RBPlat benefited from the recovery and strengthening of the macro PGM market fundamentals in 2019, resulting in a healthy basket price. However, the domestic environment remained challenging given the general elections in May 2019; the local union leadership elections; wage negotiations; an unpredictable Eskom power grid; a dearth of trackless competence and skills; and the expectations of our doorstep communities. From an operational perspective, the year represented a continued transitionary phase across the Group as Styldrift moved from a project environment to commercial operating status, and BRPM was required to maintain steady results despite a rapidly depleting South shaft Merensky Reserve.
Our key operational focus for the year was on:
- achieving meaningful and sustainable improvements in our safety performance in our pursuit of zero harm
- continuing to ramp up Styldrift with the aim of achieving a 230ktpm run rate by the third quarter of 2020
- recommencing UG2 mining at our South shaft operation and ramping it up to 20ktpm by the fourth quarter of 2019
- initiating long lead concentrator projects that will allow us to optimise recovery and sustain production in the longer term. These include the Maseve 160ktpm MF2 expansion as well as the BRPM and Maseve tailings storage facility expansions.
While we achieved pleasing improvements in our injury frequency rates, regrettably, despite all our efforts to keep our people safe, we did not achieve our goal of zero fatalities (see the Chair's review and the human capital section of this report).
By year-end the bulk of the LOM infrastructure required to support the ongoing ramp-up of Styldrift to 230ktpm by the third quarter of 2020 was in place; Styldrift had delivered 1 600kt of ore; BRPM's South shaft had met and exceeded its UG2 production target of 20ktpm; Maseve concentrator 160ktpm MF2 expansion progressed to detail design phase with long-lead items ordered; and construction on both tailings storage facilities had commenced.
While we achieved significant production and construction milestones at BRPM, Styldrift and the concentrating facilities, the overall volume and cost performance across our operations was disappointing, despite a 12.5% and 9.0% increase, respectively, in milled tonnes and 4E metals in concentrate. 4E metals in concentrate amounted to 401koz (6.7% below the lower end of our guidance) and the unit cost per 4E ounce exceeded guidance by 6.3% at R14 139. Addressing the underlying contributors to this, which is a priority for the business, is discussed in more detail in this capital.
- 11.7% increase in total development for the business to 39.1km
- 15.4% increase in BRPM total development to 32.3km mainly attributable to increased working cost development in line with the ramping up of UG2 production at BRPM South shaft
- 2.9% decrease in total development at Styldrift to 6.8km in line with infrastructure requirements as the project footprint nears completion.
BRPM total development
Styldrift total development
IMS panel ratio
- BRPM’s IMS panel ratio of
1.87 exceeds the target of 1.5
- Styldrift is expected to achieve its
1.3 target with the completion of
section 5 North (5N) by the first
BRPM IMS panel ratio
Styldrift IMS section ratio
in stoping m2 to 610 000 (2018: 542 000)
in total tonnes delivered to 3 829kt (2018: 3 395kt)
in Merensky tonnes delivered to 3 240kt (2018: 2 969kt)
in UG2 tonnes delivered to 589kt (2018: 426kt)
in total tonnes milled to 3 847kt (2018: 3 420kt)
in Merensky tonnes milled to 3 266kt (2018: 2 997kt)
in UG2 tonnes milled to 581kt (2018: 423kt)
in BRPM tonnes milled to 2 222kt (2018: 2 299kt)
in Styldrift tonnes milled to 1 625kt (2018: 1 121kt)
UG2 tonnes milled made up
of total production (2018: 12.4%)
- 12.5% increase in stoping square metres to 610 00m2
- 2.1% decrease in BRPM contribution to 411 000m2
- 61.8% increase in Styldrift's contribution to 199 000m2 as it continues steadily ramping up.
Total stoping square metres
- 12.8% increase in total tonnes delivered to 3 829kt
- 1.7% decrease in BRPM tonnes delivered to 2 229kt:
- 11.0% decrease in Merensky tonnes delivered to 1 640kt directly attributable to depletion of Merensky reserves at South shaft
- 38.3% increase in UG2 tonnes delivered to 589kt, in line with the recommencing of UG2 mining operations at South shaft
- 42.0% increase in Styldrift tonnes delivered to 1 600kt, in line with ramp-up progress.
