JSE-listed Pan African Resources has successfully commissioned the Barberton Tailings Retreatment project (BTRP) at its Barberton mines (BGMO).

Further, the BTRP project, which commenced construction in April 2012, was completed on schedule and within budget.

Situated adjacent to the Bramber tailings storage facility (TSF) at the Fairview mine, the retreatment project was designed to retreat 100 000 ton of gold tailings per month at an estimated average cash cost of US$800/oz.

The plant uses a carbon in leach process followed by electro-winning and smelting to produce a saleable gold product. The project will source about 12 000 Tpm of current tailings via a pipeline from the Fairview Concentrator and BIOX® plant and some 88 000 Tpm from the TSF.

The Africa-focused precious metals producer said the BTRP is expected to ramp up to full capacity of 100 000 Tpm at an average recovered grade of 0.52g/t by Q2 2014.

It has a current life of mine of six years and will provide Pan African with an additional 20 000 oz of gold per annum, increasing BGMO’s gold output by approximately 20% to 115 000 oz yearly.

The total capital expenditure budget of the project was R305 million (US$31million), of which approximately 90% has been invoiced to date. All of the construction capital requirements were funded by internal cash flows from BGMO.

Basil Read-Matomo, who successfully constructed Pan African’s Phoenix Platinum Chrome Tailings Retreatment plant, designed and constructed the BTRP. The project is managed by an experienced team including BGMO’s GM Casper Strydom and metallurgy manager, Jonathan Irons. The BTRP has created an additional 86 direct employment opportunities in the Barberton area.

“We are proud to have commissioned this project on schedule and within budget. The achievement reaffirms our ability to deliver on our development plans at our operations. It also demonstrates the potential for future success of our other organic growth projects at Barberton and Evander,” said COO and joint interim CEO Ron Holding.

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