The Mogale Tailings Retreatment project on Gauteng’s West Rand had its official sod-turning ceremony on Tuesday, July 25.
The R2.5-billion project near Krugersdorp and Kagiso received a send-off from Pan African Resources, a London- and Johannesburg-listed Africa-focused midtier gold producer as reported by Mining Weekly.
Pan African Resources CEO, Cobus Loots, stated during an on-site interview with Mining Weekly, “Where we stand today, 12 months from today, we’ll have a brand new processing plant.” This project will be Pan Africa’s fourth large-scale tailings plant, and it is set to be fully commissioned by December next year.
Pan African chairperson, Keith Spencer, expressed his optimism about the project during his address to representatives from various sectors, including government, technical institutions, finance houses, law firms, analysts, and media. He emphasised the potential to transform the site into a modern example of mining with the support of the government, local communities, and stakeholders.
Highlighting the area’s significant gold-mining history, Spencer mentioned that the West Rand had produced over 2,000 tons of gold from numerous deep underground shafts and tunnels, some of which are over three-and-a-half kilometres deep.
The Mogale project, undertaken by mostly the same internal teams from Pan African’s previous three successful tailings retreatment projects, is characterised by fast payback, low costs, significant production uplift, long life, and high ungeared return. Loots estimate an all-in-sustaining cost of $1,000 per ounce and a three to four years payback period.
The project will deploy proven technology involving low unit-cost hydro mining with low project execution risk, processing 800,000 tons monthly through a carbon-in-leach plant. This will result in a roughly 50,000 ounces per year boost for the company, which already has a 200,000 ounces per year asset portfolio.
To meet its electricity needs, the Mogale project will consume about 10 MW to 20 MW, allocated from the State power utility Eskom. However, Pan African Resources aims to generate solar power on-site quickly, following its significant success in generating renewable energy at its Evander and Barberton operations.
As material from the dumps is processed, the land will be recovered and rehabilitated over the 20-year life of the mine.
Cobus Loots expressed confidence in the project’s positive impact on the people of Krugersdorp and Kagiso, stating, “We believe the project is going to change this area for the better. Certainly, it will create economic opportunity, employment, and uplift the environment.” He assured that the project enjoys full support from stakeholders.
SGS Bateman serves as the project’s engineering, procurement, and construction management contractor.
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