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  • Last updated

    1:20am on Sep 23, 2019

Rustenburg is a shallow to intermediate level PGM mining, surface sources and concentrators located on the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex, northeast of the town of Rustenburg in the North West Province of South Africa, some 120 km north-west of Johannesburg.

As at 31 December 2018, Rustenburg had (including tailings) 17.07 million oz of 4E PGM and 19.90 million oz of 6E PGM mineral reserves and 84.79 million oz of 4E PGM and 98.62 million oz of 6E PGM mineral resources.

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    The Rustenburg operations were acquired from Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) as of 1 November 2016 for a cash payment of R1.5 billion (US$110.5 million) on closing and a deferred payment equal to 35% of the distributable free cash flow generated by the operations over a six-year period amounting to a minimum of R3 billion (US$221million) subject to certain extensions and conditions.

    Mining operations have been carried out at Rustenburg since the late 1920’s. Currently, the operations comprise three operating vertical shafts (Siphumelele 1, Khuseleka 1 and Thembelani 1), two declines at Bathopele, two concentrating plants (the Waterval UG2 concentrator and the Waterval retrofit concentrator), a chrome recovery plant, the Western Limb tailings retreatment plant and related surface infrastructure and assets. In addition, mining operations are carried out on three mining tailings dams – Waterval East, Waterval West and Klipfontein.

    The Rustenburg orebody comprises two chromite-rich horizons hosting PGM minerals within the UG2, separated by a pyroxenite zone, and the platinum-bearing pyroxenite Merensky Reef lying 140 m above the UG2. The orebody is accessed from surface using conventional underground mining methods to 34 level at Siphumelele Shaft (approximately 1,350 m below surface), at 28 level at Khuseleka (approximately 2,105 m below surface) and at 29 level at Thembelani Shaft; the mineral resource at Bathopele is accessed from surface via two decline clusters using mechanised bord-and-pillar mining methods to a depth of approximately 500 m below surface.

    Ore is processed at the Rustenburg operations through four plants with a combined milling capacity of 1,690,000 tonnes per month. Of the four processing plants, the Waterval UG2 concentrator processes only UG2 ore; the Waterval retrofit concentrator treats a blend of Merensky and UG2 ores as well as tailings from the Waterval East and West tailings storage facilities. The Western Limb Tailings Retreatment Plant treats tailings from the Waterval and Klipfontein tailings storage dams. The chrome retreatment plant treats UG2 tailings to recover a saleable chromite concentrate.

    Tailings from the Rustenburg operations are piped to storage facilities at Hoedspruit, an active plant which receives tonnes from the Western Limb Tailings Retreatment Plant, and Paardekraal, an active dam receiving tonnage from the Waterval Retrofit and UG2 concentrators.

    Rustenburg has a new order mining right (registered in the name of Amplats) valid for the period from 25 July 2016 to 28 July 2040.

Reference

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SA PGM operations

PGM operations, South Africa

Our South African operations mine from both the UG2 and the Merensky reefs of the Bushveld complex.

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