Eland Platinum


Northam Platinum


North West Province, South Africa


2016 - 2019


Due Diligence Study followed by Feasibility and Project implementation, Front End Engineering Design and EPCM

Project description

The Eland Platinum Mine, with opencast mining operations, was established in 2007. Underground production started in 2010 but was placed on care and maintenance, just five years later. One of the complicating factors was the relatively steep dip of the ore body at 18 degrees, from south to north, which presented serious challenges to mining methods.

The mine consisted of two decline systems, the Kukama (West Portal) System and Nyala (East Portal) System and the decline systems were, in turn, made up of three on reef declines and one footwall conveyor decline. Design capacities of the decline system (per system) and the process plant reached 250ktpm, with expansion planned when necessary. The supporting infrastructure was also state of the art and delivered a superior quality office complex, training centre and process plant.

Project services provided

The due diligence, feasibility study and start-up readiness plan was conducted by DRA Global, as well as the engineering design, mine design and scheduling of all three mines. DRA Global assisted with the full scope of EPCM including geotechnical, ventilation, mining, processing, infrastructure, capital, operating and sustaining costing and project management to prove the operability and viability of the projects.

Project highlights/ challenges

DRA Global assisted with the due diligence study in 2015 and the auditing and verification of mineral resource and reserves, mining method and infrastructure which led to the acquisition of Eland Platinum by Northam Platinum from Glencore.

The acquisition immediately triggered the commencement of a feasibility study. The detailed engineering and mine designs for mining method conversion and implementation followed the fast tracking of the feasibility study. Detailed mine scheduling ensured optimal start-up date and company strategy for each operation. DRA Global also provided a start-up readiness plan and the tender processes of suppliers and mining contractors as well as the process plant refurbishment and optimisation for TSF re-treatment to recover PGM’s and chrome.