Total tonnes delivered
Total Merensky tonnes delivered
Total UG2 tonnes delivered
- 6.5koz 4E total loss in 2019 as a result of safety and load shedding-related disruptions
- 5.9koz 4E or 51kt tonnes milled lost to section 54-related stoppages
- RBPlat's power management strategy helped mitigate the impact of load shedding (see below).
— 4E ounces lost
— 4E ounces lost
Concentrator production (processing)
- 12.5% year-on-year increase in total tonnes milled to 3 847kt
- 9.0% increase in Merensky tonnes milled in line with increased production volumes from Styldrift
- 37.4% increase in UG2 tonnes milled to 581kt.
Total tonnes milled by operation
Total tonnes milled by ore type
Built-up head grade
- 1.3% reduction in overall built-up head grade to 3.91g/t (4E)
- 9.3% increase in Styldrift built-up head grade to 3.77g/t (4E) (2018: 3.45g/t (4E))
- 4.8% reduction in BRPM built-up head grade to 4.01g/t (4E) (2018: 4.21g/t (4E)).
BRPM built-up head grade reduction is attributable to:
- higher off-reef dilution at North shaft Phase III Merensky, due to geological complexity experienced in current mining areas
- the increased contribution of lower grade South shaft UG2 to the overall ore mix.
Overall built-up head
4E built-up head grade by operation
in 4E metals in concentrate to 401koz (2018: 368koz)
in Pt metal in concentrate to 261koz (2018: 239koz)
in Styldrift 4E metals in concentrate to 160koz (2018: 102koz)
in overall concentrator recovery
in total labour in line with Styldrift ramp-up and capital construction requirements
in tonnes milled per employee costed (t/TEC) to 36.8t/TEC in line with the mechanised scale of economy benefits as Styldrift ramps up (2018: 33.4t/TEC)
Metals in concentrate
- 1.6% reduction in overall recovery (4E) to 83.07%
- 9.0% increase in 4E metals in concentrate to 401koz and 9.2% increase in Pt metal in concentrate to 261koz was as a result of improved volumes but impacted by a lower recovery
Key contributors to the lower recovery:
- 1.3% reduction in built-up head grade
- lower recovery potential of the Maseve MF1 circuit
- lack of availability of BRPM secondary mill in second quarter of 2019.
4E metals in concentrate
Overall recovery (4E)
Pt metal in concentrate
- 6.1% increase in total labour year-on-year to 10 059, in line with project and operational requirements
- Increase in working cost labour to 8 899 employees (2018: 5 843) attributable to Styldrift ramp-up labour requirements and the project achieving commercial operating status as of January 2019.
Working cost labour
- 5.1% reduction in BRPM stoping crew efficiencies year-on-year due to:
- the impact of the lower productivity of the South shaft UG2 crews during initial ramp-up
- lower South shaft Merensky team efficiencies as Merensky ore reserves are depleted
- impact of localised geology on North shaft Phase III Merensky crews in the second half of 2019
- 10.2% improvement year-on-year in tonnes milled per total employee costed to 36.8 — this improvement is directly attributable to the increased efficiencies associated with higher mechanised productivity as Styldrift ramps up.
Square metre per stoping
crew — BRPM
- R2 887 million year-on-year increase in cash operating cost for the business to R5 675 million
- this increase was a direct result of Styldrift reaching commercial operating status as of 1 January 2019
- Cash operating cost per tonne milled equated to R1 475
- Cash operating cost per 4E ounce amounted to R14 139.
Total cash operating cost
Cash cost per tonne milled
Cash cost per 4E ounce
- 52.0% year-on-year reduction in total capital expenditure to R1 661 million
- 58.5% decrease in expansion capital expenditure to R1 334 million (2018: R3 213 million) in line with Styldrift capital footprint construction schedule requirements as the project enters its final phase
- R51 million increase in replacement capital expenditure to R101 million:
- increase relating to the extension of the North and South declines at Styldrift beyond current 230ktpm capital footprint
- done to establish the ore reserves required to sustain production in the longer term
- Phase III Merensky replacement expenditure at BRPM amounted to R21 million for the year — project is now completed
- SIB capital expenditure for the year amounted to R226 million, equating to 4.0% of operating cost.
Total capital expenditure
SIB percentage of operating cost
More detailed information on these statistics is available in our Databook 2019.
Eskom load curtailment operational response strategy
Currently, our primary operational strategy is to minimise the impact of load curtailment by restricting certain mining and metallurgical processes, specifically ore hoisting and crushing, during load curtailment periods. To date, this strategy has proven effective in dealing with Stage 1 and 2 restrictions, by allowing our mining and milling activities to continue uninterrupted.
