The worth and resilience of gold has been proven, yet again, with midtier gold producer Pan African Resources reporting strong results for the financial year ended in June 30, 2020 (FY20), and reasserting its aim to be debt free during 2021.
Pan African Resources investor relations head Hethen Hira points out that, during FY20, the company produced 173 860 oz of gold, resulting in a total revenue of about $373-million.
He tells Mining Weekly that the company continues to realise the financial targets set out in 2020 and its sustainable development strategy that is focused on environmental, safety and corporate governance (ESG).
The strategy includes the implementation of ESG projects, ranging from introducing sustainable energy solutions, such as solar, to farming and societal projects for host communities.
“We will commission our 10 MW solar plant at the Evander complex during 2021 and have concluded the feasibility study for a similar plant at the Barberton complex,” says Pan African Resources CEO Cobus Loots.
The Evander solar plant will provide the Elikhulu tailings facility, at the Evander complex, in Mpumalanga, with about 30% of operating power when operating at full capacity.
Loots adds that the company will also consider the expansion of the Evander solar plant to about 25 MW at a later stage.
“This will, hopefully, be able to power one of the countries newest underground gold mines, Egoli, in the next few years,” adds Hira.
Loots notes that Pan African may introduce other “sustainable possibilities on the power landscape, including battery storage” at its sites, although he stresses that the capital expenditure for the integration of such technologies must be viable.
The company is also developing a 15 ha tunnelled agricultural space at its Barberton complex that will have crops ready for harvest within the next year, he enthuses.
“This will assist in allowing for job creation within the community once the mine has reached its end of life.”
Loots stresses that Pan African Resources is striving to create other opportunities for employment, since mining is of a finite nature. In this regard, the agricultural projects being implemented will be complemented with downstream initiatives.
This dedication also assists with, and provides perspective for, Pan African Resources’ position in terms of the United Nations’ (UN’s) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Of the 17 SGDs listed by the UN, Pan African Resources suggests that the most achievable ones for the company are good health and wellbeing, no poverty, quality education, decent work and economic growth.
It also highlights industry innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, as well as partnerships for future goals, as more attainable SDGs.
Loots says that the remining of tailings, with water reuse programmes in place, is important to Pan African Resources.
“As a gold miner, the company has committed to responsibly and sustainably return the land on which it mines to a state that is as close to its original condition as possible.
“At the end of the life-of-mine, we responsibly and safely manage the closure of our mines to ensure minimal disruption to the natural resources,” concludes Loots.