Pan African Resources pours first gold at its R1.7bn Elikhulu project in Mpumalanga

“The contribution to the local economy must make a difference."

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The Bulletin News

Pan African Resources produced its inaugural gold pour at the R1.7 billion Elikhulu tailings retreatment project in Evander, Mpumalanga, on Thursday 16 August 2018. It was witnessed by several dignitaries including Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe.
Speaking at the inaugural gold pour ceremony, Pan African Resources CEO Cobus Loots said: “The completion of Elikhulu’s construction and the inaugural gold pour, ahead of schedule and in line with the Project budget, is a further significant milestone as we deliver into our strategy of repositioning the Group as a low-cost, long-life gold producer.
Elikhulu is delivering much needed new employment opportunities and is an economic boost for our local communities and for South Africa’s Mpumalanga province.
We expect Elikhulu to be a flagship operation within our low-cost, long-life asset base, and we will continue to focus on improving and expanding our portfolio in a sustainable manner to the benefit of all stakeholders.”
The construction of Elikhulu was completed ahead of schedule and within its R1.74-billion budget. The Project’s commissioning phase is scheduled to be completed in September 2018, with a steady-state production of approximately 55,000oz of gold per annum, at an all-in sustaining production cost of between US$650/oz and US$700/oz.
During construction, the project paid R162-million to 67 local contracting companies as part of its preferential procurement programme. Pan African Resources also invested R2.4-million in upgrading the infrastructure of four local schools
As previously announced, the incorporation into Elikhulu of the Evander Tailings Retreatment Plant (ETRP), which has a tailings throughput of 200,000 tonnes per month, is on track and scheduled for completion in December 2018, after which the enlarged Elikhulu plant is forecast to process tailings throughput of 1.2-million tonnes per month and is expected to produce approximately 70,000oz of gold per annum.
Elikhulu’s construction phase employed as many as 1,769 people and will directly employ more than 350 permanent employees and contractors during its operational life of 14 years.
Gwede Mantashe said he expected the Elikhulu project would have a positive impact on the economy of the community of Evander and exhorted beneficiaries to invest their money to grow their businesses and create new employment within the area and beyond as they grow.
“The contribution to the local economy must make a difference. I would advise that you prepare yourself for more demands as a result of the positive impact of the project. However, the Elikhulu project already has in place 30% ownership by workers, local community and empowerment partners,” he said.
“Fraud, corruption and bribery were anathemas to the longevity, success, sustainability and developmental impact of mining,” added Mantashe. He emphasised the importance of ethical leadership within mining companies, the Department of Mineral Resources and in mining stakeholders.
Pan African Resources also announced the company’s next big project, Royal Sheba, which will be built within the company’s existing mining right at Barberton, Mpumalanga, before the end of 2019.
The Royal Sheba orebody has potential to deliver an estimated 30 000 oz/y of low-cost production for Pan African.
“The project will employ 300 permanent workers,” said Cobus Loots.
The Elikhulu Project
Construction of the Elikhulu Project entailed 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-million tonnes per month.
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 mineral reserve estimate is a probable 185.3Mt, comprised of the Kinross (45.2Mt), Leslie (70.1Mt) and Winkelhaak (70Mt) tailings storage facilities at Evander Mines. The combined mineral reserve contains an estimated 1.7-million ounces, of which an estimated 688,000 ounces will be recovered over the life of the project. This estimate excludes the inferred resource 244,398 ounces of gold leached and contained in the soil beneath the existing tailing dumps, which could potentially increase the project life.
The mineral reserve estimate assumes a non-selective mining method whereby the whole of the mineral deposit is mined in a predetermined sequence. The mining method allows for complete extraction of the targeted mineral deposit. Hydraulic mining has been selected as the mining method as it is a proven technology, cost-effective and technically and operationally well understood.
Pan African Resources’ Evander Tailings Retreatment Plant (ETRP) exploits historically generated gold tailings deposited in the Kinross tailings storage facility and surface sources of gold bearing material. It produces approximately 20,000 ounces of gold per annum from a tailings throughput of 2.4-million tonnes per annum. The gold is extracted at a carbon-in-leach hybrid plant. The incorporation of the ETRP into Elikhulu is scheduled for completion in December 2018.

The Bulletin News
Executive Mayor of GMM Thandiwe Ngxonono
CEO Cobus Loots
The Bulletin News
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe

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