November 2012
Volume 64    Issue 11

Making an impact: Adding impact beds at a platinum mine

Mining Engineering , 2012, Vol. 64, No. 11, pp. 55-55


When a company like Lonmin, the third largest platinum producer in the world, is mining one of the most precious metals in the world, time is money. Every piece of equipment is expected to be in top shape because every minute of downtime can add up to lost profit.
Two different types of platinum ore are mined and processed by Lonmin, namely Merensky and UG2. Merensky has a grade of 3.5 g/t (0.1 oz/st) and UG2 has a grade of 4.5 g/t (0.13 oz/st). The mine also produces platinum group metals (PGM), which consist of platinum, osmium, palladium, rhodium, iridium and ruthenium. Although South Africa has more than 80 percent of the world’s PGM reserves, these minerals are very scarce.

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