Ncamiso Mining maximizes resources for Pan African’s Evander Gold Mine
Johannesburg, 5th September: In 2012 the wheels were set in motion for Ncamiso Mining to tackle the problems that Pan African Resources’ – Evander Gold mine had with regards to gold bearing resources and environmental rehabilitation. A joint venture between Ncamiso, Pan African Resources owned Evander Gold Mine and renowned construction material supplier, AfriSam, was embarked upon and has since yielded astonishing results.
The results of the joint venture have seen several sites yielding additional gold from recovered materials, seeing improvement in the state of the environment within and around the sites, and an overall positive effect on Evander’s profit margin – thanks to Ncamiso’s gold screening and land rehabilitation capabilities.
“This was an opportunity for us to increase Evander’s metallurgical plants’ gold yield, while furthering the commitment of everyone involved to decreasing state-owned liability of derelict mine dumps and plant areas that were previously deemed to be of no value and a scenic eye-sore,” says Ncamiso Managing Director, Fikile Mashinini.
In 2012 Ncamiso signed an agreement with Pan African Resources for the rehabilitation of the dam at the Bracken Shaft of the Evander Gold Mine (formerly known as Bracken Gold Mine). They were also involved in the hauling of gold bearing material from the Bracken site to Evander’s metallurgical plant for gold recovery.
On completion of the rehabilitation of the dam, Ncamiso entered into a toll treatment agreement with Evander Gold Mine along with the local municipality and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to do a clean-up operation at Blesbokspriut. More than 100 000 metric tons of gold bearing material had been brought into the spruit by illegal miners. Ncamiso ensured that this was cleaned out and then toll-treated at Evander Gold Mine.
In 2014 Ncamiso entered into an agreement with Evander Gold Mine to screen out gold bearing fines from Evander’s Daggafontein operation. An extension of this agreement was to screen out reef at Afrisam’s sub-Nigel operation and deliver the fines to Evander for processing and then feed the remaining waste-rock back to AfriSam for aggregate crushing. “Our main goal in each case was to provide crushing and screening services and to rehabilitate the previously mined areas with the intent to change the end land-use,” says Mashinini. “Through these activities we have helped to increase Evander’s revenue through the recovery of gold from the areas we have worked on.”
The joint venture saw all three companies coming together in what can best be described as great joint venture ethic, where the companies worked together for maximal mutual benefit. What made the venture a no brainer is the fact that all companies involved pride themselves on their commitment to the environment. AfriSam is well known for being passionate about the collective cause to conserve our planet. They use natural resources in a deliberate way and actively pursue activities that support sustainable development while directing significant effort towards environmental stewardship. Pan African Resources and their subsidiaries are also well known for their commitment to sustainability and their goal of achieving zero harm through environmentally responsible mining. All of these values, of course, line up with Ncamiso’s core business goals.
On a day to day basis, Ncamiso is responsible for delivering toll treatment material to Evander’s metallurgical plant, cleaning spillage material from the conveyor belts and feeding the bins. All material is sampled and bottle-rolls stimulating plant conditions are done in order to verify recovery so that proper metal accounting is carried out. They also handle on-site sampling of delivered material and screening at -25mm. “The AfriSam dumps contain about 2.5 million metric tons of material of which around 25% is gold bearing when screened at -25mm,” Mashinini explains. “To date 200 kg of gold has already been recovered and delivered to Evander from about 150 000 metric tons of material screened at -25mm and bearing 1.8 grams of gold per ton. The lifespan of the dump is estimated to be 11 years.”
According to Mashinini, the gold that has been recovered will add value to Evander’s gold accounting. Mashinini goes on to explain how important gold recovery and environmental remediation are to sites such as these. “The most obvious knock-on effect of this process is the increase in wealth for South Africa as a whole from gold sales– but these efforts also support mines in their efforts to decrease their environmental footprint.”
The estimated date of completion for the sub-Nigel operation is 2020, however through the outstanding work that Ncamiso has done and having proved themselves as industry leaders, there are already talks among all the involved stakeholders – particularly AfriSam – to extend the relationship.
In reflecting on what has been achieved through this joint venture, Mashinini credits the Ncamiso team for having learnt so much along the way and expresses gratitude to Pan African Resources for investing in a smaller local firm. “The amount of gold produced from an alternative source and the skills developed by Ncamiso staff over the course of this project are in my opinion our greatest achievements so far. Pan African’s Evander operation was the first big mining house that Ncamiso worked with and being a smaller scale company many mistakes were made and a lot was learnt by both staff and management. Most of the success that Ncamiso has to date can be attributed to our relationship with Evander, which over the years has become very important and highly valued by everyone at Ncamiso.”