Pan African Resources says on Tuesday it is confident it will meet expected production of approximately 170 000 ounces in the 2019 financial year. File Image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - Pan African Resources said on Tuesday it had produced 37 729 ounces of gold during the the first quarter of the 2019 financial year, and was confident it could meet its production guidance of approximately 170 000 ounces for the 2019 financial year, boosted by the good performance at Elikhulu.

In August, the JSE-listed mid-tier gold producer saw the inaugural gold pour at its Elikhulu tailings retreatment plant in Mpumalanga within the R1.74 billion projected budget and at least a month ahead of schedule.

Elikhulu was completed successfully in September with steady-state production of approximately 55 000 ounces of gold per annum at an all-in sustaining production cost of between $650 and $700 per ounce.

Over the life of the project, Elikhulu is expected to produce 674 000 ounces of gold with a value of approximately R11.5 billion at a gold price of R550 000 per kilogram, inject R5.3 billion into the South African economy for sourced goods and services, and contribute an estimated R1.3 billion to revenue authorities in taxes and royalties.

Cobus Loots, Pan African chief executive, said the plant attained steady-state production with a throughput of one million tonnes per month in October. 

"Elikhulu ramped-up to its design capacity of one million tonnes per month during October 2018, ahead of the original schedule and on budget. Average gold recoveries achieved were consistent with our forecasts, with further optimisation of recoveries expected in the short term," Loots said.

"The incorporation of the Evander tailings retreatment plant into Elikhulu, which will increase Elikhulu’s capacity to 1.2-million tonnes per month, is progressing on schedule, with full commissioning expected to be completed by January 2019."

Meanwhile, Loots also said that their Barberton Mines was on track to meet its full-year production guidance of 100 000 ounces while mining and vamping of the remnant high-grade stopes as part of the phased closure of the underground mining operations had commenced at Evander Mines.

African News Agency (ANA)