DRA awarded Elikhulu Gold Tailings Retreatment Plant project

Multi-disciplinary international engineering group, DRA has been appointed by JSE-listed Pan African Resources to deliver a detailed design and construction supervision service for its Elikhulu Gold Tailings Retreatment Plant facility planned for its Evander operation in Mpumalanga.

This is a substantial project relative to the size of Pan African Resources’ operations in the Evander area and will be a game-changer for Evander. The project is equally important to DRA as the lead contractor.

“This is DRA’s first gold tailings retreatment plant development and it includes all aspects of the construction, including hydraulic mining, processing and tailings deposition,” says Paul Howard at DRA.  “The Elikhulu Project is valued at circa R1.6 billion and entails the construction of facilities and infrastructure at Evander, to retreat Gold Plant Tailings at the rate of 1 million tonnes per month.”

DRA’s scope of services through all stages of the TSF project include the reclamation of the three existing storage facilities namely Kinross, Leslie and Winkelhaak. Furthermore, the project scope includes:

  • The water supply to the project as a whole;
  • The water supply to each of the reclamation sites;
  • Hydraulic Mining infrastructure;
  • A new Carbon in Leach (CIL) gold recovery process plant;
  • Pump and piping systems to transfer the hydraulically mined tailings slurry to the new CIL process plant;
  • The residue disposal pumps and piping systems to deposit the tailings on a new Tailing Storage Facility; and
  • The construction of the new TSF.

DRA’s competitive advantage over other bidders for the project lies in the fact that the engineering firm was involved with Pan African Resources from a Definitive Feasibility Study phase and was able to ensure a cost-effective, fit for purpose, technically appropriate solution.

“The team involved in the study phase (and who will also be executing the project) have managed many projects with an array of challenges including schedule and capital expenditure constraints as well as limited water availability, all of which were overcome to implement the project plans successfully,” says Howard.

DRA has developed a sound working relationship with all team members, both on an executive and operational level, and we will leverage this alliance to further establish a long-term partnership with Pan African Resources,” Howard concludes.

The new CIL process plant will be commissioned in 4th quarter 2018 and the final phase of the TSF will be complete in 1st quarter 2019.