Kroondal is a shallow underground PGM mine with two concentrators located on the Western Limb of the Bushveld complex, 12 km east of the town of Rustenburg in the North West Province of South Africa, some 120 km north-west of Johannesburg. We operate Kroondal subject to a 50/50 pooling and sharing agreement (PSA) with Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).
On a 50% attributable basis, as at 31 December 2019 Kroondal has 1.20 million 4E PGM oz and 1.47 million 6E PGM oz mineral reserves and 4.35 million 4E PGM oz and 5.30 million 6E PGM oz mineral resources.
Kroondal commenced operations in 1999 and has been progressively expanded since that time. We acquired our 50% interest in Kroondal on April 12, 2016 on the closing of a US$4.3 billion all-cash offer for the then listed Aquarius Platinum Limited.
Kroondal comprising five operating decline shafts and five shafts under care and maintenance. Currently, the UG2 reef is being mined at Kroondal, the Merensky reef having been mined out before our acquisition. The orebody comprises two chromite-rich mineralised seams, an upper UG2 Leader and a UG2 Main, separated by a one-meter pyroxenite zone. The two seams are mined together in a wide-reef underground operation. Mining takes place at depths between 250m and 500m below surface, utilising the bord-and-pillar mining method.
Ore is processed at Kroondal through two concentrator plants (K1 and K2) at a rate of approximately 590,000 kilotonnes per month. Additional spare processing capacity is available at a third plant, Marikana, currently under care and maintenance. Tailings from the K1 and K2 plants are piped to three adjacent tailings storage facilities and at a fourth tailings storage facility at Marikana, which has been recommissioned.
Under the pooling and sharing agreement, revenues, costs and capital expenditures are shared on a 50/50 basis and Amplats is responsible for all smelting, refining and marketing of output under a life of mine purchase of concentrate arrangement.
Kroondal has a new order mining right (registered in the name of Amplats) valid for the period from 17 October 2007 to 16 October 2022 in respect of a mining area totaling some 1,722 ha. One of the mining areas (the Kroondal extension) is mined under a royalty agreement with Amplats in respect of which Sibanye-Stillwater has exclusive mining rights.