Zondereinde mine is located on the upper end of the western limb of the South African Bushveld Complex. Operational since 1993, the mine is established and continues to operate at steady state levels and remains cash generative and profitable producing some 300 000oz annually. Future production at Zondereinde mine is estimated to continue for a further 16 years.
Underground mining operations exploiting two reefs - the Merensky and UG2 reefs - via a twin shaft system at depths varying between 1 294 and 2 115 metres below surface. Mining activities are driven by hydropowered equipment, a technological innovation pioneered by Northam, and which has now become common practice in deep-level mines.
Surface infrastructure comprises two concentrator plants (for both Merensky and UG2 ore), a smelter and base metals removal plant (BMR) where copper (Cu) and nickel (Ni) are extracted from the high grade PGM concentrate, and a slag treatment plant. Final PGM concentrate is refined at the Heraeus precious metals refinery in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, the Heraeus Refinery South Africa (HRSA) and at its refinery in Hanau, Germany.
Northam markets its metals to an established customer base both domestically in South Africa and in the major economic centres of the world including North America, Europe and Japan. The company is known as a reliable and independent supplier of metals of London and Zurich 'good delivery' status.