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SOFS

The Southern Free State (SOFS) projects include Sibanye- Stillwater’s Wits Gold mining right and prospecting right holdings in the Free State goldfields of the Witwatersrand Basin.


Driefontein location

The Wits Gold mining right consolidating the De Bron Merriespruit, Bloemhoek, Hakkies and Robijn projects into one mining right has been approved for a period of 23 years and was executed in June 2017. This mining right is contiguous to the north-east of the Beatrix mining right. Sibanye-Stillwater acquired the De Bron Merriespruit and Bloemhoek projects in December 2013 on its acquisition of Wits Gold.

All required environmental studies to support the motivation of a consolidation of the Beatrix and Wits Gold mining rights under one licence were completed in 2017. The environmental permitting process and updated environment management programme (EMP) for the envisaged mining right consolidation will be pursued after the Beatrix mining right renewal application has been submitted in Q4 2018. The Beatrix mining right expires in February 2019.

Gold Mineral Reserves for the De Bron Merriespruit project were reviewed in December 2015 with the mine design and schedule re-planned in line with revised geological and estimation models. The revised design and updated costing supports the Mineral Reserve for this project, which remains at 2.1Moz. The Bloemhoek project, which is adjacent to Beatrix North, has a Mineral Resource of 4.3Moz.

An initial desktop study performed in Q4 2015 evaluated the potential economic viability of a Beatrix North decline shaft system below infrastructure, accessing both Beatrix resources and the southern portion of the Bloemhoek resources. This would result in an extension of the current Beatrix life of mine. Drilling of two exploration holes DWV 12 and DWV 14 were completed in the Beatrix reserve area in April 2017 confirming the Beatrix VS5 reef geological structure, specifically the location and orientation of the Stuirmanspan fault and eastwest trending Boundary fault, facies distribution, gold grades and the decline positioning.

The core logging and assay results revealed channel widths varying between 312cm and 344cm with the higher grades concentrated in the bottom 180cm and 80cm of the channels respectively.

An additional two exploration holes are planned in the Bloemhoek southern reserve area to confirm facies distribution and orebody grades.

A detailed feasibility study for this project will be completed in 2018.

The Beisa project at Beatrix West has not been included in the 2018 Mineral Reserve as the access shaft for the project is via Beatrix 4 shaft, which remains subject to a Section189 process. The principle driver for the Beisa project remains an increase in the future uranium price.