Platinum Group Metals RSA owns a 45.65% direct interest in the Waterberg project.
The Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) holds a 28.35% direct interest in the project and BEE partner Mnombo Wethu Consultants (Mnombo) holds a direct 26.% interest.
Platinum Group Metals currently holds a 49% interest in Mnombo.
The Waterberg project is one of the few large palladium dominant deposits in the world. Platinum Group Metals believes that as a result of its shallow depth, good grades and a fully mechanised mining approach, the Waterberg project has the opportunity to be a safe mine within the lowest quartile of the industry cost curve.
The project resources consist of 60% palladium and the independent pre-feasibility study on the Waterberg project estimates that Waterberg will produce 472 000 oz of palladium annually – about 6% of the world’s palladium production in 2015.
Producing approximately 744 000 4E oz per year, Waterberg would be one of the largest platinum group metals mine complexes in South Africa.
JOGMEC has now completed their US$20 million funding commitment to the project and their interest can be vested in the joint venture company.
“We are very pleased that the Department of Mineral Resources has approved the transfer of the ownership structure to our dedicated joint venture company at this time,” states Platinum Group Metals CEO, R. Michael Jones.
“The transfer allows us to prepare to file a mining right application and work on specific financing alternatives and strategic transactions. Interest in the Northern Limb and palladium has increased recently.”
Platinum Group Metals has active interest in its Waterberg project from multiple parties in South Africa and internationally, with discussions ongoing. Interest in Waterberg is driven by the strategic nature of the Waterberg deposit as one of the only significant primary platinum and palladium assets globally with a thick, low cost, fully mechanised mine plan.
The deposit is in contrast to narrow, high cost, deep level platinum mining. Platinum Group Metals regards Waterberg as an important core asset with industry strategic value.
Feature image credit: Wikimedia