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Sibanye's Rustenburg Operations are located in North West Province, north-east of the town of Rustenburg and the village of Kroondal, 123km west of Pretoria and 126km north-west of Johannesburg. The lease area covers approximately 130km² and is in excess of 20km from east to west and 15km from north to south.


Mine location

Rustenburg Operations consist of three operating vertical shafts, which use a conventional mining method (Siphumelele 1, Khuseleka 1 and Thembelani 1) and Bathopele, which is a mechanised operation.

The Mineral Resource is accessed from surface using conventional underground mining methods to 34 Level (the lowest working level) at Siphumelele, approximately 1,350m below surface (174m above mean sea level), 28 Level (the lowest working level) at Khuseleka, approximately 927m below surface (197m above mean sea level), and at Thembelani 29 Level (the lowest working level), approximately 953m below surface (166m above mean sea level). The Mineral Resource at Bathopele is accessed from surface via two decline clusters using mechanised mining methods currently mining at a depth of approximately 370m below surface (770m above mean sea level).

Four processing plants are located at the Rustenburg Operations. The Waterval UG2 concentrator processes only UG2 ore while the Waterval retrofit concentrator treats a blend of Merensky and UG2 ores. In 2016, this plant also started treating tailings from the Waterval East TSF. The Western Limb tailings retreatment plant treats tailings from the Klipfontein TSF. The chrome retreatment plant treats UG2 tailings to recover a saleable chromite concentrate.

Key statistics

    2016
OPERATIONAL RESULTS    
Ore milled – total Mt 2.2
– Underground   1.2
– Surface   1.0
Plant head grade – underground g/t 3.65
Plant head grade – surface g/t 1.53
Recoveries – underground % 84.5
Recoveries – surface % 37.4
4E PGM produced 000oz 138
4E PGM sold kg 4,286
Revenue R/kg 386,374
Average PGM (4E) basket price R/oz 11,922
  US$/oz 812
COSTS AND MARGINS    
Operating cost R/t 720
  $/t 49
  R/4Eoz 11,485
  $/4Eoz 782
Operating profit Rm 73.5
Operating margin % 4
Capital expenditure – total Rm 148.7

Infrastructure

Hoisting and production capacities

Mining
units
Operational
shaft
5yr planned
production
(ktpm)
Operating
capacity
ktpm)
Siphumelele 1 63.9 194
Khuseleka 1 133.7 225
Thembelani 1 135.5 220
Bathopele 2 257.1 280

Plant capacities

PlantDesign
capacity
(ktpm)
Current
operational
capacity (ktpm)
Average
recovery
factor (%)
Material
treated
Waterval UG2 Concentrator 450 310 84.5 UG
Waterval Retrofit Concentrator 310 325 75.3 MER, UG and surface
WLTR Plant 450 380 29.4 Surface
CRP 440 440 10.0 Surface

Performance in 2016*

Total operation

4E PGM produced during the period of ownership was 137,787oz for both underground and surface operations. Total capital expenditure was R176.1 million with a net operating profit of R14.9 million (after amortisation and depreciation).

Underground

Volumes mined were 237,145m² at a yield of 3.65g/t. Tonnes milled were 1,204Mt which produced 119,471oz 4E PGM. Primary development during the period was 4,006m. Operating cost from underground was R1,456 million generating operating profit of R10.1 million (before amortisation and depreciation).

Surface operations

Tonnes milled were 0.994Mt at a yield of 1.53g/t which produced 18,316oz 4E PGM. Operating cost from surface operations was R126.8 million generating operating profit of R63.4 million (before amortisation and depreciation).

* The period under ownership by Sibanye is November to December 2016.

Future focus

In the coming year, Sibanye will focus on consolidating and optimising operational performance as well as improving utilisation of existing infrastructure.