AP Photo/Michael Probst
Johannesburg – Pan African said on Monday that the refurbishment of the 7 and 8 shaft complex at its Evander Gold Mines in Mpumalanga was progressing according to schedule and was expected to be completed on Saturday within the original R40 million cost estimate.

This comes after Pan African Resources suspended Evander Mines underground mining operations to allow for critical refurbishment and maintenance of 7 and 8 shaft infrastructure.

Pan African's refurbishment and maintenance work at Evander includes the replacement of the 7 shaft pump columns support infrastructure, replacement of a damaged section of the main pump column at the 7 shaft, replacement of the water reticulation system between the 7 and 8 shafts.

Evander is a world class ore body which produces 95 000 ounces of gold per annum which Pan African acquired from Harmony Gold in February 2013.

During the refurbishment period, on-mine management also focused on the preparation of the Evander Mines underground mining areas for re-commencement of mining.

Pan African said the emphasis would be on securing and opening up of stope entrances and travelling ways, opening and securing critical material and development drives, construction of additional underground dams to ensure adequate water storage capacity, and improving ventilation system and infrastructure.

Read also: Pan African to retrench 30% at Evander

Pan African said underground mining operations at Evander Mines would recommence following the completion of the refurbishment programme with the hoisting of about 6 000 tonnes of mined ore currently stored within the underground infrastructure.

The processing of these tonnes would assist with the expeditious ramp-up of Evander Mines' underground production profile.

Meanwhile, Pan African said the retrenchment programme at Evander Mines was being implemented and was expected to be completed within the next month after reaching a retrenchment agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Evander Gold Mine on February served the NUM with a Section 189 notice of the Labour Relations Act to retrench at least 2 000 workers. The mine employs 2,418 employees.

The retrenchment programme is being facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.