Typically the progression from project to producer has a low rate of success. Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) statistics from a few years back show the project to producer pyramid sees about 3% of projects undertaken by juniors ending up as producers. However, Ken Lomberg, Southern Africa Regional Manager of mining consulting group Coffey Mining, says platinum projects on the Bushveld Complex are different.
“The Bushveld Complex is an anomaly housing the vast majority of the global PGE resources in a number of well known planar ore bodies. If only five or six Bushveld projects come to fruition, this will mean some 20% of projects have been successful; considerably better than the global average.” Investec research indicates that if the entire suite of junior to mid-tier platinum projects planned and underway in South Africa in 2006 reach fruition they would by 2014 add three million platinum ounces to the platinum supply, if one excludes these as replacement ounces. It would bolster the approximately five million ounces (out of a 6.5 million ounces total global production) that Johnson Matthey research had as South Africa’s platinum output in 2007.