Diversified global engineering, project delivery and operations management group, DRA Global (“DRA”), partnered JSE Listed Pan African Resources [JSE: PAN] in completing its R1.74 billion Elikhulu tailings retreatment project in Evander, Mpumalanga, within budget and ahead of schedule.
Over the next 14 years, the R1.74-billion Elikhulu project will process an estimated one-million tons of monthly with a projected output of approximately 55 000 ounces of gold per month. This signature project which broke ground in August 2017 has created over 400 permanent jobs, involved 3.5-million man-hours, 2 000 tons of steel, 40 000 m3 of concrete and 5 000 000 m³ of earthworks.
At the recent opening ceremony, Pan African Resources Chief Executive Officer, Cobus Loots, commended the DRA team’s hard work and dedication to completing the Elikhulu project ahead of schedule and in line with the agreed budget. “The professional way in which the project was executed, delivering all milestones in a safe and sustainable manner, again demonstrates the DRA team’s ability to conceptualise, plan and complete substantial growth projects,” Loots said
DRA was contracted to complete the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) in July 2016 and after a positive outcome, the contract with Pan African Resources was expanded to include the full engineering capabilities of DRA Global. Advanced management of this low-cost, long-life project was executed by DRA together with the Pan African owners team, which included detailed engineering, procurement, construction and full commissioning of the Elikhulu plant and the tailings facility.
Over the last 10 years, water infrastructure for the Elikhulu mine had played a critical role in the success and advancement of this project. Water supply was a challenge from day one, with many others failing to find a lasting and reliable water source for the project. DRA, through years of experience and a continued focus on innovation, engineered a water source that finally offered a solution to supply water to the plant as a whole.
“This project was completed in just under 12 months, which is a considerable testament to the team’s commitment and hard work on this vast undertaking. Having been involved from the DFS phase, our team was able to implement detailed planning which allowed them to be better share their knowledge with the client from the onset,” concludes Alistair Hodgkinson, DRA Executive Vice President, Africa Projects