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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: January 27th 2004


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:: DRD Commissions R45m Slimes Project at Blyvoor

South African marginal gold miner Durban Roodepoort Deep’s (DRD) flagship Blyvooruitzicht mine (Blyvoor), near Carletonville, has successfully commissioned a R45-million slimes dam reclamation project, expected to bring in more than 84 kg of gold a month, over eight years, at a cost of less than $200/oz, the company announced yesterday.

The slimes dam reclamation project is one of eight initiatives at Blyvoor, part of DRD’s company-wide ‘Project Boost’, launched late in 2002, to reduce operational risk, lower unit costs, ensure consistent production and increase ore reserves.

The slimes dam reclamation project started in June 2003 and, commissioned on schedule and within budget, involves the reclamation of some 24-million tons of slimes material, at a rate of 240 000 t a month. This will be done by high-pressure water jetting from the mine’s 50-year old No 4 and 5 slimes dams, at an average grade of 0,587 g/t.

Blyvoor’s existing carbon-in-pulp (CIP) plant has undergone extensive renovation in order to treat the slimes material using a new carbon-in leach (CIL) circuit. The new CIL circuit, treating slimes material, will run in parallel with the older CIP circuit, treating underground ore. New technology in the plant ­ specifically the Kemix Reactor Process ­ is expected to deliver both improved gold recoveries and lower costs.

At the mine’s No 6 slimes dam, which has been extended to accommodate retreated slimes from the project, cyclones have been installed to make for faster deposition, a reduced footprint and greater stability.

Environmental considerations have been a key focus of the project. Amendments to Blyvoor’s environmental-management programme have had to be made by management, working with appropriate consultants, and approved by the relevant regulators.




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