We manage Stage 3 restrictions by suspending processing at our Maseve concentrator and preferentially maintaining production at our BRPM concentrator to mitigate ounce losses.
When Stage 4 restrictions are in place we maintain mining operations and suspend all metallurgical processing activities. Restrictions in excess of Stage 4 necessitate the suspension of all operational processes other than essential services.
We are currently reviewing the potential to synchronise our on-site emergency generating capacity with the mine electrical reticulation grid to improve our ability to effectively manage load curtailment in the short term. Longer term, more cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions are being investigated as part of our broader sustainability strategy.
Progress towards the 230ktpm ramp-up at Styldrift
Ore reserve development, commissioning of infrastructure, onboarding of skilled employees, and the optimisation of the operational systems required to achieve the third quarter 2020 230ktpm ramp-up milestone, remained the primary objectives of the project during the reporting period.
Styldrift's ramp up continued to progress steadily during 2019, however, as can be expected in a new operation in ramp-up, planned progress was impacted by several technical and operational challenges.
The slower than planned performance was underpinned by challenges stemming from:
- the termination of the mining contractor during the first quarter of 2019
- the implementation of full calendar operations (Fulco)
- late commissioning of strike belts and associated ore handling infrastructure
- the difficulty experienced in the recruitment and onboarding of competent trackless engineering and mining skills resulting in maintenance backlogs and an overall decrease in trackless fleet availability and, ultimately, utilisation
- delays in commissioning of logistics and engineering support infrastructure (stores, workshops etc.)
- timeous extension of section strike belt forward moves.
This was exacerbated by geology and geotechnical requirements due to the lack of IMS flexibility within the operation as the mine ramps up.
Because we did not have all the infrastructure in place at Styldrift to move ore to a central point until year-end (in particular the strike belts on 600 level and ore handling infrastructure on 642 level), our fleet had to travel beyond the specific parameters we have set down for how far a load haul dump (LHD) vehicle should travel to achieve optimal performance. This resulted in increased mining production cycles and impacted the availability of equipment, which was further exacerbated by the lack of skilled mechanics and auto-electricians. These deficiencies frequently resulted in below plan performance and high fleet maintenance costs.
Twelve of the required strike belts, two on-reef dip belts and the associated life of mine (LOM) ore handling infrastructure are now in place, and the surface and underground stores facilities are nearing completion. We have also made good progress during the second half of the year with the onboarding of artisans and skills training initiatives (see human capital) to address our trackless fleet maintenance requirements. Ninety percent of the trackless fleet required to support steady state production is on site, with the remaining units planned for delivery during the first half of 2020.
Spare IMS section ore reserves play a pivotal role in establishing the operational flexibility necessary to effectively mitigate the impact of geology and geotechnical requirements on a mining operation. The Styldrift design allows for this capacity in two ways, namely spare in-stope IMS panels and an additional four spare IMS sections on completion of the 230ktpm footprint. However, given that this flexibility will only be fully attained on completion of the project footprint, Styldrift remains exposed to production risks because of geology on the mineable face length and associated mining efficiencies. The intersection of known fault systems in the north, north-eastern and western mining sections, combined with a footwall shear zone in the south west, were no exception, further contributing to lower than planned crew performance in these areas during the reporting period.
By year-end we had achieved significant improvements in trackless fleet availability and tip-to-face tramming distances, as guided in our interim results, and are confident that our operating platform for 2020 is well-established, equipped and staffed to deliver on our goal of achieving 230ktpm run rate by the third quarter of 2020.
Styldrift Settler No 2 collar construction
During 2019 we made significant progress in completing key infrastructure required to support the overall ramp-up, which included:
- commissioning of additional six strike belt sections on 600 level, as well as the associated ore handling facilities on 642 level
- Ventilation shaft No. 2
- Silo 3
- Settler 1 and the main pump station
- underground stores and associated IT network
- six additional trackless workshops bringing the total to 24
- extension of the on-reef dip conveyors to reduce reliance on dump-trucks to the north and south
- 600 level store loop and tractor trailer system.
642 Merensky South decline conveyor
Performance improvement key to success
Progress on key factors impacting on crew performance
Tip–to–face tramming distance
Trackless fleet availability
- Trackless employee competence
- Securing and retaining trackless artisans
- Extended tramming distance
- Lack of IMS to effectively deal with geological impacts
Average tip-to-face distance
Overall primary fleet availability
Despite an encouraging reduction in our TIFR and SIFR and achieving 1.5 million fatality-free shifts at Styldrift by October 2019, the mine unfortunately recorded a non-mining-related fatality in November 2019.
