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Progress at Pan African's gold tailings treatment project on West Rand

Mogale Tailings Retreatment project operations manager Oriel Shikwambana at launch in July.

Mogale Tailings Retreatment project operations manager Oriel Shikwambana at launch in July.

Photo by Creamer Media Chief Photographer Donna Slater

22nd November 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Excellent progress has reportedly been made with the construction of the R2.5-billion gold tailings retreatment project, west of Johannesburg, on Gauteng’s West Rand.

The continued momentum of the Mintails’ project is again testament to the track record of Pan African Resources in bringing tailings retreatment projects to account, CEO Cobus Loots stated in a release to Mining Weekly.

This is the Johannesburg- and London-listed Pan African’s fourth large-scale tailings plant.

The retreatment plant, the commissioning of which is on schedule for the latter half of the 2024 calendar year, will add about 50 000 oz of gold a year to Pan African’s production, increasing its yearly output by 25%.

Capital expenditure of the Mogale project is in line with budgets. Foundations for seven of the nine carbon-in-leach tanks are now in place and the construction of the tower crane needed for the retreatment process has begun.

Environmental rehabilitation is under way with a clean-up of historical spillages and pipelines, wetlands remediation and removal of alien vegetation.

The official sod-turning ceremony for the project took place on July 25, when Pan African chairperson Keith Spencer said in his address to attending representatives of government, technical institutions, finance houses, law firms, analysts and media that the project provided the opportunity to transform the site into a shining example of what modern mining can be.

“All stakeholders acknowledge that the present situation at Krugersdorp’s Mogale requires intervention, and we intend being part of the solution,” Spencer declared assuredly.

Pan African not only mines gold, but has a track record of leaving the areas in which it operates in better condition, thus improving the lives of surrounding communities.

“I can assure you that Pan African will work to our ethos of making a positive difference to the site in the years ahead,” said Spencer, in drawing attention to the West Rand location of the Mogale Tailings Retreatment project having, over many decades past, produced more than 2 000 t of gold from numerous deep underground shafts and tunnels, with some mines in the area deeper than 3.5 km from surface.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT

Employees of the 500 needed for the construction of the Mogale tailings retreatment project on Gauteng’s West Rand have been largely locally sourced.

Permanent staff will number between 300 and 400 with most of the skill sets also locally sourced, Mogale Tailings Retreatment project operations manager Oriel Shikwambana said at the launch.

The project involves the retreating of two sand dumps and eight slimes dams over 20 years.

HALF-YEAR PRODUCTION

In addition to the progress of the retreatment plant. robust gold production is expected for the half-year to December 31.

Gold production for the six months is expected to be between 94 000 oz and 98 000 oz, an increase of between 2% and 6% when compared with the prior period.

Operations are performing in line or better than anticipated, with Barberton Mines underground heading for up to 38 000 oz, compared with 32 022 oz in the first six months, owing to the implementation of continuous operations enabling an increase in mined tonnages and grades.

Evander Mines underground is expected to deliver up to 21 000 oz, up on the 19 173 oz of the prior six months owing to higher grade ore from 24 Level and improved conveyor belt availability. Equipping of the ventilation shaft for hoisting of waste and production ore from 24 to 26 Levels remains on track for commissioning during the first quarter of 2024.

The Elikhulu tailings retreatment is heading for production of up to 28 000 oz compared with 25 830 oz in the prior six months.

Full-year 2024 production guidance is up to between 180 000 oz and 190 000 oz from the previously communicated range of 178 000 oz to 190 000 oz.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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