The Clean-Up Of The Plant At Bracken Gold Mine

Ruijter, M. A. de
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1996
Bracken Gold Mine ceased mining operations during February 1993. The clean-up of the gold plant, which had already commenced in September 1992, was completed in January 1994. The mine had been in production since early in 1962 but, because of a decreasing ore reserve, increasing working costs, and a relatively low gold price, closure had become inevitable. The closure had been under consideration since August 1983, when the first estimate was made regarding the amount of gold that could be recovered from the clean-up operations. Until that stage, it had been accepted that Bracken would conform to the commonly accepted idea that 0.25% of the total gold produced by the plant would be recovered during the clean-up operation. This idea was dispelled when the initial estimates indicated that the gold recovery would vary between 0.049 and 0.095%. The actual figure realized was 0.036%, showing that there is no generalforl1ula for the calculation of the amount of gold to be recovered from such clean-up operations. During the clean-up operation, Bracken became an unexpected contributor to the State's Reconstruction and Development Programme by having al the mine and plant buildings purchased and converted into a community development centre. This shortene4 the time available for the clean-up, and several of the buildings remained intact. However, the foundations and sub-soils had been sampled extensively, and it is considered that no recoverable gold was left behind.
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