6:04pm on Jan 28, 2020
Sibanye-Stillwater has two gold projects underway in South Africa – the Burnstone and Southern Free State projects. Subsequent to recent transactions in the PGM sector, we also acquired several PGM projects at various stages of development.
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, 75 km east of Johannesburg.
As of 31 December 2018, Burnstone contains total surface and underground gold reserves of 1.95 million oz and mineral resources of 10.98 million oz.
We acquired the Burnstone assets on our acquisition of Wits Gold in July 2014. The assets, which were formerly operated as a mine until placed on care and maintenance in mid-2012, comprise 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 38,000 oz of gold.
Burnstone holds a mining right for the period from 17 February 2009 to 16 February 2027, covering a total area of 13,135 ha.
Burnstone’s feasibility study was approved by Sibanye in 2015 and site work was started in 2017. Access development was stopped in May 2018 due to company cash requirements when the focus shifted to establishing underground engineering infrastructure in preparation for mining production in 2021.
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 2018, Southern Free State contains total surface and underground gold reserves of 1.95 million oz and mineral resources of 10.98 million oz.
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.
Subject to the renewal of the Beatrix mining right in 2019, we intend to pursue consolidation of the former Wits Gold mining right and the Beatrix mining right. An initial desktop study in 2015 evaluated the potential economic viability of a Beatrix North decline shaft system below infrastructure, accessing both Beatrix resources and the southern portion of the Bloemhoek resources.
Hoedspruit, Zondernaam, Vygenhoek and Blue Ridge Platinum (under care and maintenance) are not considered core assets and no exploration work was conducted on them during 2018 and reported mineral resources on these properties remain unchanged from 2017.
Three exploration stage properties were acquired as part of the Lonmin transaction – the Akanani exploration project located in the Northern limb of the Bushveld Complex (74% owned), the advanced stage exploration Limpopo project (42% owned) located in the northern section of the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, some 60 km southeast of the city of Polokwane and lastly the Loskop project – an advanced stage exploration project located in the southern extension of the Eastern Limb of Bushveld Complex, 20 km south of the town of Groblersdal in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Mineral resources are located on two farms, Rietfontein 70JS (in which we have a 46.7% joint venture interest) and De Wagendrift 79JS (in which we have a 50% joint venture interest).
In addition the existing operations, the K4 shaft is situated within Western Platinum mining right area and is directly adjacent to the K4 concentrator. Significant capital has been spent developing K4 Mine, including sinking and equipping the modern vertical shaft (1,300m) and commissioning of the concentrator. The mine reached the early stages of production ramp-up (c.10%) prior to being placed on care and maintenance in late 2012.
We currently have three exploration projects in the Americas, two located in Argentina and one in Ontario, Canada.
The 2018 report provides a full description of the Group’s mineral asset estimation as at 31 December 2018.
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