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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: July 12th 2007


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:: New Tailings Recovery Plant to Boost Output at Eastplat's Crocodile River Mine

Platinum producer Eastern Platinum said on Wednesday that it had commissioned its Crocodile River Mine’s (CRM’s) new $2,28-million tailings recovery plant, which was expected to contribute at least 5 000 oz of platinum group metals (PGMs) to the company’s yearly output.

CEO Ian Rozier said that the new plant would contribute to improving levels of efficiency and reducing unit-operating costs.

The plant will recover PGMs at a cost of $150/oz, from low-grade tailing, which, historically, have been deposited on the tailings dam.

"The plant is just one more facet of our overall development plan to improve efficiencies and increase production at CRM," Rozier said.

Mining Weekly Online reported earlier this week that Eastplats had expanded its concentrator at CRM to handle 250 000 t/m of ore and that it was also evaluating the refurbishment of the CRM smelter.

Rozier has indicated that the company could invest as much as $300-million in its South African projects over the next five years, as it eyes becoming a 800 000 oz/y producer in the long term,.

In the shorter term, meanwhile, it plans to raise output to 230 000 oz/y of platinum by the end of 2008, and 450 000 oz/y by 2012, he said in answer to emailed questions.

Eastplats, Canada’s biggest producer of the white precious metal, has a majority stake in Barplats, which owns the CRM, on the western limb of the Bushveld Complex and the Kennedy's Vale project located on the eastern limb.

Eastplats also owns the Spitzkop deposit, contiguous to Kennedy’s Vale, and the Mareesburg deposit, also on the eastern limb.




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