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Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has launched a chrome recovery plant at its Amandelbult complex in Limpopo to produce commercial grade chromite concentrate. 

In line with Amplats commitment to broad-based empowerment, the company is partnering with the Baphalane Ba Mantserre community in owning and operating the plant.

The chrome recovery plant was constructed, financed and commissioned by Amplats during 2016 at a value of R474 million. It will be owned and operated in a JV between Amplats’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Rustenburg Platinum Mines, which has a 74% shareholding, and Baphalane Siyanda Chrome Company  (BSCC), which holds a 26% stake.

The Baphalane Ba Mantserre community that surrounds the Tumela and Dishaba mines within the Amandelbult complex owns 75% of the share capital of BSCC, with the remainder owned by Siyanda Resources and Mega Chrome Management who are technical partners. The plant is expected to reach steady-state production by the end of the first half of 2017.

Commenting on the launch,  Amplats CEO Chris Griffith said: “The JV  with the Baphalane Ba Mantserre community is directly in line with our strategy of empowering surrounding communities through value-generating transactions. This transaction will create long-term, sustainable empowerment and is in line with our strategy of identifying capital-light projects to generate further value from existing assets.”

Siyanda Resources chairperson Lindani Mthwa added: “We bring our proven expertise in chrome extraction to this exciting new venture. We are proud to partner with Anglo American Platinum and the community of Mantserre. We believe that this partnership has all the ingredients to succeed.”