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The Rustenburg operations are located in the North West province, north-east of the towns of Rustenburg and Kroondal, and 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.

Rustenburg consists of three operating vertical shafts, which utilise 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 Shaft, approximately 1,350m BS, and 28 Level (the lowest working level) at Khuseleka, approximately 2,105m BS, and 29 Level (the lowest working level) at Thembelani Shaft. The Mineral Resource at Bathopele is accessed from surface via two decline clusters using mechanised mining methods to a depth of approximately 500m below surface.

Four process plants are located at Rustenburg. The Waterval UG2 concentrator processes only UG2 ore. The Waterval retrofit concentrator treats a blend of Merensky and UG2 ores. In 2016, this plant also started treating tailings from the Waterval East and West TSF. The Western Limb Tailings Retreatment Plant (WLTR plant) treats tailings from the Waterval and Klipfontein. The chrome retreatment plant (CRP) treats UG2 tailings to recover a saleable chromite concentrate.

In 2017, the integration of the Rustenburg operations exceeded expectations by consistently delivering solid production and improving financial results. Cost savings of over R1 billion were achieved from synergies realised in the first 14 months of incorporation, well ahead of initial expectations of savings of R800 million over three to four years.

Locality plan

Mine location

Key statistics

   2017 2016
Production (attributable)
Ore milled000t12,983 2,198
– Underground 000t7,098 1,204
– Surface000t5,885 994
Plant head grade g/t2.72 2.69
– Underground g/t3.70 3.65
– Surfaceg/t1.52 1.53
Plant recoveries%71.41 72.42
– Underground %84.99 84.54
– Surface%31.58 37.42
Yieldg/t1.94 2.69
– Underground 3.15 3.09
– Surface0.48 0.57
PGM production (4E – 2E)000oz810 137.8
– Underground 719 119.5
– Surface91 18.3
PGM sales (4E – 2E)000oz810 137.8
Price and costs
Average PGM basket price receivedR/oz12,505 11,910
US$/oz938927 811
Adjusted EBITDA margin %11 5
All-in sustaining cost R/oz10,554 10,925
US$/oz793 744
All-in cost R/oz10,554 10,925
US$/oz793 744
Capital expenditure
Ore reserve developmentRm465  
Sustaining capital Rm366 148.7
Total Rm831 148.7
US$m62 10.1

Infrastructure

Hoisting and production capacities

Mining unitsOperational shaft5-year planned production (ktpm)Operating capacity (ktpm)
Siphumelele165195
Khuseleka1140225
Thembelani1140220
Bathopele2260280

Plant capacities

PlantDesign capacity (ktpm)Current operational capacity (ktpm)Average recovery factor (%)Material treated
Waterval UG2 concentrator45042084.0UG2
Waterval retrofit concentrator65045074.0MER, UG2 and surface
WLTR plant45038028.0Surface
CRP*44044011.0Surface
Plat Mile80065012.0Surface

* CRP @ 11.0% yield