Zimbabwe

Unki Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
Commodities
  • PGM
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Rhodium
  • Nickel
  • Copper
  • Iridium
  • Ruthenium
Mining Method
  • Bord-and-pillar
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life2042
ShapshotUnki is one of the world’s largest PGM deposits outside of South Africa, on the Great Dyke operation, which also includes Concentrator and Smelter.

Unki mine extracts the Main Sulphide Zone (MSZ) and is at steady-state production, with longdated strategic growth potential. The recent debottlenecking exercise on the concentrator increased capacity from around 180,000tpm to treat up to 210,000tpm.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Anglo American plc. 76.99 % Indirect
Rustenburg Platinum Mines Ltd. (operator) 100 % Direct
Ownership Tree
Anglo American plc. through its subsidiary Rustenburg Platinum Mines owns 76.99% of the Unki mine.

Deposit type

  • Magmatic

Summary:

Unki Mine is located in the Selukwe subchamber of the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe. In transverse section, the subchamber is synclinal in shape, with essentially the same lithological succession being exposed on both sides of the longitudinal axis. The general dip decreases from outcrops to the central area varying from 14° to 0°. Within the Special Mining Lease, the intrusion strikes north north-east/south south-west and extends about 26km.

The Great Dyke in Zimbabwe occurs as a 2.5 billion-year-old mafic to predominantly ultramafic layered intrusion, is about 550km long and between 3km and 11km wide. The Great Dyke is trending in a north north-easterly direction cutting across the Archaean rocks of the Zimbabwe Craton, which are largely granite and greenstone belt rocks. Unki Mine is located in the Selukwe (Shurugwi) subchamber of the Great Dyke. The subchamber is 90km long, and up to about 7km wide. The shape of the Selukwe (Shurugwi) subchamber has to some extent been controlled by the proximity of the Selukwe greenstone belt, in that it has been deflected and constricted in places.

The Great Dyke has been preserved within a narrow graben structure and is synclinal in shape, with essentially the same mafic and ultramafic lithological successions being exposed on both sides of the longitudinal axis. The dyke comprises an upper mafic unit of alternating sequences of pyroxenite and duniteharzburgites successions and a lower ultramafic zone of dunite. The layers are dipping and flattening towards the axis of the intrusion and the dip decreases from outcrops to the central near-axis area varying from 14° to 0°. The PGMs and associated base metal mineralisation are developed within the uppermost pyroxenite horizon, the Main Sulphide Zone (MSZ).

The Main Sulphide Zone (MSZ)
The mineralisation occurs at the same stratigraphic horizon throughout the Great Dyke within the uppermost pyroxenite layer, the P1 unit, and follows the igneous layering. The MSZ occurs some 10m below the mafic-ultramafic contact and is hosted in the P1 unit of the ultramafic sequence. The P1 unit consists of a thin upper unit of websterite and a lower thick unit of plagioclase pyroxenite where the MSZ occurs near the base of the websterite unit. Based on geochemistry, the MSZ has two distinguishable subzones – the base metal subzone (BMSZ), which is dominated by nickel and copper, and the PGMs subzone. The transition from the upper zone to lower zone is marked by a reduction in iron-nickel-copper sulphides disseminated in the pyroxenite. The base of the upper zone is an important stratigraphic horizon, referred to as the BMSZ.

The base metals occur as disseminated inter-cumulus iron-nickel-copper sulphides. Although the mineralised zone is characterised by the absence of identifiable markers, this risk has been successfully mitigated by using handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology, as well as regular underground sampling of the mineralised horizon, enabling optimal extraction.

The MSZ is structurally affected by faults, xenoliths and replacement pegmatites. The most prominent is the Footwall fault, which occurs at an average stratigraphic distance of 1.6m below the BMSZ, with this distance ranging from approximately 1m to 2.5m. This fault is localised over a small section of the eastern section of the mine.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits2023202220212020201920182017
PGM koz 000000000000000193166
Gold koz 0000000000119.2
Platinum koz 0000000000008675
Palladium koz 00000000007664
Rhodium koz 0000000008.77.4
Nickel kt 0000000002.62.2
Copper M lbs 0000000004.94.4
Iridium koz 00000000003.63.1
Ruthenium koz 0000000008.57.2
All production numbers are expressed as metal in concentrate.

Operational metrics

Metrics202320222021202020192018
Ore tonnes mined 0000000001.9 Mt
Tonnes milled 000000000000000000001,925 kt
Annual milling capacity 00000000

Production Costs

Commodity202320222021202020192018
Cash costs PGM 000 000 000 000 808 / oz  USD 814 / oz  USD
Cash costs Platinum 1,823 / oz  USD 1,825 / oz  USD
All-in sustaining costs (sold) 3E (Pt, Pd, Au) 00000000 0000000 0000000 00000000 866 / oz  USD
All-in sustaining costs (sold) PGM 00000000 00000000 00000000 937 / oz  USD 772 / oz  USD
All-in sustaining costs (sold) Platinum 0000000 88 / oz  USD 616 / oz  USD
Net of By-Product.

Operating Costs

Currency20232022202120202019201820172016
Total operating costs ($/t milled) ZAR 1,323  1,102  990  969  893  863  811  873  

Financials

Units2023202220212020201920182017
Growth Capital M ZAR  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Sustaining costs M ZAR  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 228   181  
Capital expenditures M ZAR  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 152   142  
Revenue M ZAR  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 2,884   2,489  
EBIT M ZAR  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 491   466  
EBITDA M ZAR  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 835   823  
Operating Cash Flow M ZAR  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

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EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
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Aerial view:

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