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Overview

Beatrix, a shallow to intermediate level gold mine, has been producing gold since 1983, in the southern portion of the Free State Goldfields.

Beatrix is located in the Matjhabeng Magisterial District, near the towns of Welkom and Virginia, approximately 240km south-west of Johannesburg, in the Free State province of South Africa. Before the advent of mining the land was used for agricultural purposes and very little natural vegetation remains.

The current mine infrastructure consists of three producing shaft complexes. Mining is focused on open ground and pillars (white areas) of differing reef horizons with the deepest operating level some 2,055m below surface (22 Level at 4 Shaft). The principal mining takes place on the Beatrix Reef (BXR). Additional reefs mined include VS5 Reef of the Eldorado Formation (VS5), Aandenk (AAR) and Kalkoenkrans (KKR).

In 2017, underground gold production decreased by 8% to 8,859kg, 284,800oz (2016: 9,601kg, 308,700oz), primarily due to re-planning at the Beatrix West shaft. The reduction allowed greater flexibility, reduced costs and addressed constraints underground. Given the Section 189 consultations, the remainder of Beatrix shafts experienced restrictions in filling their critical labour complement, which impacted production volumes. Gold production from surface sources decreased by 47% to 232kg, 7,500oz (2016: 440kg, 14,100oz) due to a similar decline in throughput as surface sources were depleted.

Locality plan

Mine location

Key statistics

  20172016201520142013
PRODUCTION            
Main development m 17,970m 21,280 21,599 19,733 17,531
Area mined 000m² 406 437 417 385 434
Tonnes milled Mt 3.5 4.3 4.3 4.5 4.1
Yield g/t 2.60 2.32 2.34 2.28 2.4
Gold produced kg 9,091 10,041 10,105 10,354 9,722
  000oz 292 323 325 333 315
COSTS AND MARGINS          
Operating costs R/t 1,124 866 785 705 731
– underground R/t 1,407 1,246 1,169 1,187 1,201
– surface R/t 129 126 129 77 84
Operating profit Rm 923 2,131 1,425 1,362 1,223
Operating margin % 19 36 30 30 29
Capital expenditure Rm 546 628 597 548 537
– sustaining Rm 63 85 86 102 201
– ore reserve development Rm 482 543 511 446 336
– projects Rm 1
Total cash cost R/kg 434,826 381,625 340,792 313,888 306,593
  US$/oz 1,017 809 831 902 993
All-in cost R/kg 503,036 453,232 408,422 377,101 377,206
  US$/oz 1,176 961 996 1,087 1,222
All-in cost margin % 6 23 14 15 13

Hoisting and production capacities

Operating shaftOperational hoisting capacity (ktpm)Planned production (ktpm)*
3 192 136
1 138 55
4SV 120 30

* Planned production is five-year hoisted average from 2018 onwards

Plant capacities

PlantDesign capacity (ktpm)Current operational capacity (ktpm)Average recovery factor (%)Material treated
1 CIL 233 235 95.5 UG
      83.4 Surface
2 CIP 130 130 93.0 UG

CIP – Carbon-in-pulp