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Pan African Resources to build solar plant at Evander mine


Pan African Resources plc (LON:PAF) is to build a 10 Megawatt (Mw) solar power plant at its Evander Mines operation in South Africa.

The gold miner said the project would cost R140mln (GBP7mln) and be the first of its kind in South African mining.

Construction will commence in the first quarter of 2021, with first power expected in the third calendar quarter of 2021.

German group juwi will build the plant having already constructed six solar plants in South Africa and 1700 solar plants globally, said Pan African.

The plant at Evander will use previously disturbed land with a calculated payback on investment of under 5 years.

If successful, Pan African said it would consider expanding the Evander Mines plant to provide a clean energy feed to its Egoli Project and also might build a similar plant at the Barberton Mines.

“The Evander Mines solar photovoltaic plant is integral to the Group’s purpose of “Mining for a Future” and pursuing ESG initiatives that go beyond compliance, said Pan African chief executive Cobus Loots in a statement.

In a trading update released at the same time, Pan African noted that it expects to produce 97,000 ounces of gold in the six months to December 31, 2020, and is on track to meet its full-year target of 190,000 ounces.

The gold miner also announced that chief operating officer Andre van den Bergh is to retire on January 1, 2021 after 46 years with the group.

He is the group’s longest-serving employee, said Pan African, and will be replaced by Bert van den Berg, currently the group’s projects and business improvement manager.

Loots commented: “Andre leaves behind a lasting legacy, his invaluable contributions to the safety of our people, operational improvements and human resource excellence supported the success of Pan African’s operations over many years.”

Peel Hunt added that the update contained several positives, including the production guidance and new solar plant.

When running, the solar plant could provide 30% of Elikhulu’s power needs in daylight hours and significantly help with power fluctuations during periods of power restrictions, said Peel Hunt.

Buy with a 31p target price is the broker’s view.

Shares rose 1.4% to 21.4p.

— add broker comment, share price —

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