Pan African Resources' Elikhulu tailings retreatment project, which first had its groundbreaking in August 2017, took 3.5 million man-hours to complete, as well as 40,000m3 of concrete and 5 million cubic metres of earthworks. It has a projected output of 55,000oz of gold monthly.
It was completed within budget and ahead of schedule, according to DRA, which was initially contracted for the project's definitive feasibility study in July 2016. With positive outcomes from that DFS, Pan African and DRA expanded their contract to include full engineering capabilities.
The project, for which the engineering firm handled detailed engineering, procurement, construction and full commissioning of the Elikhulu plant and the tailings facility, was completed in just under a year.
"Over the last 10 years, water infrastructure for the Elikhulu mine had played a critical role in the success and advancement of this project," DRA said. "Water supply was a challenge from day one, with many others failing to find a lasting and reliable water source for the project.
"DRA … engineered a water source that finally offered a solution to supply water to the plant as a whole."
Elikhulu, located in Evander, Mpumalanga, will process an estimated one million tonnes monthly over the coming 14 years.