated metals.

Process water required for the project will be sourced from 9 Shaft workings and power from Eskom from an existing power line.

Remnant tailings will initially be redeposited in the West Wits pit with slimes dam consolidation on two sites.

Needing to be dealt with are partially reclaimed but unrehabilitated dumps that are a source of dust, along with the footprint of unlawful dumping and illegal mining debris. A rehabilitation guarantee has been given to the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy.

An all-in sustaining cost of $1 000/oz is expected, with 800 000 t a month processed through a carbon-in-leach plant that will yield 50 000 oz/y and a payback of three to four years.

With significant success in generating renewable energy at its Evander and Barberton operations, Pan African will be looking to generate solar power for Mogale on site as quickly as it can.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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