Mining Intelligence and News
South Africa

Kopanang Mine

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Mine TypeUnderground
  • Gold
  • Uranium
  • Silver
Mining Method
  • Scattered stoping
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock


Heaven-Sent SA Sunshine Investment Company Ltd. 74 % Indirect
VMR Group (operator) 74 % Direct
The shareholding of Kopanang Operations is as follows:

- 74% is held by VMR Group;

- 26% is held by a special purpose vehicle established for the purpose of giving effect

to the empowerment transaction (named K2018589229 (South Africa) Pty Ltd. (Landmark Resources (Pty) Ltd – 6%, Ronald Raisaka Masebelanga – 6%, James Anthony Nieuwenhuys – 6%, an employee share ownership trust – 8%).



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Deposit type

  • Paleoplacer
  • Sedimentary


The VR is the primary economic horizon at Kopanang and the Crystalkop Reef (C Reef) is the secondary economic horizon, which contributes less than 2% of the total mining volume. Both reefs are narrow tabular deposits forming part of the Witwatersrand Supergroup and are stratigraphically located near the middle of the Central Rand Group. The VR lies approximately 255 m below the C Reef.

The major fault systems affecting Kopanang are the oldest north-westerly dipping Zuiping faults, and the younger Shaft and Jersey fault systems, which dip to the south east. The primary economic horizon at Tau Lekoa, Jonkerskraal and Weltevreden is the VCR. The VCR dips between 20° and 30° at Tau Lekoa, whereas the dip at Jonkerskraal is steeper (>30°) and gentler at Weltevreden (average of 15°).

The VCR in this locality is structurally complex due to disruption by a number of dykes and faults. The major faults of post-Ventersdorp age present tend to be normal, trending NNE-SSW direction and these include the Schoonspruit and Nooitgedacht faults, both of which have displacements of over 100 m. Two dextral faults with lateral movement (wrenching) in the order of 675 m and 170 m have been mapped on Tau Lekoa and projected into the adjacent project areas. There are also a number of intrusives present, which vary in age from pre-Ventersdorp through to Karoo in age.

The Witwatersrand gold deposits are of the “Quartz Pebble Conglomerate Au-U type”. These are also referred to as “placer gold and uranium in ancient conglomerate”, or “palaeo-placer gold and uranium” deposits. The mineralised horizons, or reefs, are essentially oligomictic to polymictic, matrix to pebble-supported conglomerate in which vein quartz pebbles predominate. The matrix, which essentially is quartzitic, accommodates the gold and uraninite largely as disseminated clastic particles.

A geological model is employed to delineate variations (either lateral or vertical) in characteristics of the VR and C Reef. The current geological model thus subdivides the VR and C Reef into homogeneous zones based on geological, sedimentological and grade characteristics.
The VCR, which thickens up to 5 m, caps the uppermost angular unconformity of the Witwatersrand Supergroup. Due to the angular unconformity at the base of the VCR the footwall stratigraphy youngs towards the NE, with the various formations sub-cropping against the VCR in a NE-SW direction. The VCR eventually subcrops below the Karoo Supergroup on the western side of Weltevreden.

The gold-bearing quarzitic and conglomerate bands of the Witwatersrand Supergroup are characterised by rounded pebbles set in a mineralogically complex matrix. The pebbles are predominantly vein quartz, but can include jasper, quartzite, shales and schist, and typically do not contain appreciable mineralisation. The VR and C Reef are examples of the reefs characterised by discontinuous layers of kerogen at their base. There is a strong association between the kerogen and gold, which is found on its surface, as well as filling cleats and open spaces between filaments. There are two main varieties of gold. One is (possibly) primary gold, occurring as rare inclusions in detrital grains of massive pyrite, or as detrital grains and nugget like particles in the matrix. The second is a younger generation, possibly the result of metamorphism and recrystallization virtually in situ, which seems to have replaced fine-grained matrix material.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills


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Silver koz  ....  Subscribe5.8
All production numbers are expressed as metal in doré.

Operational metrics

Ore tonnes mined 537 kt610 kt556 kt
Tonnes processed 528 kt0.6 Mt0.6 Mt0.7 Mt

Production Costs

Total cash costs Gold USD 1,570 / oz   1,534 / oz  
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) Gold USD 1,721 / oz  
All-in sustaining costs (sold) Gold USD 1,593 / oz  

Operating Costs

Total operating costs ($/t milled) ZAR 2,585  3,030  3,112  


Capital expenditures M USD 8  
Revenue M USD 76.1   119.9  
Gross profit M USD -14.2   -20.9  
Pre-tax Income M USD -25.6  
After-tax Income M USD -25.6  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.


Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Jan 16, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Jan 16, 2024

EmployeesTotal WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2018
...... Subscription required 2017
...... Subscription required 2016
...... Subscription required 2015
...... Subscription required 2014
...... Subscription required 2013

Aerial view:


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