Fatality-free Pan African sparkles on lower-cost, longer-life prospects

12th July 2018 By: Martin Creamer - Creamer Media Editor

Fatality-free Pan African sparkles on lower-cost, longer-life prospects

Pan African CEO Cobus Loots
Photo by: Creamer Media

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Pan African has repositioned itself as a lower-cost, longer-life gold mining company that is guiding production of 170 000 oz of gold in the 12 months to June 30 next year.

The Aim- and JSE-listed company saw its Barberton Mines commendably achieve a million fatality-free shifts and help the group produce an above-guidance 160 421 oz after dramatically upping its game with a 23% output upliftment in the six months to June 30 this year to a higher-than-predicted 90 628 oz.

Evander Mines, where high-cost underground mining operations were brought to a close in the period, also put in a better-than-expected performance that contributed a higher-than-expected 69 793 oz.

Meanwhile, the promising Elikhulu tailings retreatment project, now in its commissioning phase, remains on track and within budget to pour its first gold next month.

Without the high-cost Evander underground ounces, production costs are poised to improve markedly in the 2019 financial year through the inclusion of better-margin ounces from surface operations.

In working towards ongoing fatality-free mining, independent safety specialists have been engaged to review safety systems and controls at each of the mining operations.

In the 2018 financial year to June 30, the Evander tailings retreatment plant and surface sources yielded 19 874 oz, while Evander Mines’ underground mining operation, where retrenchment was concluded at the end of May, ended the period with a higher-than-guided 49 919 oz of gold.

The company expects Elikhulu to produce 55 000 oz/y at a low all-in sustaining cost of between $650/oz and $700/oz, and, once the processing capacity of the Evander tailings retreatment plant is transferred to it in December, at the higher rate of 70 000 oz/y.

The Royal Sheba orebody at Barberton Mines – where DRA Global will conclude its life-of-mine technical feasibility study on the orebody by the end of September – has the potential to deliver 30 000 oz/y.

Pan African CEO Cobus Loots described the “extremely challenging” 2018 financial year as one in which key deliverables, critical to the future sustainability of the company, had been successfully addressed.

“We’re now repositioned as a lower-cost, long-life gold miner, consistent with stakeholder expectations,” Loots said in a release to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.