Sibanye-Stillwater has two advanced gold projects underway in South Africa – Burnstone and Southern Free State (SOFS). As at 31 December 2020, these projects have combined gold reserves of 4.3 million ounces and combined gold resources of 17.4 million ounces.
1:22am on May 14, 2021
Burnstone is a developmental stage gold mine and processing operation located in the South Rand Goldfield of the Witwatersrand Basin next to the town of Balfour in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa, 75km east of Johannesburg.
As of 31 December 2020, Burnstone contained surface and underground gold Mineral Reserves of 2.2 million ounces and Mineral Resources of 9.1 million ounces.
The Burnstone asset was acquired with the purchase of junior exploration company Wits Gold in July 2014. Burnstone, which was formerly operated as a mine until placed on care and maintenance in mid-2012, comprises two established shaft complexes, a 125,000 ton per month carbon-in-leach gold processing plant, tailings storage facility and related surface infrastructure and mining rights. Prior to 2012, Burnstone produced approximately 38,000oz of gold.
The mining right for Burnstone is valid from 17 February 2009 to 16 February 2027, covering a total area of 13,135ha.
Burnstone’s feasibility study was approved by Sibanye in 2015 and site work was started in 2017. Access development was, however, stopped in May 2018 due to company cash requirements when the focus shifted to establishing underground engineering infrastructure in preparation for mining production.
In early 2021, Sibanye-Stillwater’s Board approved a new major capital project for Burnstone to complete necessary infrastructure and bring the mine to full development at a cost of R2.3 billion. It is anticipated that 2 million ounces of gold will be mined over a 21-year period.
Southern Free State (SOFS)
The Southern Free State project is an advanced exploration stage project located adjacent to our Beatrix operations near the town of Welkom in the Free State Province of South Africa, 240 km south-west of Johannesburg.
As of 31 December 2020, Southern Free State reported surface and underground gold reserves of 2.1 million ounces and mineral resources of 8.3 million ounces.
We acquired the Southern Free State project assets on our acquisition of Wits Gold in July 2014. The assets include the mining and prospecting rights formerly held by Wits Gold. In June 2017, a mining right consolidating four areas of the property (Bloemhoek, De Bron Merriespruit, Hakkies and Robijn) was approved for a 23-year period and executed. The mining right is contiguous to the north-east of the Beatrix mining right.
A feasibility study on the Bloemhoek decline project completed in 2019 demonstrates the economic potential for extraction of the orebody below the current 3 Shaft infrastructure, to the north of 3 Shaft, into the Southern Free State (SOFS) mining right area.