Company upgrades two shafts


PAN African Resources completed a R40m refurbishment of underground shafts at its Evander Gold Mines on 15 April and mining will resume soon.
The company announced in February that it would take 55 days to refurbish Evander Gold Mines’ 7 and 8 shafts with a 7% reduction in full-year production.
The work was needed to ensure safe operations after an employee was killed in an accident on 15 February.
The company is also retrenching 976 employees after the company served a Section 189 notice in March that enables it to restructure the operation.
About 30% of the mines’ 2 400 employees agreed to the retrenchment process and the operations at shafts 7 and 8 were suspended to do critical refurbishments and maintenance.
According to Julian Gwillim, spokesman of PAN African Resources, the announcements came as a somewhat welcome relief for Evander which had been loss-making for seven months owing to a strengthening in the rand against the dollar.
“The rand had since lost more than 10%, which combined with a lift in the dollar gold price, sees the rand gold price increase to R560 000/kg, an increase of roughly R50 000/kg in less than a month,” said Julian.
The R40 million refurbishment project included:
• The replacement of the 7 shaft pump columns support infrastructure
• The replacement of a damages section of the main pump column at the 7 shaft
• The replacement of the water reticulation system between the 7 and 8 shafts
• The repairs to the 7 and & A shaft bottoms
• An assessment of all other underground infrastructure critical to maintaining and sustaining production.
Evander Mine’s 7A shaft, which is used for rock hoisting, has also normalised hoisting speed to 13m per second.
The hoisting speed was reduced to 8m per second for the period in which repairs were being effected.
“During the refurbishment period, on-mine management also focused on the preparation of the Evander Mines’ underground mining areas for re-commencement of mining,” said Julian.
The emphasis will be on the securing and opening of stope entrances and traveling ways, the opening and securing of critical material and development drives, the construction of additional underground dams to ensure adequate water storage capacity, the improving of the ventilation system and infrastructure and retraining of all underground miners to ensure the implementation of a clean, safe and sustainable mining plan.
Underground mining operations at Evander mines will start soon with the hoisting of approximately 6 000t of mined ore currently stored within the Evander mines underground infrastructure.