The shaft sinking programme at the mine, located on the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex, has reached the latest significant milestone with the last vertical blasts on the main shaft reaching a depth of 825 m and the ventilation shaft reaching a depth of 815 m.
This latest milestone is the start of the next important phase on the project of shaft equipping and commissioning of the mine asset, with 2016 seeing increased activity as the last phase of surface infrastructure is installed.
This will include the construction of the control rooms and administration offices, and preparations will also commence for the construction of the process plant.
Commenting on this latest milestone, Bakubung platinum mine general manager Eddie Mohlabi says: “This means that we will be moving into the next phase of the project focusing on the main shaft. We will be stripping the shaft of all the temporary steelwork that was used for sinking, and equipping the shaft with permanent steelwork.”
“This will allow the process to commence towards commissioning, which for the main shaft will be in the second quarter of 2017. On the ventilation shaft, work will now commence on completing the shaft infrastructure, meaning that we can now proceed full steam towards development. In the new year, we will commence the development of the processes for rock handling.”
“We are getting there even though there are some challenges which can be managed to ensure we remain on schedule in terms of the development. All the previous milestones have been related to sinking, whereas this new one marks the beginning of our working towards getting to work on the ore body itself,” he concludes.