Fulco, which involves equipping and manning a mine 24 hours a day, seven days a week, was implemented at Styldrift in February 2019. We believe that Fulco is the right approach to mechanised mining as it ensures that our investment in expensive machinery is optimally utilised and that we extract the best possible value from our investment in a mechanised mine.
Stoping square metres for the reporting period increased by 61.8% compared to 2018, with tonnes delivered increasing by 42.0% or 473kt to 1 600kt from 1 127kt in 2018. Total development decreased by 2.9% to 6.8km in line with the project infrastructure requirements as the 230ktpm capital project footprint nears completion.
Total tonnes milled amounted to 1 625kt compared to 2018. This combined with a 9.3% increase in built-up head grade yielded a 56.9% and 59.1% increase in 4E and platinum metals in concentrate. 4E metal production amounted to 160koz with platinum metal production of 105koz.
Cash operating costs
Cash operating cost for the reporting period amounted to R2 651 million, with cash operating cost per tonne milled and per 4E ounce equating to R1 632 and R16 504, respectively. The cash operating cost of R16 504 exceeded our market guidance in the second half of 2019 by 6.5%. Key contributors to this increase were:
- higher than planned trackless maintenance and fleet operating costs
- early onboarding of trackless staff and mining crews
- additional training costs incurred to address skills and competence
- lower recovered grade being impacted by higher than planned stoping width and lower concentrator recoveries.
Capital expenditure amounted to R1 430 million, made up of R1 225 million for expansion capital (mining and concentrator infrastructure), R80 million replacement capital and R125 million stay-in-business (SIB) capital.
Expansion capital expenditure of R1 225 million was in line with project requirements and progress during the year under review. During the second half of the year we also initiated the North and South decline replacement projects, with a total of R80 million being spent for the year.
SIB expenditure increased to R125 million equating to a 25% year-on-year increase, which was aligned with trackless fleet and section strike belt forward move requirements.
Total expenditure for the project to date amounts to R12.87 billion. During the course of the year further capital was approved for the purchase of additional trackless fleet, optimisation of shaft logistics and on-reef ore handling infrastructure and training facilities. This together with the 2020 expenditure estimate of R0.8bn results in an estimate at completion of R13.8bn. A detailed review of overall project scope and associated costs will be finalised during the first half of 2020.
Having taken the decision at the beginning of 2019 to respond to pricing opportunities, in particular those of palladium and rhodium, by recommencing with mining UG2 at BRPM's South shaft we set ourselves a target of ramping up to 20ktpm by November 2019. We were able to achieve our target ahead of schedule when we delivered 20ktpm of UG2 from South shaft in the third quarter of 2019.
Total BRPM development increased by 15.4% to 32.3km with the increase mainly attributable to increased working cost development, in line with ramping up of UG2 production at South shaft. Total square metres mined decreased by 2.1% to 411 thousand square metres, the decrease being mainly as a result of lower Merensky production from South shaft as reserves deplete.
BRPM delivered tonnes decreased by 1.7% to 2 229kt, with Merensky delivered tonnes decreasing by 11.0% to 1 640kt. UG2 delivered tonnes increased by 38.3% to 589kt in line with the recommencement of UG2 mining operations at South shaft. The reduction in Merensky tonnes at BRPM is directly attributable to the depletion of Merensky reserves at South shaft.
Total tonnes milled for the reporting period decreased by 3.3% on the back of lower delivered mining volumes. This combined with a 4.8% reduction in built-up head grade and lower associated recoveries yielded a 9.4% and 9.8% reduction in 4E and platinum metals in concentrate, respectively. 4E metal production equated to 241koz and platinum metal production to 156koz.
Cash operating costs
BRPM cash operating costs increased by 8.5% to R3 024 million compared to 2018. The increase is attributable to on-mine inflation and additional costs associated with the re-establishment of UG2 production at South shaft.
Key cost drivers were:
- Inflation in excess of the 4.1% CPI related to enrolled labour at 2.6%, contract labour at 4.5% and utilities at 7.6%
- South shaft UG2 development and establishment costs
The 8.5% increase in cash operating costs combined with the 3.3% reduction in milled volumes, 4.8% lower built-up head grade and 1.3% lower recovery yielded unit cost increases of 12.2% and 20.0% per tonne milled and 4E ounce respectively. Cash cost per tonne milled amounted to R1 361 and cash cost per 4E ounce equated to R12 562.
