Eastern Platinum, or Eastplats, has been allowed to restart its chrome tailings retreatment project in South Africa at a reduced rate, during the country’s 21-day lockdown.

The company was issued an essential services order by the Director General of Mineral Resources of South Africa pursuant to which it has authorised Eastplats’ subsidiary, Barplats Mines, to operate its tailings retreatment project located at the Crocodile River Mine at a reduced capacity and to transport and export the Chrome concentrate produced by the retreatment project.

Barplats has reviewed and updated its start up plans to be consistent with the order, based on a significantly reduced work force, and will immediately implement a phased restart.

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Eastplats and Barplats remains committed to the Government of South Africa’s direction to prevent the risk of spread of COVID-19.

As a result, Eastplats has produced risk assessments and adopted appropriate procedures to maintain a safe workplace for its employees and the communities in which it operates.

The company temporarily closes all its operations in South Africa following the 21-day lockdown imposed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on 26 March 2020. This included the current re-mining operations at Crocodile River Mine, except for some critical underground care and maintenance activities where the company said it would seek an exception.

The company said that the because the effects of COVID-19 are changing rapidly, it cannot reasonably estimate at this time the impact of COVID-19 or the lockdown imposed by the Government of South Africa, currently scheduled to end at midnight on 16 April 2020, both of which could have material adverse effects on the company’s business, liquidity and cashflows.