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Overview

Located on the Far West Rand, in the West Rand District Municpality, some 60km south-west of Johannesburg in Gauteng province, South Africa, Kloof's new order mining rights cover a total of approximately 20,087ha. It is principally an underground mine with nominal surface reserves represented by SRDs and TSFs accumulated during the operating history of the mine.

The Kloof Operation is a complex of intermediate to ultra-deep-level mines, predominantly mining the Ventersdorp Contact Reef, at depths of between 1,300m and 3,350m below surface. The mine is situated near regional urban centres where it can routinely obtain supplies, and has access to the national electricity grid as well as water, road and rail infrastructure. Kloof's existing scope of operation is the result of the consolidation of the Kloof, Libanon, Leeudoorn and Venterspost mines in 2000. Gold mining began in the area now covered by these operations in 1934.


Kloof location
SA location
Coordinates
  • 26° 24'00"S
  • 27° 36'00"E

Kloof's operations comprise five producing shaft systems and two metallurgical gold plants. The Kloof 1 Plant (KP1) was commissioned in 1968 and originally designed to process underground ore. It was converted to process surface reclamation dumps in 2001. KP1 comprises three-stage crushing, open-circuit rod mills for primary grinding and closed-circuit pebble mills for secondary milling. This is followed by cyanide leaching, filtration, zinc precipitation and smelting.

The Kloof 2 Plant (KP2) was commissioned in November 1990 and currently treats all of Kloof's underground ore. Reef is trucked and conveyed to a central stacker pad, which feeds two SAG mills equipped with variable-speed ring motor drives. Milling is followed by cyanide leaching, CIP and treatment at an independent elution and smelting facility. The elution facility was upgraded in June 2001 and again in October 2003 to process loaded carbon from KP1 and the former KP3 (Libanon) plant. The upgrade included the installation of continuous electro-winning sludge reactors.

Key statistics

    2016 2015 2014 2013
PRODUCTION         
Main development m 16,167 17,899 18,743 19,331
Area mined 000m² 278 308 305 301
Tonnes milled Mt 4.7 4.0 4.7 4.2
Yield g/t 3.25 3.54 3.66 3.78
Gold produced/sold kg 15,210 14,068 17,038 15,977
  000oz 489 452 548 514
COSTS AND MARGINS         
Operating costs R/t 1,080 1,201 968 971
– underground R/t 2,300 2,251 2,061 1,982
– surface R/t 162 161 156 146
Operating profit Rm 3,850 1,914 3,001 2,854
Operating margin % 43 29 40 41
Capital expenditure Rm 1,304 1,130 1,236 1,304
– sustaining Rm 261 226 356 460
– ore reserve development Rm 913 841 880 844
– projects Rm 130 64    
Total cash cost R/kg 340,762 342,764 271,282 261,570
  US$/oz 722 836 780 847
All-in cost R/kg 435,609 426,223 352,624 353,884
  US$/oz 923 1,040 1,014 1,147
All-in cost margin % 26 9 20 19

Hoisting and production capacities

Operating
shaft
Operational hoisting
capacity (ktpm)
Planned production
ktpm)*
Main 100 82
7 32 18
8 15 17
3 55 31
4 82 67

* Planned production is five-year hoisted average from 2017 onwards

Plant capacities

PlantDesign
capacity
(ktpm)
Current
operational
capacity (ktpm)
Average
recovery
factor (%)
Material
treated
1 (CIP) 180 180 88.4 Primarily SRD
2 (CIP) 120 167 98.2 Primarily UG

Performance in 2016

Total operation

Gold production of 15,210kg (489,000oz) was 8% higher than the previous year due to an increase in underground and surface volumes as well as an increase in underground yield.

Underground

Gold production increased by 7% to 13,704kg (440,600oz) compared with the financial year ended 30 December 2015 due to an increase in volume coupled with a 17% increase in the mine call factor to 84%. Average mined grades remained consistent with the comparable reporting period.

Ore milled increased marginally to 2.0Mt due to the inclusion of low-grade development tonnes in material sent to the mill. Despite this, yields improved by 5% to 6.82g/t.

Main development decreased by 10% to 16,167m, in line with the planned decline in development metres and the average development value increased by 5% to 1,908cm.g/t from 1,824cm.g/t in 2015.

Operating costs increased by 3% to R4,609 million (US$314 million), primarily due to inflationary increases.

Operating profit doubled to R3,403 million (US$232million) with the operating margin increasing from 27% to 42%.

Capital expenditure increased by 15% to R1,287 million (US$88 million) due to increased expenditure on capitalised ORD. The majority of expenditure for 2016 was on capitalised ore reserve development, 45 Level decline at Ikamva Shaft, electrical upgrades, winder upgrades, community projects and the West Rand Tailings Retreatment Project.

Surface

Gold production increased by 24% to 1,506kg (48,400oz) due to an increase in SRD throughput, which improved by 33% to 2.67Mt.

Operating costs increased by 34% to R432 million (US$29 million) mainly due to higher processing costs in line with increased volumes.

The surface operations contributed R447 million (US$30 million) to operating profit. The operating margin increased to 51% from 44%.

Capital expenditure increased by 43% to R17 million (US$1 million) compared with R12 million spent in the comparable period in 2015. This was mainly due to plant equipment upgrades at No 1 Plant.

Future focus

Safety, mining quality and improved volumes will continue to be focus areas.

Key capital projects will include the 45 Level decline at Ikamva shaft in the coming year.