The tailings dam thickener
at Nkomat

This follows the completion of Phase 1 of the Nkomati project, which involved commissioning at a cost of R385 million (US$55 million) of a 100 000 tpm concentrator plant with a milling capacity of 1.2Mtpa and a production rate of 5 500 tpa of nickel.


Releasing the company’s results for the six months ended 30 June 2007, CEO Rob Still reports excellent results in the Central African Republic (CAR), improved production levels and sales values in Angola, satisfying momentum in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and encouraging early results in South Africa.

“This period has been one of significant progress for PDF,” he reveals, “and in the period ahead to Q1 of 2008 we intend progressing the evaluation of these projects with the objective of being in a position to make commercial mining go-ahead decisions in H1 of 2008.”


A striking night shot of the Marula mine,
near Burgersfort in the Limpopo
province of South Africa

“The near-term target is 2.3 platinum ounces by 2010,” he says, “and then – in terms of our newly-completed fiveyear plan – we are looking at a growth target of 2.5 million ounces by 2012. It is only in the longer term that we envision production of 2.8 million oz, and that will not be before 2015.”


Latest development is the completion of the mine’s new carbonin- pulp (CIP) plant. Built at a cost of R58 million, the new plant was scheduled for completion in October 2007, and commissioning of the new circuit is now underway.

It is anticipated that this replacement of the old filter plant and zinc precipitation circuit, and upgrading and expansion of the metallurgical plant, will achieve three main objectives:It will reduce plant treatment costs per tonne by 25% from R52 p/t to R39 p/t; it will increase plant throughput capacity by 21 % to 170 000 tonnes per month; and it will increase gold recoveries by 3% from 93 to 96%.


“The first phase saw the emergence of our newly-formed company in August 2007 with Royal Bafokeng Capital as the 65% controlling shareholder,” he explains, “although this stake will be reduced to 60% in due course.”

Also incorporated in this first phase was the acquisition of two productive coal mines (the Umlabu and Ilanga mines) for a combined total of R210 million. Completion of Phase One was marked by the official change in the name of the company to SACMH on 20 August 2007, following the listing of the company on the Main Board of the JSE on 31 July 2007.


“Although our production will be marginally less next year,” he explains, “we have five new growth projects, costing a combined total of close to R6 billion, starting production of higher-quality ounces between 2008 and 2012. These projects represent the life-blood of Harmony going forward, and bringing them on stream on time and at the right cost remains our top priority,” Briggs emphasises. “They will be adding a combined total of more than 1.4Moz to our total output over the next four years,” he adds.


The plant at Kopanang gold mine is
currently producing around 470 000
ounces of gold per annum. The uranium
project is scheduled to be fully
operational in 2010

Revealing this in an exclusive interview with Mining Review Africa, executive officer - Africa underground region - Robbie Lazare, confirms that current uranium production of 1.3 million pounds per annum will increase incrementally each year, but will jump to over 2Mtpa in three years’ time.


Mechanised development drilling
at South Deep

Latest statistics reveal that the company’s annual gold production is currently more than 4.1 million ounces, its ore reserves have reached almost 93.8 million ounces, and its mineral resource figure stands at 251.7 million ounces.


Dieter Haage
De Beers Consolidated
Mines head of operations
Dieter Haage

With 12 major mines in four countries, the De Beers Group is responsible for more than 40% of global diamond production. DBCM produces nine per cent of global production in terms of both value and weight, and almost one-third of the 51 million carats mined by De Beers in the last year.


The Canadian-based Pan African Mining Corporation – which focuses on exploration and development of mineral properties in Africa – has made such significant progress with its Manica gold project in Mozambique that its pre-feasibility study has been delayed until Q1 of 2008 to accommodate new developments.

In its latest resource upgrade of the Manica project, the company reports that its ongoing exploration drilling programme has resulted in encouraging increases in grades. The total Manica resource was upgraded by 18% from 1 311Moz at 2.89g/t to 1.550Moz. The resource at the Fair Bride prospect has been increased by 20% to 1.245Moz.

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