South Africa – Platinum Group Metals, the TSX/NYSE-listed platinum company, has announced that its Maseve platinum mine, known formerly as the WBJV project, has successfully completed its 72 hour run test during hot commissioning of its concentrator facility.
The mine has produced its first concentrate for delivery to the Anglo American Platinum Waterval smelter 40 km to the south of the mine.
“It is very satisfying to see the first concentrate produced and to participate in the commissioning of mine systems from the underground conveyor, into the ore silo, through the mill, flotation and filter press to final product.
“Our focus now is to aggressively ramp up our production profile and we have a good team of qualified people in place to do this safely and efficiently”, says Platinum Group Metals Michael Jones CEO and co-founder.
Approximately 2 226 people are on site and all key management roles for the oversight, training and safe operation of contract mining, mill and tailings personnel are in place.
Surface infrastructure including warehouses, workshops, change houses, tailings facility and connections for power and water are all complete.
Normal systems analysis, adjustments, and tuning work will be completed from the results of the 72 hour test run over the next few days, after which the mill and concentrate recovery plant is expected to return to a 24 hour per day operation.
The mine management team, EPCM contractor DRA and all of the construction team is to be congratulated for a good safety record while construction was completed generally in line with the Company’s updated guidance over the past three years.
Mine development plan
Mine development continues with approximately 9 different headings accessing the Merensky Reef from both the North and South declines.
Following the established mine plan, the focus over the next 2 to 3 months will be on expanding available stoping areas and mining. Mining methods will vary per mining area.
Conventional, hybrid, long hole and board and pillar methods will be employed. Some planned mining methods have changed as local conditions require.
Grade and thickness correlations from underground development have been good and areas outside the resource model have been developed on reef. Changes in dip angles and minor faulting (less than 10 m) have slowed some of the ramp up profiles and new areas are being opened that may add to the ramp up profile.
Reserves and resources at the Maseve mine are unchanged at this time from the July 15, 2015 updated technical report. As mining advances resources and reserves will be assessed by the mine geological and engineering team along with an independent qualified person.
“We all look forward to applying our experience in engineering and mine building to our new much larger discovery at Waterberg. The Waterberg deposit is very shallow, like the Maseve mine (140 m from surface), and can be accessed by declines and offers thicknesses of 3-60 m in the mine design,” said Jones.
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