Pan African: Gold production increased by 2.0% to 205,459oz

Final Group gold production for the Reporting Period increased by ~2.0% to 205,459oz (2021: 201,777oz), exceeding the upwardly revised production guidance of 200,000oz referred to in the interim financial results, announced on 16 February 2022.

Barberton Mines’ Fairview underground operations and the BTRP surface operations performed very well during the Reporting Period. At Fairview Mine, this was again attributable to the increased flexibility established at these mines high-grade Main Reef Complex (“MRC”) and Rossiter orebodies.

Performances from Barberton’s smaller Sheba and Consort underground operations were belown expections, and the Group is implementing improvement programmes to ensure that these assets deliver to their full potential.

The Elikhulu tailings retreatment operation processed tonnages with volumes and head grade both in excess of the mining plan, which improved gold production levels when compared to the previous financial year. Notwithstanding, production levels were negatively impacted by adverse weather conditions and lower than anticipated recoveries. Production is expected to improve as re-mining of the Leslie/Bracken tailings facility commences during FY2023. Elikhulu remains one of the lowest-cost gold mining operations in Southern Africa, with a remaining operational life of 11 years.

Evander’s 8 Shaft pillar significantly outperformed its planned gold output for the Reporting Period,nwith a remaining life of just over a year. Evander Mines’ 24 Level project is currently in the construction phase, while the refrigeration plant is expected to be commissioned during August 2022. Mining of the 24 Level ore will extend the production profile of the underground mining at 8 Shaft, post extraction of the 8 Shaft pillar, for an additional two and a half years, and maintain Evander Mines’ annual underground gold production.

The Group is proceeding with plans to mine the down-dip extent of the Evander orebody at 25 and 26 Levels using the 24 Level infrastructure, with an on-reef decline layout.

The mining of 25 and 26 Levels demonstrates a compelling business case and further extend Evander

Mines’ 8 Shaft’s production, post cessation of mining at the 8 Shaft pillar and 24 Level, for an additional eight years, with average expected annual production of approximately 65,000oz. Dewatering on 25 Level commenced in the Reporting Period, and blasting of the development ends will commence in the 2023 financial year, with mining of the first stope planned for the 2025 financial year.

These projects will increase the 8 Shaft life-of-mine to 13 years, with potential to increase further, should the Inferred Mineral Resources be converted to Mineral Reserves. Evander Mines’ mining right is valid until 2038.

Pan African CEO Cobus Loots commented: “We are very pleased with the Group’s operational performance over the last year, and the record gold production achieved by our teams during this period. The Group has made meaningful progress with our production growth projects at Evander underground and at Barberton’s Royal Sheba; both projects are on schedule to start delivering within their anticipated production timeframes.

We have further strengthened our balance sheet over the last year, despite the payment of a record dividend and incurring significant growth and sustaining capital expenditure.

A key focus area in the year ahead will be the smaller underground operations at Barberton, to ensure that these assets perform to their full potential.

Significant milestones have also been achieved with progress on our ESG projects, including the commissioning of our first solar PV renewable energy project at Elikhulu, the first of its scale in the South African mining industry. We are also excited about the imminent commencement of construction of Barberton’s solar PV plant. The Group plans to generate 30MW of solar PV renewable energy by 2024, with commensurate cost savings of approximately R100million or US$6,1million per year, and a large reduction in carbon emissions. At Barberton, commercial harvesting of blueberries has commenced and employment of seasonal labour is ramping up, as planned.”

PRODUCTION GUIDANCE FOR FY2023

The Group expects to maintain its 2023 financial year gold production at a level similar to that achieved in the Reporting Period.

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