Pan African Resources has initiated a tailings re-treatment project at its Evander operations in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province that will add 10,000 oz/y of gold to its current production of about 100,000 oz/y. The project is scheduled to reach full production by June 2015.
The Evader tailings re-treatment project has a total mineral resource of 597,000 oz in 57.8 million mt grading 0.32 g/mt contained in Dams 1, 2 and 3 of the Evander property’s Kinross tailings storage facility. The mineral reserve stands at 369,000 oz in 32.3 million mt grading 0.32 g/mt in Dams 1 and 2.
The project will re-treat 2.16 million mt/y of tailings over a 14-year life. Capital spending to develop the project is budgeted at R200 million (about $20 million). Cash costs of production are estimated at about $800/oz.
An additional 1.5 million oz of gold resources exist in 167.6 million mt of tailings grading 0.28 g/mt at four other tailings storage facilities on the Evander mining right area. These resources represent the potential for a larger tailings re-treatment plant to be constructed in the future.
A total of 88 boreholes were drilled on a 200-m x 200-m grid to determine the potential mineral resource for the current re-treatment project. Detailed metallurgical test-work indicates a gold recovery of 40%. No additional milling will be required for the feed material.
The existing but inactive Kinross metallurgical plant will be refurbished to re-treat about 180,000 mt/y via carbon-in-leach, electro-winning and smelting to produce a saleable product. Long-lead items such as leach tanks and carbon regeneration kilns are currently being procured. Civil work has begun, and re-mining and plant commissioning are scheduled to begin in January 2015.