JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Funding has closed for the gold-from-dumps mining project west of Johannesburg, which has the potential to make the surrounding towns thrive once again, and be a shining example of what modern mining can be.
The full upfront capital of R2.5-billion for the project’s development has been secured, with conditions precedent to its R1.3-billion senior debt facility for the funding of the Mogale project in the Kagiso/Krugersdorp area being fulfilled, London- and Johannesburg-listed Pan African Resources stated in a release to Mining Weekly on Tuesday, August 1.
With Nedbank Limited, acting through its Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking division, as co-financier, the senior debt facility was underwritten by Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank.
In addition, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has granted an environmental authorisation for the project in terms of regulation 24(1)(a) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014.
“All stakeholders acknowledge that the present situation at Krugersdorp’s Mogale requires intervention, and we intend being part of the solution,” Pan African chairperson Keith Spencer declared assuredly at the Mogale Tailings Retreatment sod-turning. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)
Pan African not only mines gold, but has a track record of leaving the areas in which it operates in better condition, thus improving the lives of surrounding communities.
“I can assure you that Pan African will work to our ethos of making a positive difference to the site in the years ahead,” said Spencer, in drawing attention to the West Rand location of the Mogale Tailings Retreatment project having, over many decades past, produced more than 2 000 t of gold from numerous deep underground shafts and tunnels, with some mines in the area deeper than 3.5 km from surface.
The many years of mining have scarred the environment west of the City of Gold, where the mining of the precious metal began in the 1880s, and created a number of challenges, both environmentally and socially.
Pan African has tailings retreatment plants in Barberton and at Evander, its most recent Elikhulu operation producing around 50 000 oz of gold a year, similar to what the Mogale Tailings Retreatment is projected to do, and the same team from Elikhulu is advancing the Mogale project, under team leaders Jonathan Irons and Oriel Shikwambana.
Apart from removing the unsightly and dangerous tailings, there will be the added benefit of filling in abandoned underground tunnels with re-mined waste material to eliminate illegal access by Zama Zama miners.
The rehabilitated ground can be put to better economic use for factories, industry and housing, which is to be discussed further with the local authorities and the Gauteng provincial government.
This is another area where Pan African is heading 'beyond compliance' in host community development while creating 20-year job prospects and economic opportunities for local companies to provide services.
Where it can, it will assist with developing local suppliers and creating even more work opportunities.
It is, therefore, critical that this operation succeeds, as it will provide significant long-term employment and skills development opportunities to the local people, while giving a boost to the local economy and making the surrounding towns thrive once again.
A planned renewable energy plant at Mogale will further support the national electricity grid and reduce loadshedding
“I look forward to being involved with project teams and being updated about developments, including the social and labour plan initiatives.
“We foresee this becoming a magnificent operation with a large number of people from our communities having a place to come to work every day, being able to learn new skills and being able to support their families.
“I have a vision of standing here again next year when we celebrate the commissioning of a fully functioning plant creating value from a previously considered wasteland – but which we at Pan African saw as an opportunity to make a meaningful and positive difference to the lives of the people of Krugersdorp and surrounding areas,” added Spencer.
On the project’s financial closure, Pan African CEO Cobus Loots commented: “This important milestone completes the funding package. Full-scale construction of the tailings retreatment plant at Mogale will now commence, with expected production of 50 000 oz/y for more than 20 years at an all-in-sustaining cost similar to that of our highly profitable Elikhulu operation at Evander.
“We look forward to the commissioning of the project in the latter half of the 2024 calendar year and its meaningful contribution to all stakeholders,” Loots stated in the release to Mining Weekly.