Nokeng Fluorspar Mine recently opened a new on-site training centre for the Gauteng region. This, against the backdrop of the company reaching 70% completion of a R1.7 billion mine and concentrator at Rusti de Winter north-east of Pretoria.
More than 2 500 men and women from 10 local communities are expected to receive training in skills such as boiler-making, fitting, welding and community house building over the next 10 years at the Mining Qualifications Authority-accredited Dr Lelau Mohuba Training Centre.
Nokeng’s flagship Social and Labour Plan (SLP) project, the 2 400 square metre training centre was built and equipped in just seven months at a cost of R17 million. Tuition, study materials, transport, work clothing and personal protection equipment totalling R36 000 per trainee will be provided free of charge by the company during the life of the mine.
Some 56 trainees are already enrolled in various training courses and will be prioritised for permanent employment by Nokeng once qualified.
Mine development: on time and within budget
The first new mine to be developed in Gauteng in the last 12 years, Nokeng – now 12 months into development – is on time and within budget.
First production is expected in February 2019.
Nokeng has a 12Mt, SAMREC-compliant reserve – large by current international standards – and an estimated 19 year LOM. Some 630 000 tonnes of ore containing approximatky 27% calcium fluoride – high by current international standards – will be mined annually from surface and near-surface, initially from two deposits.
From the mine’s art concentrator, around 180 000 tonnes a year of acid grade fluorspar and 30 000 tonnes a year of metallurgical grade fluorspar will be produced.
Production costs are expected to be in the bottom quartile of producers internationally, largely because of the ore bodies’ high grade and easy accessibility.
More than 400 people from local communities have been employed in fixed-term jobs during the construction phase and will also be prioritised, along with the training centre graduates, for placement in the 200 permanent positions available on the mine.
Rob Wagner, SepFluor CEO, said, “This is the Nokeng Mine’s legacy for the next generation.”