Fall in water table opens access for Central Rand Gold

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BR Acid water 6392[1]

Independent Newspapers

Treated water runs into a lake at an acid mine drainage plant near Krugersdorp. Central Rand Gold says for the first time since 2008 the rising water table in the central Witwatersrand basin has been halted. Photo: Timothy Bernard

Johannesburg - Central Rand Gold would finally access its large remaining resource in the central Witwatersrand basin, which it had abandoned due to flooding of a pump station, it said yesterday.

The gold mining and exploration company said the water level had subsided owing to better operational performance at its newly commissioned high-density sludge plant despite it experiencing “teething problems”.

“This is the first time since 2008, when the previous pump station was flooded, that the rising water table in the Central Basin has been halted,” Johan du Toit, the company chief executive, said.

“The

drop in the water table is a positive indication that the company’s large remaining resource within the Central Basin can still be realistically de-watered and accessed,” Du Toit added.

The underground water level had risen to about 165m in the mining area up until last month, the company said.

The water level around the mine site had now subsided to about 1.5m since last week, it said.

Previously the company announced that the government’s Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) had begun pumping and treatment operations at its high-density sludge plant at the end of last month.

The treatment plant had experienced “teething issues”, which led to the TCTA operating the plant at a reduced rate because only one of the two submersible pumps ran at any given time, the company said yesterday. It said it was encouraged that, despite only one pump operating at a time, water levels had been reduced.

“Since June 23, with the ‘teething issues’ largely resolved, TCTA has been operating the high-density sludge plant at an increased rate. With both of the submersible pumps now operational, de-watering capacity of 72 million litres per day has been achieved.

“Importantly, the commissioning phase has confirmed that the sludge plant is performing in line with design expectations and, most importantly, is discharging water in line with the approved specification,” the company said.

Central Rand Gold South Africa is 74 percent owned by Central Rand Gold Netherlands Antilles, which in turn is wholly owned by Central Rand Gold Limited, a JSE-listed company with a secondary listing in London.

It has been spared from the past year’s labour unrest in the gold and platinum sectors.

In January the company completed an open offer raising £1.69 million (R30m), culminating in Redstone investing a further £2.1m by taking up its rights granted to it in the share option plan. - Business Report


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