DRDGOLD’s subsidiary Ergo Mining has begun reclamation – at a R3.8 million set-up cost – of the 2.7 million tonnes (Mt) 4L25 mine dump in Johannesburg, Gauteng.

DRDGOLD’s Ergo site. Photo credit: DRDGOLD

DRDGOLD’s Ergo site. Photo credit: DRDGOLD

The reclamation of this dump is integral to sustaining production at Ergo and would free up a considerable land patch.

The dump is within the 4A8 reclamation area, less than 5km from Johannesburg’s central business district, near Ergo’s City Deep milling and pumping plant.

With an average grade of 0.308 grams per tonne (g/t), the 4L25 dump is estimated to contain close to 850kg of gold. The slimes at  4L25 will be recovered at a rate of up to 300 000 tonnes per month (tpm) over a period of 10 to 12 months, with supplemental tonnage coming from the 4L2 dump, reclamation of which is ramping down. This will sustain City Deep’s production levels for a further 12 months until the larger 4L3 and 4L4 reclamation sites begin.

4L25 slimes will be reclaimed by a remote-controlled, high-pressure water gun positioned on top of the dump. It will be combined with 4L2 slimes, and then pumped via a 40km pipeline to Ergo’s metallurgical plant at Brakpan for gold recovery.

Besides sustaining City Deep’s production for longer, 4L25’s reclamation forms part of the extensive land rehabilitation programme DRDGOLD is executing under its “rolling back gold mining’s environmental legacy” banner. The partially reclaimed dump will now be removed completely to liberate some 37ha of land for rehabilitation and sustainable land use.

Further, remnant material from other clean-up sites will be reclaimed and trucked to the 4L25 site, and the newly installed pumping and piping infrastructure there will also relay this to the Brakpan plant for processing.

Additional land will be cleared for rehabilitation and sustainable land use from this exercise.

DRDGOLD is in discussion with iProp (Pty) Ltd, the landowner, to ensure that DRDGOLD’s redevelopment goal is achieved after its rehabilitation of the land is completed.