The new flotation-fine/grind (FFG) circuit at the Brakpan plant of DRDGOLD’s Ergo operation was officially opened on 18 February by DRDGOLD Chairman Geoff Campbell. The new circuit, which augments the Brakpan plant’s established carbon-in-leach circuit, is expected to improve Ergo’s gold recovery efficiency by between 16 and 20%.
Unveiling a plaque on the FFG circuit to mark the official opening, Campbell said: “There are challenges in commissioning a circuit of such staggering complexity that involves such state-of-the-art technology, and how we dealt with these is a testament to the strength and skill of our workforce.”
DRDGOLD announced earlier this month its intention to further expand capacity at Ergo which, less than a decade ago, faced closure and irreversible dismantling of its infrastructure. In a R23 million project expected to be completed by September this year, five tanks in the Ergo plant’s CIL circuit will be refurbished and recommissioned to increase throughput of gold tailings by 300 000tpm to 2.1Mtpm. The project will be financed from internal cashflow from the retreatment of the 21Mt Van Dyk tailings dam, part of DRDGOLD’s 11Mt, central Witwatersrand-based total resource.
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DRDGOLD Limited (DRDGOLD) is a mid-tier, unhedged gold producer. The company is a world leader in the recovery of gold through the retreatment of surface tailings and DRDGOLD's strategy is to deploy its resources to extract as much gold as possible from its 11.2Moz surface resource.
In FY2014 the company provided jobs for 2 329 people, including 989 employees. The remaining 1 340 people worked for the specialist service providers engaged by the company to provide the expertise required for tailings reclamation and tailings dam management.
Ergo was established to recover and treat the 186Mt Elsburg resource on the eastern Witwatersrand. An extensive, inter-connected pipe network including a bespoke 50km pipeline enables tailings on the central and western Witwatersrand to be brought to account in an efficient and cost-effective operation.
ERPM Extensions 1 and 2: this 39Moz deep-level gold resource is owned by East Rand Proprietary Mines Limited (ERPM). The operation has been on care and maintenance since 2008 and has been sold to Walcot Capital, subject to certain suspensive conditions.
The Ergo Business Development Academy NPC (EBDA), was established by Ergo Mining Proprietary Limited to equip South Africans to pioneer enterprise development and, in doing so, to help uplift their communities. At the end of FY2014, DRDGOLD had contributed a total of R48.7 million towards EBDA, making it the company’s most significant local economic development project. EBDA provided 18 998 training days for Ergo employees in FY2014 and in the same period 470 community members benefited from EBDA’s training programmes.