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Precious Metals  
4 April 2017

Tharisa to transition from contract mining to owner mining model

Tharisa has been evaluating the benefits of transitioning from contract mining to an owner mining model at its Tharisa mine near Rustenburg, South Africa.

Tharisa, a low-cost producer of PGMs and chrome, owns a large scale open pit operation with an open pit life of 18 years and a further 40 years of underground mine extension.

The company currently contracts its mining operations to MCC Contracts (MCC). MCC’s parent company Extract Group has announced a strategic decision to align its capital allocations with the current mining environment and to review its business model.

As a result, Tharisa has the opportunity to purchase MCC’s existing on-site plant and equipment, as well as employ skilled employees currently in service at the Tharisa mine.

The company has accordingly engaged with MCC in an orderly manner, to purchase a requisite portion of the existing mining fleet as a going concern. Tharisa, in the normal course of managing its mining operations, has developed engineering and geological skills that are integral to in-house mining.

The successful conclusion of this process will ensure that the Tharisa mine transitions to an owner mining model without interruption.

The company believes that with the long life of the open pit, the transition to an owner mining model is a logical progression in its development. The change in the operating model is expected to have both cost and operational benefits as well as providing financial flexibility, thereby cementing Tharisa’s low-cost high margin position.

“Tharisa has spent the last two years building up its mining expertise and we are now happy that we have the necessary skills to make a smooth transition. We are excited to have the opportunity to directly control our own mining,” says Tharisa CEO, Phoevos Pouroulis.

Tharisa will be releasing its production update for the second quarter and first half of its 2017 financial year on 10 April 2017.

MCC Plant auctioned a selection of yellow metal equipment valued over R70 million at the end of March 2017 following a plant equipment review.

The auction followed a full review of plant equipment by MCC Plant in line with a strategic move by the company to undertake bold steps to realign its portfolio and core outlook of the business.

Feature image credit: Tharisa

(Tharisa mine under construction circa 2016)

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