Eastern Platinum, or Eastplats, has successfully produced platinum-group metals concentrate from its refurbished small-scale PGM scavenger circuit, also known as Circuit D.

Eastplats is using the feed, following the recovery of chrome concentrate, directly from the retreatment project located at the company’s Crocodile River mine in South Africa.

The PGM scavenger circuit is able to process 40 000 tpm of feed and the construction cost was less than US$150 000, as the company used the existing infrastructure at Crocodile River mine – which was maintained while the plant was on care and maintenance.

“The successful start of the PGM scavenger plant is the first step in the company’s full-scale assessment of the PGM recoverability of the tailings resource and provides further revenue opportunities for Eastplats,” says Eastplats President and CEO Diana Hu.

“The company will continue to move forward with its assessment of the larger PGM recoverability opportunities in relation to the tailings resource,” she says.

Retreatment project update

Since entering into an agreement with Union Goal on 1 March 2018, Eastplats produced 598 034 t of chrome concentrate from the retreatment project, with an average grade of Cr2O3 at 38.6% during 2019.

READ MORE: Eastplats enters into agreement to reignite Barplats production

The retreatment project stems from the agreement with Union Goal relating to the construction, re-mining and processing of the tailing resource and offtake of chrome concentrate from Barplats Mines tailings facility located at Crocodile River mine

The 214 828 t production figure achieved in Q4 2019 was the company’s best production quarter to date.

During January 2020, Eastplats produced an additional 101 606 t of chrome concentrate from the retreatment project, which is the company’s largest monthly production to date.

With the goal to further optimize and increase the chrome recovery of the retreatment project, Eastplats has determined that it will invest approximately $6 million in additional equipment, including installation, to enhance chrome concentrate recovery.

The financing of these costs has been agreed to in principal with Union Goal on similar loan terms to those contained in the initial agreement.

Eastplats said that it will provide an update as soon as such amendments to the framework agreement and the related agreements are entered into.