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Dual-listed Platinum Group Metals has announced that Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Hanwa signed a memorandum of understanding to transfer part of JOGMEC’s interest in the Waterberg palladium, platinum, gold, rhodium and copper, nickel project, located in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa.

The agreement is based on the result of a public tender held on February 23, 2018. The winner of the bidding was Hanwa, and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) will now start negotiation on the terms of the transfer with Hanwa. 

With a successful negotiation, Hanwa will secure the right to a supply of refined platinum group metals for exhaust emission catalytic converters, fuel cells for cars, and nickel and other metals for rechargeable batteries.

This transaction will enable a potential significant stable supply of metals to Japanese industries.

Hanwa is a leading global trading company headquartered in Tokyo Japan with over 3 000 employees and operations spanning steel, non-ferrous metals, metals and alloys, food, petroleum, chemicals, machinery, lumber and many other business sectors.

Impala Platinum (Implats) recently paid US$30 million for a 15% interest in the Waterberg project including a right of first refusal for concentrate offtake.

Implats also acquired an option for a $166 million acquisition and development commitment to earn a 50.01% controlling interest upon completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).

Platinum Group Metals holds a 50.02% direct and indirect interest.

The Waterberg DFS is expected to be completed in calendar H1 2019.

JOGMEC currently holds a 21.95% interest in the Waterberg Project and is planning to transfer a 9.755% interest to Hanwa.

Upon completion of the transfer Hanwa will also acquire JOGMEC’s right of first refusal to certain metal produced by Implats from the Waterberg Project.

“We are very pleased to welcome Hanwa, a strong Japanese diversified company to the Waterberg Joint Venture,” says Platinum Group Metals CEO, R. Michael Jones.

“Hanwa’s experience in the global metals and industrial complex adds another dimension to our Joint Venture.

“We acknowledge that JOGMEC is satisfying its mandate and is following its stated desire to secure critical mineral supplies to Japanese companies and industry.

“The participation of Hanwa along with JOGMEC and Implats confirms the importance of the Waterberg project,” concludes Jones.