The capacity of the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine (BRPM) concentrator, originally designed to receive Merensky ore from BRPM’s two decline shafts, with a design capacity of 200 000 tonnes a month, has been upgraded to accommodate production from the Styldrift Mine. The first phase of the expansion has increased the concentrator’s capacity to 250 000 tonnes a month. The concentrator can be described as a robust maintenance intensive environment which produces 2.7 tonnes of saleable product from every 100 tonnes of virgin rock processed. The 250 000 tonnes a month plant operates on a 24 hours, 365 days a year basis and follows a traditional Mill-Float, Mill-Float (MF2) process which includes a conventional three stage crushing process prior to milling and flotation.
The second phase, consisting of an additional 100 000 tonnes a month module will increase the concentrator’s capacity at BRPM concentrator complex to 350 000 tonnes a month. This module will be based on a MF2 process but with a single stage crushing process. The designed plant has just undergone Front End Engineering Design (FEED) with detailed design done for Civil and Earthworks. The plant is expected to go into execution in Q1 2018, targeting commissioning in Q2 2019.
The flotation processes produce a platinum rich concentrate which is collected and sold as a final product by BRPM for further processing and refining. RBPlat has an offtake agreement with Rustenburg Refineries for the sale of the BRPM JV concentrate. Both plants will utilise one Concentrate handling facility with tailings stored at the expanded BRPM Tailing Storage Facility (TSF).
The two concentrators will provide RBPlat with the ability to treat all future Merensky reef production from BRPM and Styldrift. The strategy avoids committing the business to significant UG2 volumes until market conditions warrant it.