Development at Wesizwe Platinum’s Bakubung platinum mine, near Rustenburg, is continuing in line with a new business plan that sets out the commissioning of a smaller mine with a process plant to produce and treat one-million tonnes a year by the third quarter of 2020.
The company on Monday reported that mine infrastructure commissioning was on schedule, with the logistics and hoisting systems and the provisions of services (power, water and compressed air to underground) the main focus areas.
The snag listing and closing out was ongoing, fine tuning the system to prepare it to support production rates of up to 90 000 t/m from the end of 2020.
The construction of the Merensky ore pass is under way with access on levels 69, 71 and 77 levels already achieved.
Wesizwe achieved 2 296 m of capital footprint development metres verses a planned target of 1 625 m during the six months to June 30.
The increased output, on a steady upwards trend since January, allows the mine to lower the unit cost of mining and indications are that the company will achieve the target cost at the end of the year.
This is given that the cost is inclusive of some mine development and construction costs allocated in this period.
In April, the mine intersected the Merensky reef on the twin ends of 72 Level South East block of the mine. This was achieved a month earlier than planned, and to date, 17 000 t of reef development tonnes have been hoisted.
PROCESS PLANT CONSTRUCTION
The revision of the process plant design criteria has been completed and the company is finalising price and contract negotiation with the preferred engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the process plant.
The company plans to commission the smaller processing module within 14 to 18 months from November.
The application process for necessary permits has begun and engagements with authorities are ongoing.