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West Wits Tailings Processing Project

Salient features

  • TSF uranium Mineral Resource 51.4 Mlb
  • Underground uranium Mineral Resource 25.7 Mlb
  • Total uranium Mineral Resource 77.1 Mlb
  • TSF gold Mineral Resource 4.3 Moz


Driefontein TSF’s

Uranium Mineral Resource 22.3 Mlb
Gold Mineral Resource 1.8 Moz

  • Total of 5 Tailings Facilities

Kloof TSF’s

Uranium Mineral Resource 20.4 Mlb
Gold Mineral Resource 2.1 Moz

  • Total of 6 Tailings Facilities

South Deep TSF’s

Uranium Mineral Resource 8.7 Mlb
Gold Mineral Resource 0.4 Moz

  • Total of 2 Tailings Facilities


The West Wits Tailings Processing Project is a low grade gold and uranium recovery project which will produce sulphuric acid as a by-product for internal consumption, as well as an additional revenue stream. The Project has the potential to create substantial shareholder value.

The nature of the Mineral Resource requires large throughput volumes in order to provide critical mass and to fund the extensive metallurgical plant and infrastructure requirements in order to reclaim, reprocess and redeposit the tailings material to a central tailings storage facility.

Over the past year, the Project has advanced at a rapid pace, with significant progress in most of the key project deliverables with the following important milestones achieved:

  • Completion of drilling and evaluation of the historic tailings facilities;
  • Completion of the surface Mineral Resource model;
  • Completion of the reclamation plan;
  • Completion of a feasibility study on the concentrator;
  • Completion of the process prefeasibility study for the treatment of historic surface tailings; and
  • Completion of the metallurgical test work on current horizon tailings material.

The feasibility study on the pump system and surface infrastructure requirements are 90% complete.

The legislative and environmental impact assessment processes have progressed from the environmental screening, process development and planning phase to the scoping and public participation phase.

The metallurgical test work is ongoing and has progressed to the early stages of the metallurgical mapping, variability testing and the historical tailings pilot plant campaign.

Geotechnical investigations have started at the Driefontein 7 Shaft site for the central metallurgical plant.

Surface drilling of historical tailings was concluded in March 2009 and evaluation activities were completed in April 2009. The programme involved the drilling of approximately 30,000 metres of tailings material. The drilling programme generated 23,000 samples for primary analysis that were analysed by three accredited laboratories at a rate of 600 samples per day. The surface tailings resource models have been audited internally and externally.

Uranium, gold and sulphur from planned underground mining horizons make an important contribution to the project. A full project feasibility study is currently in progress and is due for completion by the end of F2010.

The Mineral Resource estimate for underground uranium as well as gold and uranium in all the TSF’s of the West Wits Line (Driefontein, Kloof and South Deep gold mines), are as follows:

Gold Plant, Agnew Gold Mine, Australia.
Locality plan, West Wits TSF’s, South Africa

West Wits TSF and Underground Uranium Mineral Resources1

  Uranium June 2009   June 2008  
Tons (Mt)   Grade(g/t)   Uranium (Mlb)   Uranium (Mlb)  
  Driefontein tailings (Measured) 150.9   0.064   21.44    
  Driefontein tailings (Indicated)       11.38  
  Driefontein tailings (Inferred) 13.8   0.027   0.81    
  Driefontein TSF Total 164.7   0.061   22.26   11.38  
  Driefontein underground (Inferred) 50.2   0.096   10.54    
  Driefontein Total 214.9   0.069   32.80   11.38  
  Kloof surface tailings (Measured) 234.9   0.039   20.45    
  Kloof surface tailings (Measured) 35.5   0.045   3.55    
  Kloof Total 270.4   0.040   24.00    
  South Deep surface tailings (Measured) 53.4   0.074   8.73    
  South Deep underground (Inferred) 71.6   0.073   11.58    
  South Deep Total 125.0   0.074   20.31    
  Uranium Total 610.3   0.057   77.11   11.38  

1 Mineral Resource are inclusive of Mineral Reserves; Managed, unless otherwise stated.

West Wits TSF Gold Mineral Resources1

  TSF Gold June 2009   June 2008  
Tons (Mt)   Grade(g/t)   Gold (Moz)   Gold (Moz)  
  Measured surface tailings 150.9   0.3   1.703    
  Indicated surface tailings       1.167  
  Inferred surface tailings 13.8   0.2   0.102    
  Driefontein TSF 164.7   0.3   1.805   1.167  
  Measured surface tailings 234.9   0.3   2.145      
  Kloof TSF 234.9   0.3   2.145      
  Measured surface tailings 53.4   0.2   0.399      
  South Deep TSF 53.4   0.2   0.399      
  Total TSF Gold 453.0   0.3   4.348   1.167  

1 Mineral Resource are inclusive of Mineral Reserves; Managed, unless otherwise stated.