Expanding its iron ore output, Beeshoek is establishing a new opencast operation on what for decades has been a mine residential zone: the Village pit. In the meantime, full-scale mining continues at Beeshoek’s North and South operations.
Jointly owned by African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Assore, Assmang has been mining at Beeshoek since 1935 on a rich deposit near Postmasburg. Iron ore exports commenced in 1964, and at peak the mine was producing over six million tonnes. Over the years intensive mining has been on-going, with approximately 40% of current iron ore sales destined for the export market, although this figure changes annually based on domestic and international demand.
Three products are produced at Beeshoek: a DR (direct reduction) with a 64% iron content; a lumpy iron 64.5% product; and a 62.25% iron fines product. Beeshoek’s resources (measured and indicated) on 30 June 2014 were 110 33 Mt (64.02% iron); whilst reserves (proved and probable) were 46.13 Mt (64.31% iron), plus the existing dumps at 7.5 Mt (55.17% iron). As an indication of recent activity, Beeshoek’s production was recorded at 3.1 Mt for the July 2013 to 30 June 2014 trading period. Mining at Beeshoek is focused on the existing North and South pits, running alongside the development of the Village pit, a new project which has major downstream potential.
The Village pit is situated on the site of the previous Beeshoek mine residence constructed from the late 1930s, most of which has now been cleared for mining development. The Village pit deposit was first identified in the 1970s, but was not considered financially viable at the time..