Mining Intelligence and News
South Africa

Zandfontein (CRM) Mine

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Mine TypeOpen Pit & Underground
  • Chrome
  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Rhodium
  • Gold
Mining Method
  • Hydraulic mining
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Breast mining
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotCrocodile River Mine (CRM) is a shallow long-life hybrid platinum group metals (PGM) mine on the Western limb of the Bushveld complex near Brits.

The Crocodile River operation comprises an operating remining mining section on the Tailings dam, Zandfontein underground; two development sections, Crocette and Kareespruit; and a number of processing plants.

The company placed its Eastern limb projects including Mareesburg and Kennedy’s Vale/Spitzkop, in care and maintenance in September 2012.

However, the Company began reclaiming chrome from its Retreatment Project of the Zandfontein tailings in December 2018 and PGMs in 2020.

The Company has initiated the restart of the Zandfontein underground section and is expected to process underground Run-of-Mine ore in May or June of 2024. CRM, Zandfontein underground, has a life of mine of more than 22 years.


Eastern Platinum Ltd. 100 % Indirect
Barplats Mines Ltd (operator) 100 % Direct
The Eastern Platinum Ltd. holds directly and indirectly an 100% interest in CRM, through Barplats Mines Ltd.



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Deposit type

  • Tailings
  • Intrusion related


The Project is located on the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex in a structurally complex area close to the town of Brits. The geology of the Project Area is located within and adjacent to the Brits Graben and mines the UG2. The Merensky Reef in this area is not currently considered economically viable. The graben and associated faults result in the mine being split into three main sections/mining blocks.

The UCZ of the RLS outcrops extensively, striking in an east-west direction and dipping to the north from about 15° to 25°. Both the Merensky Reef and the UG2 outcrop in the area, with a middling of approximately 200 m. The UG2 occurs from outcrop down to a known depth of at least 2,000 m below surface.

The UG2 at CRM typically consists of a single chromitite layer some 1.35 m to 1.5 m thick. The leader hanging wall layers are generally absent or have coalesced with the main band to form a virtually homogenous chromitite. A very thin chromitite stringer (~1 mm thick) occurs at varying heights above the top of the chromitite in the immediate hanging wall. However, variations in the thickness of specific lithotypes do exist between individual drillholes, and several disturbances to the layering by pothole structures and mafic pegmatites have been encountered during mining and in some drillholes.

Both the Merensky Reef and the UG2 Reef outcrop in the area, with a middling of approximately 220 m. The UG2 Reef occurs from outcrop down to an estimated depth of at least 2,000 mbs. The Merensky Reef is seen as uneconomical in the Project Area, thus the UG2 was investigated.

Nature Of, And Controls On, Mineralisation
The mineralised units of the Project Area form part of the Bushveld Complex, a large layered igneous intrusive body. In a large, layered intrusion such as the Bushveld Complex, the sulphide droplets that segregate out of the parental magma will eventually settle out of the magma, and once magma convection ceases are deposited on already consolidated layers of the magma chamber to form sulphide-rich zones.

The Merensky Reef has traditionally been the most important PGM producing horizon in the Bushveld Complex. In addition to PGM mineralisation associated with the Merensky Reef, all chromitite layers in the Critical Zone of the Bushveld Complex contain elevated concentrations of PGM. The UG2 is the only chromitite layer where significant mining of PGM takes place. The UG2 of the Western Bushveld Limb is generally less than 1 m thick, and is comprised of 60% to 90% chromite, however in the Project Area the thickness of the UG2 tends to average 1.3 m to 1.5 m. The PGMs are interstitial to the chromite grains, and are concentrated at the base and middle of the chromitite layer.

The UG2 at CRM has on average a 4E prill ratio of 62:27:10:1, derived from the drillholes with individual prill analyses. The prill Split Ration is calculated from the mining cut width ratios of elements. The mining cut selection is based on the UG2 reef width plus 20 cm footwall. The footwall cut was included as mineralisation occurs below the base of the UG2.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills


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Chrome Concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe533
PGM Concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
PGM Metal in concentrate koz  ....  Subscribe

Operational metrics

Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1,778,525 tons

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.


Revenue M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 39.2   0.4  
Operating Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe -2,384  
Pre-tax Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 1.8   -24.4  
After-tax Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 1.7   -24.3  

Required Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Sep 26, 2023

EmployeesTotal WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2022
...... Subscription required 2021
...... Subscription required 2020
...... Subscription required 2019
...... Subscription required 2017

Aerial view:


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