TSX / NYSE Platinum Group Metals Ltd. has announced the filed Mining Right Application for the large-scale Waterberg PGM Project has been accepted by South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources.
The application consists of a Mining Work Program, Social and Labour Plan and associated Environmental Applications.
The application is supported by the company and the Waterberg JV partners including Impala Platinum (Implats), Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Mnombo Wethu Consultants (Mnombo).
The process of consultation under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (MPRDA) and the Environmental Assessment regulations, for consideration of the application has commenced.
Waterberg represents a large-scale resource of platinum group metals (PGM), including palladium, platinum and gold, with an attractive risk profile.
Given its shallow nature and ability to support a fully mechanized operation, the Waterberg Project has the potential to be amongst the lowest cost producers in the PGM sector.
A PFS was completed in 2016 and a definitive feasibility study DFS is in progress for completion in calendar Q1, 2019.
The DFS is considering two options including the 600,000 tpm mine plan outlined in the PFS and a phased approach commencing with a smaller, 250,000 to 350,000 tpm production profile.
Stantec Consulting International and DRA Projects SA are the lead independent project engineers for the DFS.
Platinum Group currently holds an effective 50.02% interest in the Waterberg Project.
Implats, the world’s second largest platinum producer, owns a 15% interest.
Mnombo, a black empowerment company, holds a 26% interest. The company owns a 49.9% interest in Mnombo.
JOGMEC holds a 21.95% interest in the Waterberg Project and is in the process of transferring a 9.755% interest to Japanese conglomerate Hanwa, Hosken Consolidated Investments, a South African black empowerment investment holding company listed on the JSE with a US$1.1 billion market capitalization, owns a 15% stake in Platinum Group.
Implats is an active participant in the joint venture and holds an option to increase their stake to 50.01% following the completion of the DFS.
Implats has identified Waterberg as a potential low-cost alternative to deep conventional PGM mining, with an attractive metal balance for the future.
Palladium has been gaining market interest based on continued strong demand from the auto sector, where there is a growing trend towards gasoline engines and hybrids that use palladium dominant catalysts.