BRPM capital expenditure for the reporting period amounted to R100 million, equating to a 2.5% reduction compared to 2018. R21 million was spent on Phase III replacement capital and R79 million on SIB. SIB as a percentage of working cost was 2.6%.
North shaft Phase III project
This project extends the shaft decline system and ancillary infrastructure from 10 level down to the mine boundary at 15 level. The completion of two belt extensions in the fourth quarter of 2019 and the purchase of two additional LHDs to improve machine availability has allowed the project to reach steady-state production of 2 500 tonnes a day. By year-end the project, which started in 2010, was completed with a R254 million saving against a budget of R1 409 million. We will initiate the project close out process in the first quarter of 2020.
The purchase of the Maseve concentrator allowed us to achieve organic growth and increase our tonnes milled by 12.5% year-on-year. However, currently the recoveries at the Maseve MF1 plant, which were 80.13% in 2019, are 4% lower than those at the BRPM concentrator, which achieved recoveries of 84.34%. We have completed a feasibility study into the upgrading of the Maseve concentrator to MF2, which, in addition to improving recoveries, will increase the plant's capacity to 160ktpm from its current 110ktpm. The upgrading of the Maseve concentrator and an incremental increase at the BRPM concentrator will provide us with the concentrating capacity we need to process the South shaft UG2 production beyond 2020 and the Styldrift steady-state production of 230ktpm.
BRPM concentrator production tonnes milled reduced by 5.5% or 158kt to 2 689kt compared to 2018, with the concentrator 4E recovery reducing by 1.0% to 84.34%. Concentrator recovery was impacted by overall lower built-up head grades, Eskom grid instability and the loss of the secondary mill for the period March to May 2019.
The extension of the tailings dam facility at Maseve is well under way for completion in 2020 (see Natural capital) and the extension of the BRPM facility commenced in the fourth quarter of 2019 and planned for completion in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The way forward and what to expect from our operations in 2020
Our Chief Executive Officer has referred to our restructuring efforts in his review, which are designed to ensure RBPlat is fit for purpose in the long term and to reduce costs and increase efficiencies in the short to medium term. Our key focus area in this regard will be to ensure the effective resourcing and ongoing alignment of our operations in line with the growing contribution of Styldrift, at the same time as the mining mix at BRPM extracts more lower grade UG2. The contribution of UG2 mining at BRPM will increase to approximately 35% of our overall production during 2020 and is expected to reach 50% during 2023.
Operational flexibility at BRPM remains a key challenge as South shaft Merensky reserves are depleted and the shaft transitions to mining the more complex UG2 ore body. Productivity and mining efficiencies on the UG2 reef, which is characterised by a thinner, undulating UG2 band, are lower than the Merensky reef. The lower grades of the UG2 will create upward unit cost pressures at BRPM, which during 2020 will only partially be offset by the increasing scale of the business as well as operational reorganisation. We therefore expect BRPM cost inflation to be consistent with mining inflation of 8% in 2020 as we opportunistically extract UG2 due to the rapid access and negligible capital requirements of doing so. BRPM grades and recoveries will be consistent with 2019 as South shaft continues to operate and extract margin-bearing UG2, despite the lower grades and costs associated with this.
The ramp-up of Styldrift is expected to reach 230ktpm during the third quarter of 2020, delivering between 2.0Mt and 2.2Mt for 2020 as the remaining production and IMA sections are developed. During the year the increasing contribution from stoping teams will lead to an improved and more consistent delivered grade, but this will continue to be impacted by limited face flexibility, crew learning curves and the continued contribution of low grade on-reef development forming part of the ore stream until year-end.
We expect both Styldrift grade and recovery to improve as the relationship between stoping square metres and development approaches steady state.
As is typical during the ramp-up phase of a mine, during which all the fixed costs are incurred but the production volumes are not in place to absorb them, unit costs will therefore not reflect economy of scale benefits until we achieve steady state.
In line with Styldrift's ramp-up the Maseve plant has been commissioned and is operating as an MF1 concentrator at 110ktpm. This treatment plant was originally designed to operate as an MF2 concentrator and during 2020 is being upgraded to an MF2 configuration. This will result in improved recoveries and provide more flexibility and capacity to treat varying ore mixes post 2020, particularly with respect to UG2 should the prevailing market conditions continue.
