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July 2, 2023 nflg 0 Comments

iron ore MINES
Locality – The Iron Ore Division is made up of the Beeshoek Mine located on the farms Beeshoek (448) and Olynfontein (475) and the Khumani Mine situated on the farms Bruce (544), King (561), and Mokaning (560). All properties are in the Northern Cape approximately 200 kilometres west of Kimberley. The Beeshoek open-pit operations are situated 7 kilometres west of Postmasburg and the new Khumani open pits are adjacent to, and south-east of, the Sishen Mine, which is operated by Kumba Resources.

Located at latitude 28°30’00″S/longitude 23°01’00″E, and latitude 27°45’00″S/longitude 23°00’00”E respectively. Khumani Mine supplies iron ore to the export markets. Exports are railed to the iron ore terminal at Saldanha Bay. Beeshoek Mine ore is supplied to local customers.

Iron Ore Mines History
mining of iron ore (mainly specularite) was undertaken as early as 40 000 BC on the farm Doornfontein which is due north of Beeshoek. The potential of iron ore in this region was discovered in 1909, but, due to lack of demand and limited infrastructure, this commodity was given little attention. In 1929, the railway line was extended from Koopmansfontein (near Kimberley) to service a manganese mine
at Beeshoek. In 1935, The Associated Manganese Mines of South Africa Limited (Assmang) was formed, and in 1964 the Beeshoek Iron Ore Mine was established, with a basic hand-sorting operation. In 1975, a full washing and screening plant was installed and production increased to 7 million tons per annum. The Khumani Iron Ore Mine was commissioned in 2007 and is ramping up to approximately 10 million tons per annum, with expansion plans to 16 million tons per annum being investigated.

Mining authorisation – The Beeshoek mining lease (ML3/93) comprises an area of 5 686 hectares and is located on the farms Beeshoek (448) and Olynfontein (475). An application for the conversion to a new-order mining right was submitted during
the 2009 financial year.

The Khumani mining right comprises an area of 7 388 hectares and is located on the farms Bruce (544), King (561) and Mokaning (560). The mining right was granted during the 2007 financial year.

Geology – The iron ore deposits are contained within a sequence of early Proterozoic sediments of the Transvaal Supergroup deposited between 2 500 and 2 200 million years ago. In general, two ore types are present, namely laminated hematite ore forming part of the Manganore Iron Formation and conglomerate ore belonging to the Doornfontein Conglomerate Member at the base of the Gamagara Formation. The older laminated ore types occur in the upper portion of the Manganore Iron Formation as enriched high-grade hematite bodies. The boundaries of high-grade hematite orebodies crosscut primary sedimentary bedding, indicating that secondary hematitisation of the iron formation took place. In all of these, some of the stratigraphic and sedimentological features of the original iron formation are preserved.

The conglomeratic ore is found in the Doornfontein Conglomerate Member of the Gamagara Formation and is lenticular and not
persistently developed along strike. It consists of stacked, upward fining conglomerate-gritstoneshale sedimentary cycles. The lowest conglomerates and gritstones tend to be rich in subrounded to rounded hematite ore pebbles and granules and form the main orebodies. The amount of iron ore pebbles decreases upwards in the sequence so that upper conglomerates normally consist of poorly
sorted, angular to rounded chert and banded iron formation pebbles.

The erosion of the northern Khumani deposit is less than that in the southern Beeshoek area. The result is that Khumani is characterised by larger stratiform bodies and prominent hangingwall outcrops. The down-dip portions are well preserved and
developed, but in outcrop the deposits are thin and isolated. Numerous deeper extensions occur into the basins due to karst development. A prominent north-south strike of the ore is visible. The southern Beeshoek orebodies were exposed to more erosion
and are more localised and smaller. Outcrops are limited to the higher topography on the eastern side of the properties. Down-dip to the west, the ore is thin and deep. The strike of the orebodies is also in a north-south direction, but less continuous.

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