South Africa-based mining company Sibanye-Stillwater has recommenced production at its Stillwater West mine in Montana, US, after completing repair works to shaft infrastructure.
The miner has now recommissioned the vertical shaft at the mine, allowing production to resume.
This infrastructure was damaged last month during maintenance on the winder that services the vertical shaft accessing the mine’s deeper levels.
The shaft headgear, winder house and winder rope sustained damage in the incident, although no workers were wounded.
The temporary production suspension below the mine’s 50m level is projected to reduce the site’s production by nearly 30,000 2Eoz.
Production from the mine’s deeper levels has already restarted and will build up over two weeks.
It is anticipated to reach normalised levels by the end of this month.
In a statement, the miner said: “As previously announced, access to the upper levels (above 50 level) of the Stillwater West mine and the Stillwater East mine (through the east portal) was not affected by the incident, and production from these areas, as well as from the East Boulder mine, continued during the remediation.”
Last year too, production at the Stillwater mine paused for almost six weeks owing to remediation work related to damage from floods.
Many bridges near the mine were damaged due to the flooding of several rivers in the region, with parts of the primary access road to the mine severely eroded.
However, mining and metallurgical operations were said to be ‘largely unaffected’.
Sibanye-Stillwater is touted as one of the world’s largest primary producers of rhodium, platinum and palladium, in addition to being a major gold producer.
The company also produces and refines iridium and ruthenium, cobalt, nickel, chrome and copper.