Johannesburg, South Africa. 5 August 2021 DRDGOLD Limited (DRDGOLD, JSE, NYSE: DRD) subsidiary Ergo Mining (Pty) Limited has begun reclamation – at a R3.8 million set-up cost – of the 2.7Mt 4L25 mine dump. The reclamation of this dump is integral to sustaining production at Ergo and would free up a considerable land patch.
The dump is within the 4A8 reclamation area, less than 5km from Johannesburg’s central business district, near Ergo’s City Deep milling and pumping plant.
With an average grade of 0.308g/t, the 4L25 dump is estimated to contain some 850kg of gold.
4L25 slimes will be recovered at a rate of up to 300 000tpm over a period of 10 to 12 months, with supplemental tonnage coming from the 4L2 dump, reclamation of which is ramping down. This will sustain City Deep’s production levels for a further 12 months until the larger 4L3 and 4L4 reclamation sites begin.
4L25 slimes will be reclaimed by a remote-controlled, high-pressure water gun positioned on top of the dump. It will be combined with 4L2 slimes, and then pumped via a 40km pipeline to Ergo’s metallurgical plant at Brakpan for gold recovery.
Besides sustaining City Deep’s production for longer, 4L25’s reclamation forms part of the extensive land rehabilitation programme DRDGOLD is executing under its “rolling back gold mining’s environmental legacy” banner. The partially reclaimed dump will now be removed completely to liberate some 37ha of land for rehabilitation and sustainable land use.
Further, remnant material from other clean-up sites will be reclaimed and trucked to the 4L25 site, and the newly installed pumping and piping infrastructure there will also relay this to the Brakpan plant for processing. Additional land will be cleared for rehabilitation and sustainable land use from this exercise.
DRDGOLD is in discussion with iProp (Pty) Ltd, the landowner, to ensure that DRDGOLD’s redevelopment goal is achieved after its rehabilitation of the land is completed.
Established at Brakpan by Anglo American in the 1970s, Ergo was saved by DRDGOLD from complete dismantling, refurbished in several stages, and has gone on to clear hundreds of hectares of land sterilised by old mine dumps in the production of thousands of kilograms of gold that would otherwise likely never have been recovered. Years of additional value have been created for thousands of stakeholders.
In FY2020, Ergo had a 3.13Moz reserve and a 7.79Moz resource. In the last reported period, the six months to 31 December 2020, Ergo retreated 11.3Mt with an average yield of 0.202g/t to produce 2 269kg of gold at a cash operating cost of R581 402/kg. The average gold price received was R988 998/kg, yielding a margin of more than 40%. In the period, R48.4 million was spent on rehabilitation at Ergo.
Note to editors: maps and photos are available on request.
Jane Kamau Appiah-Yeboah