In June a routine inspection of the primary mill at Royal Bafokeng Platinum‘s Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine (BRPM) concentrator revealed significant wear to the journal liner of the mill discharge end.Subsequent investigation revealed erosion of the trunnion by more than 50%. Temporary repairs have since been carried out, and regular monitoring to track any further deterioration has been implemented and to date, no further deterioration has been observed. However the extent of the damage necessitates replacement of the mill discharge end. The date for the mill end replacement shutdown has not yet been confirmed, but is anticipated to occur in August 2013 and will take approximately two to three weeks. The cost of the repairs will be approximately R4.5 million.
Depending on the duration of the concentrator shutdown, between 96 000 and 145 000 t of Merensky ore will be stockpiled ahead of the concentrator during this period, which stocks are expected to be depleted by the end of December 2013.