Feature image credit: DRDGOLD

DRDGold’s Far West Gold Recoveries project, is set to start on 6 December 2018 with the pumping of reclaimed tailings into the carbon-in-leach circuit.

Southern Africa – The Far West Gold Recoveries project, previously the West Rand Tailings Retreatment project is set to start with the pumping just four months into the construction of Phase 1.

“The project is on track to achieve full production of 500 000 tpm from Phase 1 in the first quarter of 2019,” comments DRDGold CEO, Niël Pretorius.

As part of early-stage commissioning, face has been established at the Driefontein 5 tailings dam reclamation site, from which pumping of reclaimed tailings through a new 2 km pipeline to the Driefontein 2 plant is set to begin.

A parallel pipeline to return water from the plant to the reclamation site has been completed.

Work to upgrade the plant’s retreatment capacity is well advanced, with carbon loading – also part of the overall commissioning process – set to begin immediately.

An 8 km pipeline to transport retreated tailings from the plant for cyclone deposition on the Driefontein 4 tailings dam and a parallel return water pipeline from the deposition site to the plant have also been completed.

Acquisition details

Far West Gold Recoveries was acquired from Sibanye Gold, trading as Sibanye-Stillwater, at the end of July 2018.

The acquisition increases DRDGold’s gold reserves by approximately 82%.

DRDGold has secured a R300 million revolving credit facility from ABSA Bank, which has allowed the company to commence with the first phase of its planned Phase 2 development of its new tailings recovery project.

Phase 2 will involve the development of a central, high-volume processing facility and new deposition site, creating capacity to process at least 1 Mtpm using a blend of material from different combinations of sources so as to produce a flat, smooth grade profile over the lifespan of the project.

On 1 August 2018 Sibanye-Stillwater acquired 38.05% of the issued share capital of DRDGold in exchange for selected assets of the WRTRP including gold surface tailing dams.

In addition to the current shareholding, Sibanye-Stillwater has an option to subscribe for Option Shares within 24 months to further attain up to a 50.1% shareholding in DRDGold at a 10% discount to the 30 day volume weighted average traded price of a DRDGold share on the day prior to the date of exercise of the option.