JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Gold mining company Pan African on Friday advised shareholders that earnings in the 12 months to June 30 are expected to be lower than for the corresponding period last year.
But the challenging operational environment has been ameliorated by the pouring last month of the first gold at the newly commissioned Elikhulu tailings retreatment plant at Evander, which has kept the London- and Johannesburg-listed company well on track to deliver its 190 000 oz production target.
The company, headed by CEO Cobus Loots, is also looking forward to Barberton Mines producing 100 000 oz of gold in the current 2019 financial year.
Meanwhile, headline earnings per share for the year to June 30 are expected to be 57% to 47% lower than the 38.72c for the prior reporting period and earnings per share 70% to 80% lower than the 44.78c for the same prior reporting period.
On the safety front, Fairview mine achieved one-million fatality-free shifts during July 2018 and the conclusion of a three-year wage agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers and UASA is expected to assist with operational stability and productivity at Barberton Mines.
Production from the Evander tailings retreatment plant and surface-source operations remains on track and the group is reviewing the merits of mining Evander Mines’ 8 Shaft pillar.
Elikhulu is expected to produce at steady state from October 2018 and the incorporation of the throughput of Evander tailings retreatment plant into Elikhulu’s processing capacity will result in an increased capacity totalling 1.2-million tonnes a month.
Pan African last week reported a spectacular 150% increase to 899 000 oz of the mineral resource at its Royal Sheba project at Barberton Mines, where the company is continuing with an exploration drilling programme.
Significantly, the drilling programme has indicated that the orebody extends to surface, providing the short-term potential for the establishment of a new opencast mine and the transitioning to an underground mining operation only after a number of years.
Some 347 000 oz of gold is estimated to be close to the surface, with another 552 000 oz underground.
Drilling totalling 1 645 m has confirmed an 850 m strike and 150 m down dip, with widths ranging from 5 m to 25 m and gold grades average 3.27 g/t.
The definitive feasibility study is scheduled to be published in February, with near-term project development on the cards.
Pan African is also exploring around historic workings at Barberton’s New Consort and for new satellite deposits.