South Africa – AIM-listed African gold producer Goldplat plc has completed a JORC‐compliant resource statement for the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) at the Goldplat Recovery operations on the East Rand of Johannesburg, in South Africa.
Goldplat has been depositing tailings onto this TSF since January 2003 with the intention to eventually reprocess the material as it is known to contain significant quantities of gold and other minerals.
In order to be able to accurately assess the economic viability of reprocessing the TSF it is necessary to know the mineral content and distribution of value within the TSF, and the metallurgy in order to design an appropriate processing facility and production plan.
Applied Geology and Mining, an independent geological and mining consultancy based in South Africa, was engaged to drill and sample the TSF and produce a JORC‐compliant resource statement.
This work was recently completed and the JORC Resource report states that the TSF contains a total of 81 959 oz of gold, 216 094 oz of silver, and 193 276 lbs of uranium oxide.
The resource is separated into that contained in the TSF slimes (the ‘slime resource’) and that contained in the soils beneath the TSF as a result of leaching over the years (the ‘Footwall Soil Resource’).
The estimated total gold content calculated by Goldplat using production figures over the years was 87 907 oz of gold, which compares favourably with the total resource of 81 959 oz of gold calculated from the drilling programme. Whereas the overall grades are less than expected; when the footwall soils are included, tonnages are higher and the overall gold content correlates with that expected from historical slimes deposition records.
The amount of silver and uranium oxide contained within the TSF, in addition to the gold content, is particularly encouraging.
Initial test work suggests that conventional processing routes could result in gold recovery in the order of 15-20% through the existing New Tailings Circuit. More detailed metallurgical test work will now be undertaken, not only to determine the optimal gold extraction process, but also to optimise the extraction of silver and uranium oxide. This test work together with simultaneous processing and plant optimisation will begin immediately to ascertain how best to monetise the value contained in the TSF.
At the same time, good progress is being made on finalising a new final tailings deposition site with an estimated life span in excess of 20 years. All studies as well as finalisation of a new tailings deposition site are expected to be complete by end May 2016 after which preparation for treatment of the TSF can begin.
“This is a great result for Goldplat – the amount of gold estimated is in the order of what we were hoping for and the silver and uranium is an added bonus. This is a resource “sitting on our doorstep” which has already been mined and processed and should therefore be very cost-effective to process,” says Goldplat CEO Gerard Kisbey-Green.
“With 82 000 oz of gold on our property with minimal mining costs and relatively simple processing is a great resource to have, and our next step will be to optimise the metallurgical extraction of the gold and silver, and determine how best to monetise the uranium resource,” he adds.
Top Project stories in South Africa: