Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 07 October 2008 – Emerging South African resources company Simmer and Jack Mines Limited (Simmers) says its Mpumalanga-based subsidiary, Transvaal Gold Mining Estates Limited (TGME), has received the go-ahead to begin mining its new heap leach pad at Elandsdrift, near Sabie. The leaching process is expected to begin by the end of this month, with the first gold expected in December 2008.
This follows the granting of a Water Use Licence by the Department of Water and Forestry (DWAF) last week.
The Elandsdrift heap leach pad is a pilot project designed to confirm the metallurgical parameters of the leach extraction process on a 300 000 tonne sand dump. Yield is estimated at 0.80 g/t with a total production forecast of 192 kilograms (6 173 ounces) over 14 months at an average operating cost per kilogram of R35 250 (US$ 150 /oz).
Heap leach technology is a mining method used successfully by some of the largest low-cost gold mines in the world to recover gold from low-grade surface oxide deposits in an environmentally responsible manner.
The Simmers statement explained that Elandsdrift was one of four pilot heap leach pads that the company had planned to commission in the next three years as part of a feasibility study to confirm the potential for low-cost, low-risk surface mining in the area. Production from the four pads was expected to yield 80 000 ounces of gold over four years from the 163 000 resource ounces which had been defined to date.
Simmer & Jack CEO Gordon Miller commented: “This resource base is expected to increase even further as a result of our ongoing exploration programme, so the yield from these four pads is potentially much greater than 80 000 ounces.”
Heap leach technology is a safe and proven environmentally-friendly way of extracting gold, according to Miller. “By treating the surface oxide deposits at TGME in this manner, we will not only significantly reduce our risk profile, but will also be contributing to much needed job opportunities in the area,” he concluded.