Development rig at North shaft Phase III hybrid mining section
Styldrift Mine with storm water and settling dams in the foreground
As we proceed to 230ktpm in 2020 our operational flexibility will continually improve as reflected graphically below:
Operational flexibility improvement at Styldrift
LOM infrastructure in place
- Rock handling
- Water handling
Our 2020 operational roadmaps
BRPM — Structuring for a sustainable future
- Operational discipline
- Mining quality and discipline to optimise grade
- Optimise shaft logistics
- Focus on monitoring and control systems to ensure mining to best cut
- Improve operational efficiencies
- Direct performance management
- Pre-develop undulating South shaft UG2 ore body and optimise extraction
- Optimise mining of higher grade central high facies of North shaft UG2
- Maintain production design capacity
- Replace declining South shaft Merensky volumes with UG2
- Maintain IMS flexibility
- Identify opportunities for incremental increases in production
- North shaft UG2
- Additional sweeping and vamping
- 'White' area mining
- Optimised shaft operations
- Reduced number of operating levels
- Improved u/g utility networks
- Review organisational structure to ensure fit for purpose
- Stringent cost controls
- Review all major supply and volume contracts
- Optimise reclamation
- Improved cost management systems and processes (opex/capex) — business analytics
- Identify mechanisation and automation opportunities and implement where appropriate
Styldrift — Secure ramp-up and leverage a world-class ore body
- Increased operational flexibility
- Commission additional two stoping sections H1 2020
- Introduce redevelopment crews
- Two spare IMS sections during H2 2020
- Improve stoping and development efficiencies
- 85% trackless fleet availability
- Tip-to-face tramming distance (80m to 90m)
- Mining/engineering cycle alignment
- Improved logistics (store-to-face)
- Complete production support infrastructure
- Trackless workshops and ancillary bays
- Stores, u/g offices, bulk emulsion transfer, etc.
- Grade improvement
- Mining quality and discipline with specific reference to stope width
- Increased stoping contribution
- Optimise engineering infrastructure and fleet availability
- Improved maintenance and asset management processes
- Artisan competency, upskilling and availability
- Swing fleet to facilitate the rebuild programme
- Automation and analytics
- Asset tracking (men, fleet etc.)
- Live fleet telemetry
- Data analytics
- Economies of scale benefits
- Stringent cost controls
- Review of all major supply contracts
- Improved cost management systems and processes (opex/capex) — business analytics
- Transition from capital project to operating staff complement
- Review of organisational design — align with operational requirements
Concentrators — Improved operational performance and processing flexibility
- Maseve MF2 upgrade
- Increased volumes
- Improved recovery
- 100% dual processing capacity
- TSF expansion and upgrade
- BRPM TSF footprint increase to 238 hectares
- Maseve TSF footprint increase to 70 hectares
- Incremental volume increase review/study
- Availability improvement opportunities
- Further incremental throughput increases at BRPM and Maseve
- Review all major supply contracts
- Economies of scale benefits to accrue from Maseve MF2 upgrade
- Overland belt will reduce transport costs
- Improved fixed/variable cost ratio
- Automation and analytics
- Improve recoveries (extract max benefit from optimised grades)
- Maseve MF2 circuit
- Optimisation of BRPM through ‘Time in State’ technology and flotation optimisation
- Ongoing implementation of our world-class concentrator philosophy
- Improved operational performance
- Improved asset management
- Improved people management (skills, succession and stability)
Group production in 2020
Group production guidance for 2020, subject to any unforeseen operational disruptions and changes in market conditions, is forecast to increase to between 4.2Mt and 4.5Mt at a 4E built-up head grade of 3.90g/t to 4.00g/t, yielding 450koz to 485koz 4E metals in concentrate.
Unit cost guidance for the Group is forecast to be between R13 300 and R14 400 per 4E ounce.
Group capital expenditure for 2020, including escalation contingencies, is forecast to be approximately R2.2 billion. Styldrift mining and infrastructure for the 230ktpm ramp-up footprint (R0.8 billion), the Maseve overland belt (R0.1 billion), the Maseve plant upgrade (R0.3 billion) and tailings storage facility upgrades (R0.3 billion) will be the main drivers. SIB expenditure for the Group is expected to be between 6% and 7% of operating cost.
Aerial view of Maseve concentrator and mill feed silo