Gold mining company DRDGold has started re-mining tailings from their new operation west from Johannesburg in South Africa.
The company started the pumps late last year, just four months after the initiation of construction activities of Phase 1. The tailings material for the project, called the Far West Gold Recoveries, is sourced from historical dams on the West Rand and will be pumped into the company’s carbon in leach circuit.
According to DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius, the project is on track to achieve full production of 500 000 tonnes per annum (tpm) from Phase 1 in the first quarter of 2019.
“As part of early-stage commissioning, face has been established at the Driefontein 5 tailings dam reclamation site, from which pumping of reclaimed tailings through a new 2km pipeline to the Driefontein 2 plant is set to begin. A parallel pipeline to return water from the plant to the reclamation site has been completed,” Pretorius explains.
Work to upgrade the plant’s retreatment capacity is well advanced, with carbon loading – also part of the overall commissioning process – set to begin immediately.
An 8km pipeline to transport retreated tailings from the plant for cyclone deposition on the Driefontein 4 tailings dam and a parallel return water pipeline from the deposition site to the plant have also been completed.
DRDGold acquired Far West Gold Recoveries, previously the West Rand Tailings Retreatment Project, from Sibanye-Stillwater at the end of July 2018.