JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The demonstrably successful new AngloGold Ashanti gold-mining technology has produced 40 kg of gold from ore with enormously valuable gold grades of more than 200 g of gold for every ton mined.
The South African Technology, as it has been called, has so far mined only in no-go areas, which have been bypassed for conventional mining on the grounds of being excessively hazardous.
Revealing this after presenting a magnificent set of results with every metric excelling with the exception of the lagging gold price, AngloGold Ashanti CEO Srinivasan (Venkat) Venkatakrishnan told Mining Weekly Online that the company was now rolling out the technology on five sites using locally produced raise-boring equipment (also see attached video).
“We continue to invest in the South African technology piece,” he said, describing it as the “single key we have to improve productivity, which is the answer to a number of issues within the South African mining industry”.
The key breakthroughs the company has achieved as it completes its eighteenth drill hole at Tau Tona gold mine are slashed drilling times, backfill technology beyond the trial stage and a drilling mechanism that crushes the core to paste for easier processing.
Drilling times that used to take 30 days are now taking 3.5 days, with 2 days the new target.
“The new machines we are manufacturing are doing a very good job,” Venkat told Mining Weekly Online, adding that a significant breakthrough had been achieved with adjacent drilling.
A second production site is being built at Tau Tona, with other sites going up at Kopanang, Great Noligwa and Moab Khotsong.
The machines are being made to drill even the narrowest of reefs and can also be used in hard-rock, narrow-reef platinum mines.
AngloGold executive VP South Africa region Mike O’Hare said the new reamer being used in the potentially “game-changing” mechanisation drive was enabling the company to complete a hole far faster.
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