Marikana was acquired as part of the Lonmin acquisition, on 10 June 2019 on the closing of an all-share offer for Lonmin plc valued at R4.3 billion (US$ 288 million). The assets consist of PGM mining operations located on the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex, 40 km east of the town of Rustenburg, in the North West province of South Africa and smelting and refining operations located in Brakpan, east of Johannesburg.
As at 31 December 2019, Marikana has (including tailings) 9.16 million oz of 4E PGM mineral reserves and 124.32 million oz of 4E PGM mineral resources.
The completion of the Lonmin transaction constituted the fourth step in the implementation of our strategy to become an integrated, mine-to-market producer of PGMs in South Africa.
Following a detailed three-month review of the Marikana operation, a restructuring to create an operating footprint with a more sustainable cost structure was successfully concluded in early December 2019. After mandatory consultations with affected stakeholders, approximately 3,195 jobs were retained, with 1,924 employees exiting (normal attrition) during the period. Three generation 1 shafts (East 1, West 1 and Hossy) reached the end of their reserve lives, resulting in the necessary retrenchment of 1,142 employees and a 1,709 reduction in contractors. Integration of service functions is ongoing in 2020.
Marikana is a large, established operation, with all the necessary surface infrastructure to support mining operations. Five shafts are in operation, 4Belt, K3, Rowland, Saffy and E3, while a number of shafts are under care and maintenance.
The ore mined at the Marikana operations is processed through five concentrators on site with a combined milling capacity of approximately 600,000t per month. The concentrate produced is dispatched to the smelter where a sulphide-rich matte is produced for further processing at the Base Metal Refinery (BMR). At the BMR, base metals (nickel and copper) are removed and the resulting PGM-rich residue is sent to Precious Metal Refinery (PMR) in Brakpan for final treatment. PMR produces the final precious metal products.
In addition to underground operations, there is one tailings retreatment operation. The remining of eastern tailings dam 1 (ETD1) occurs by hydraulic mining with high pressure water guns and the tailings are retreated at the Bulk Tailings Treatment (BTT) plant.
The mineral rights for the Marikana operations comprise several mining rights. There are two mining rights within Western Platinum Limited, which have been converted to new order mining rights 11/2008MR and 29/2008MR. The mining rights within Eastern Platinum Limited were converted to new order mining rights 16/2008MR and 13/3008MR. These mining rights are for the extraction of PGMs and, where applicable the associated minerals, and will continue until September 2037. Eastern tailings dam 1 is located within the area covered by new order mining right 16/2008MR.