The lowest benches remain flooded, a factor being treated as the mine’s pit sump, however, production of Grootegeluk’s suite of products is under way from higher benches. Stockpiles, added company officials, have allowed a steady supply to the Matimba power station and export market since the March 14 peak.
Remaining pit water, meanwhile, is being used for beneficiation plant processing, negating raw water needs from the Mokolo Dam, its normal source, according to company officials. The mine lies in a low-rainfall region and accumulates water in the pit sump, forming part of the normal operation; thus reducing raw water consumption from the Mokolo Dam.
Rain amounts received in March, however, had a peak downpour of 230 millimeters daily, exceeding the 1:50 year flood designs, leading to pit bottom flooding. Water and flood controls, however, enabled operations to normalize.