The Wesizwe Platinum board has announced the appointment of Zhimin Li as the company’s new CEO and executive director to the board, effective from 15 February 2017.

This comes after the resignation of Wesizwe  Platinum’s CEO and ED Jianke Gao from this date. Gao has been reassigned to new responsibilities in a senior executive position within the Jinchuan Group.

Li holds a Bachelor degree in mining engineering from KunMing University of Science and Technology in China. He has over 30 years’ experience in mining and civil engineering construction obtained through working in China for the Jinchuan Group and Africa and in other foreign jurisdictions where he managed multi-million Rand projects.

His new role will be prioritising the commissioning and commencement of production at the Bakubung platinum mine project.

Wesizwe Platinum has for the last eight years transcended from an exploration company to a nearly complete junior mining company. The company is in the process of building a PGM mine in the bushveld complex, with a strategic equity partner (45%) in the form of a Chinese consortium comprised of the China African Development Fund and the Jinchuan Group.

Jinchuan is a large-scale non-ferrous, metallurgical and chemical conglomerate with integrated mining, concentrating, smelting and refining assets, and also recognised as a leader in smelting and refining technologies.

Wesizwe Platinum changes Aveng Mining scope 

Late last year Wesizwe Platinum announced it had concluded an amicable early termination of its contract with Aveng Mining for the Bakubung platinum mine, in Rustenburg.

Wesizwe Platinum noted that the handover will take place in May 2017, when Phase 1 of the contact is completed – the main shaft commissioning.

Wesizwe Platinum and mining contractor Aveng Mining entered into an engineering and construction contract in September 2012 for the sinking of the main shaft at Wesizwe’s Bukubung platinum mine in the North West province of South Africa.

The early termination was decided upon due to commercial imperatives, which has meant that Wesizwe Platinum would implement a reduction of scope of works with Aveng Mining.

The implications and effect of signing the agreement include that Aveng shall be compensated on a revised payment agreement, enabling the parties to jointly optimise the costing on the project.

The completion of Phase 1 will be followed by Phase 2, a multi-billion rand flat development scope which entails the planned capital footprint development, which is linked to production build up to steady state in 2022.

In addition, Wesizwe Platinum will then embark on a new contracting model for specialist scopes for these packages constituting both surface and underground works until the project is fully commissioned in line with the critical timeline identified.

The main commissioning of the mine is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018, with full production anticipated by 2021.