South Africa – South Africa-focused miner Platinum Group Metals (PTM) has significantly advanced its Waterberg joint venture project, located on the North Limb of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa.
Drilling has demonstrated good continuity in the near surface Super F zones. The Northern Super F zone has been extended up dip nearer to surface, including an intercept of 3.43 g/t of platinum, palladium and gold (3E) ( 0.90 g/t of platinum, 2.36 g/t of palladium$, 0.17 g/t of gold) over 5.55 m (estimated true thickness of 4.33 m) at a vertical depth of 173.5 m.
Intercepts also include 90.95 m, from a depth of 466.28 m to 557.23 m, grading 3.71 g/t 3E (0.99 g/t platinum, 2.52 g/t palladium, 0.20 g/t gold) with an estimated true thickness of 71 m.
Drilling on the T zone has also confirmed depth continuity, including an intercept of 5.84 g/t (1.80 g/t platinum, 2.86 g/t palladium, 1.18 g/t gold) over 19 m with a 15 m true width at a depth of 812 m to 831 m.
Thicker F Zones and T Zone are targeted for an indicated resource update and for mine planning.
The drilling results revealed that the shape and orientation of Super F zones with a thickness of 60 m or more is of special interest for mine planning in an ongoing pre-feasibility study. The Waterberg deposit is unusually thick compared to most South African platinum mines.
Drilling completed since the cut off for the last resource update on July 22, 2015 includes 31.7 m in 44 holes and 58 deflections. As at November 8, 2015 a total of approximately 280.6 m have been drilled at Waterberg in 275 diamond drill boreholes with 444 deflections.
The latest drilling at Waterberg has targeted increased resources through the expansion of thicker “Super F” zones up dip and shallower as well as the expansion of mineralised areas in the indicated category for a resource update now in progress. The deposit has been intersected with excellent continuity and a new area of Super F has been identified with multiple intercepts.
Prefeasibility engineering is on-going
The three highest valued zones-T zone, Central Super F and Northern Super F zone will be targeted for inclusion in the mine design work.
Pre-feasibility work including design and preparation for power and water supplies, mine planning, metallurgical studies and trade-off analysis has continued throughout 2015 using a group of independent specialists. Metallurgical work to study deposit variability and optimise the potential flow sheet and concentrate recoveries is ongoing. This work has been encouraging.
A resource update including recent drilling is scheduled for completion in early 2016 and will be used for the pre-feasibility mine plan. The consolidation of the project area in a recent agreement with PTM’s development and JV partner on the project, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), has allowed the full deposit strike length of 13 km, including shallow Super F zones, to be considered and optimised in the pre-feasibility study.
All of the current 2015 project work continues to be funded by a US$20 million commitment from JOGMEC, as announced in May.
WBJV Project 1 update
The WBJV Project 1 commissioning and planned start of production is advancing with no material variance from PTM’s year-end guidance.
Safe plant start-up preparations are being made by an experienced operating team from Tailings Technology under contract along with other senior advisors on site to assist the owner’s team.
Detailed operating arrangements with the offtake smelter are proceeding as planned, while underground development in multiple opened Merensky reef positions is proceeding and stockpile build continues.
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