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Burnstone

Burnstone is located in the South Rand Goldfield of the Witwatersrand Basin near the town of Balfour, approximately 75km east of Johannesburg in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

Burnstone locality plan

Sibanye-Stillwater acquired the Burnstone assets in July 2014, comprising two shaft complexes, namely the surface portal and mechanised vehicle access decline and the vertical shaft (shaft bottom at 495m below surface), as well as a 125,000tpm gold processing plant, the tailings storage facility and surface infrastructure to support a producing operation, albeit with areas still to be constructed.

Burnstone had previously produced approximately 38,000oz of gold before being placed on care and maintenance in mid-2012.

The Burnstone project feasibility study was approved by the Board for project execution in November 2015. The project is planned with a six-year build-up to steady-state production by 2022, then averaging 125,000oz annually for seven years until the end of 2028. Thereafter a seven-year period of decreasing but profitable production supports an initial 20-year life-ofmine plan, yielding some 1.9Moz of gold production from the feasibility resource of 5.7Moz. This initial life of mine (LoM) plan was limited to approximately 60% of the total Burnstone resource of 8.9Moz as the mine design and schedule in the feasibility study was limited to mineable reserves within a 3km radius of the shaft infrastructure. During steady-state production period the potential of the 3.2Moz resource excluded from the initial LoM plan will be evaluated.

Burnstone re-evaluated and declared 1.934Moz of Mineral Reserves and 9.015Moz of Mineral Resources as at 31 December 2017.

In 2017, the following advances were made at Burnstone at a cost of R395 million (US$29.7m):

  • Delivered 5,073m of access development
  • Shaft Tip 3 construction was completed
  • Conventional raise development crews were initiated

During the latter part of 2017, numerous water intersections (fissure water) were intercepted. These intersections delayed development, however, a comprehensive water handling plan has been implemented to minimise any delays in production going forward.