Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 25 January 2012 – Neal Froneman “’ CEO of dual-listed gold explorer, developer and producer Gold One International Limited “’ has revealed his next play: a possible surface-operations joint venture with Gold Fields in the West Rand.
Miningmx reports that the assets at the core of such a venture would be the mining dumps – some of which are decades old – at Gold Fields’ Kloof, Driefontein and South Deep mines, as well as the gold plant and Cooke dump at Gold One’s recently acquired Rand Uranium.
“Gold One and Gold Fields are pleased to announce that they have entered into a memorandum of understanding [MOU] to investigate the viability of concurrently reprocessing their combined surface tailings deposits,” read a statement issued by both parties. “Should the joint venture proceed, the intention is to reclaim and retreat the historical tailings material and current tailings to recover residual gold, uranium and sulphur,” it added.
These assets are expected to comprise in excess of 700Mt, and represent over 60% of the total tailings material in the region.
The parties said a detailed scoping study would be done by mid-year, where-after they would decide on whether to proceed with a feasibility study. According to Froneman, his company and Gold Fields should have a solid agreement in place by year-end.
Froneman described the possible venture as the creation of “an Ergo on the West Rand,” referring to DRDGold’s highly profitable surface-reclamation operations on the East Rand.
“The principle is commercially smart,” he said. “The deal would also have a strong environmental slant to it.”
He pointed out that the re-depositing of residues would go a long way towards solving existing environmental problems related to high levels of uranium and sulphide contained in the dumps.
“This is an exciting opportunity to investigate the feasibility of extracting value from our substantial surface resources in the West Rand,” said Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland.