Rand Refinery restarts gold smelter

South Africa’s Rand Refinery restarted its gold smelting plant this week as the gold refiner gradually reinstates some operations amid the country’s ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.
Rand Refinery restarts gold smelter Rand Refinery restarts gold smelter Rand Refinery restarts gold smelter Rand Refinery restarts gold smelter Rand Refinery restarts gold smelter

The smelter has been closed since March 27

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The smelting plant was restarting after a month-long shutdown, Praveen Baijnath, chief executive, confirmed by email.

"The smelter arc furnace is currently being restarted with a gradual production ramp up towards full capacity within the next two weeks. The smelter operation can now accept mine by-products and other low-grade concentrates for processing," said Baijnath.

Rand Refinery, Africa's only London Bullion Market Association accredited refiner, was deemed an essential service when the country's lockdown was announced on March 27, but continued at a reduced capacity.

During the lockdown, Rand Refinery was primarily processing residual surface materials from domestic gold mines and mine doré, the company wrote in a statement on its website.

Baijnath said management have also implemented a suite of controls and measures including increased sanitisation programmes across all work areas including use of UV blazers for air and surface sanitisation, three step temperature monitoring program, pulse oximeters for saturation oxygen levels, entry and exit sanitisation tunnel and work pattern structural changes to enhance social distancing.