Pan African Resources has performed exceptionally well, particularly at its underground operations, as a result of the development initiatives and innovations implemented over the past years.
The availability, for the first time, of four high-grade mining platforms and expanded footprints in the mining areas at Fairview Mine have contributed to in an increase of 29.4% in annual production from Barberton Mines’ underground operations.
Ramp up of production at Evander Mines’ 8 Shaft pillar operation highlights the potential of this high-grade underground orebody, with production now in line with mining plans. The AISC at the 8 Shaft pillar decreased substantially to US$995/oz in the second half of the financial year, after Pan African Resources resolved the production difficulties experienced in the first half of the financial year.
The sub-US$1,000/oz AISC achieved in the second half of the current financial year is indicative of the expected mining cost for the remainder of the 8 Shaft pillar’s life-of-mine (LoM).
The renewal of Barberton Mines’ mining rights by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy for a further 30 years endorses company’s technical work and the long-term LoM plans submitted for these Mineral Resources.
Earlier this year, Pan African Resources announced the reassessment of its organic growth opportunities and resultant reprioritisation of capital expenditure. This gave rise to a reschedule of the Egoli project’s development timelines, as well as a re-evaluation of existing underground mining opportunities at Evander Mines’ 8 Shaft 24, 25 and 26 Levels, post cessation of mining at the 8 Shaft pillar. Independent reviews have confirmed that no fatal flaws exist in the Group’s internal technical and economic studies, which indicate compelling recovered grades and gold production from these areas.
Mining at the Egoli project and 25 and 26 Levels will now be phased in, following the cessation of underground operations at 24 Level. The capital expenditure on these projects will be funded from internal sources, subject to the current gold price environment prevailing.
At Barberton Mines, steady progress has been made with underground development at Project Dibanisa, which connects Sheba Mine to Fairview Mine at the top of the Main Reef Complex Shaft. The extraction of a 10,000t bulk sample is also currently in progress at the Royal Sheba project. These projects are expected to improve Barberton Mines’ production profile in the coming years, and together with other initiatives, reduce the operation’s AISC.