Group production for the current reporting period increased by 9.9% to 108,085oz (2020: 98,386oz). The gold production (Six months ended 31 December 2021) split per operation is as follows:
- Barberton Mines 39,991oz
- Barberton Tailings 9,126oz
- Elikhulu 25,900oz
- Evander Mines 33,068oz
- Total ounces produced 108,085
Key Operational Results for the Current Reporting Period
- Group gold production increased by 9.9% to a record half-year production of 108,085oz (2020: 98,386oz)
- Gold production from Barberton Mines for the period was 49,117oz (2020: 52,354oz), while Elikhulu and Evander Mines produced 25,900oz (2020: 26,863oz) and 33,068oz (2020: 19,169oz) respectively
- Group has achieved a vaccination rate of 77% and continues to implement and maintain stringent policies and protocols to mitigate the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on employees and production
- Group net senior debt decreased by 60.1% to US$23.9 million (2020: US$59.9 million) after payment of a record net dividend of US$21.6 million (2020: US$17.8 million) in December 2021
- ESG projects, including the 10MW renewable energy solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at Evander Mines and large-scale agriculture projects at Barberton Mines are on track for commissioning before the 30 June 2022 financial year-end
- Pan African is increasing its full year production guidance to approximately 200,000oz
Barberton Mines’ production decreased by 6.2% to 49,117oz (2020: 52,354oz) for the Current Reporting Period, consistent with the mine plan. Work during the Current Reporting Period included accelerating the waste development to the new 259 platform in the high-grade Main Reef Complex (MRC) orebody.
Underground production decreased by 5.6% to 39,991oz (2020: 42,350oz) and the BTRP’s production decreased by 8.8% to 9,126oz (2020: 10,004oz) for the Current Reporting Period. Barberton Mines is still on track to deliver approximately 100,000oz for the year ending 30 June 2022.
ELIKHULU TAILINGS RETREATMENT PLANT (ELIKHULU)
Gold production from Elikhulu decreased marginally by 3.6% to 25,900oz (2020: 26,863oz) during the Current Reporting Period. Production was adversely impacted by inclement weather conditions during November and December 2021.
Gold production from Elikhulu is expected to increase in the second half of the 2022 financial year, consistent with the mining plan which, forecasts production of approximately 55,000oz for the year ending 30 June 2022.
EVANDER MINES’ 8 SHAFT PILLAR PROJECT (8 SHAFT PILLAR) AND SURFACE SOURCES
Production from the Evander Mines’ increased by 72.5% to 33,068oz (2020: 19,169oz). Underground production increased by 116.6% to 27,312oz (2020: 12,607oz). The increase in the 8 Shaft Pillar’s production during the Current Reporting Period was a result of:
- Elevated mining face grades of 13g/t (2020: 8g/t), relative to planned grades.
- Improved mining rates post the extraction of the core around the 8 Shaft barrel, with increased mining face availability.
Gold production from the 8 Shaft Pillar is expected to normalise during the second half of the 2022 financial year as a result of planned mining in areas with anticipated grades of approximately 8g/t.
PROGRESS UPDATE ON BLYVOOR CONDITIONAL ACQUISITION
The announcement of 15 December 2021 contains the details of the proposed transaction to acquire the Blyvoor Gold’s TSFs. Subsequent to the announcement, the Group has engaged independent consultants to conduct a fatal flaw assessment and gap analysis as part of the initial due diligence. These studies will be completed by April 2022, consistent with the timelines of the staged acquisition process.
PROGRESS UPDATE ON MINTAILS CONDITIONAL ACQUISITION
During November 2020, the Group announced the conditional acquisition of Mintails’ SA Mogale Gold and the Soweto Cluster’s (MSC) TSFs, with combined Mineral Resources of 243Mt with an in-situ grade of 0.30g/t, for an estimated gold content of 2.36Moz.
A pre-feasibility study (PFS) was completed on Mogale Gold’s TSFs during July 2021. The MSC TSFs were excluded from the study’s scope as additional technical and due diligence analysis is required, which will be addressed in forthcoming studies. Average production of between 40-50koz/yr over an 11-year life-of-mine was projected by the PFS.
Following the positive PFS findings, the Group is currently finalising a DFS, led by DRA Global (DRA), which is scheduled to be completed in Q1 of the 2022 calendar year. A concept study on the Soweto
Cluster is also progressing under the auspices of DRA.
Subsequent to the judgement finding that Mintails will remain in provisional liquidation, the Group has engaged with the provisional liquidator to progress the transaction and are working on the finalisation of the DFS.