In the media

DRDGOLD says Top Star mining right granted

[Miningweekly] - DRDGOLD South Africa’s Crown mining operations could look forward to material from the iconic Top Star mine dump being processed at this operation, as the company received the mining right from the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) on Thursday.

DRDGOLD South Africa’s Crown mining operations could look forward to material from the iconic Top Star mine dump being processed at this operation, as the company received the mining right from the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) on Thursday.

The granting of the right came hours after the company presented its year-end results in Johannesburg, where DRDGOLD stated that it expected word from the DME imminently.

“We have received written confirmation from the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) that we are in compliance with all of the conditions required for the issue of the mining right,” DRDGOLD CEO-designate Niel Pretorius said.

“The local office of the DME require a R1,9-million financial guarantee. We obtained that guarantee and we filed it with the DME, and within days, maybe within a day, we might be issued with that mining right,” he said earlier in the day.

The mining right for the Top Star dump has been granted until August 20, 2013, and contained about 128 000 oz of gold at an estimated grade of 0,775 g/t. The dump was expected to contribute about 45 000 oz/y of gold to the group over a period of 20 months.

Even without Top Star, Crown operations performed “pretty okay” in the fourth quarter, said Pretorius, although the mine had to cut back on volume during the course of the quarter, in order to do maintenance work to the tailings deposition facility.

“This we would see more and more, while we get closer towards Crown’s life-of-mine. The dams are getting higher and the deposition area is getting smaller,” said Pretorius.

With Top Star coming on line, DRDGOLD would prioritise its reclamation strategy in such a way that it gave preference to Top Star. That way the company would “have the full benefit of what is a fairly lucrative resource with a pretty good NPV [net present value]”.

Crown delivered a steady performance, with costs under control and profits delivered, indicated Pretorius. Refurbishment of the Knights mill foundations were also in progress.

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