Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 20 November 2009 – Aquarius Platinum Limited (Aquarius) “’ a focused platinum group metals (PGMs) producer in southern Africa “’ has announced that Phase 2 of the re-establishment project at Everest platinum mine has commenced.
Revealing this in a statement issued here, the company said that Phase 2 included the establishment of all underground and surface infrastructure required for a resumption of operations.
It added that Aquarius had been committed to bring the Everest mine to a state of readiness to resume production, and that this position had more recently been supported by the improvement in the current market conditions, which had seen the PGM basket price for the company’s South African operations increase from R7.763 per 4E oz at end September 2009 to current levels above R9.000 per 4E oz. It was therefore now envisaged that the mine would restart immediately following the completion of the re- establishment project.
The statement went on to say that Phase 1 of the project was currently ahead of schedule, and that this early approval of Phase 2 would enable a parallel implementation, reducing the remaining project timeframe to nine months from this date. This would enable Everest to be in a position to resume milling operations in the latter part of the first quarter of next financial year.
The capital expenditure for Phase 1 and 2 remained at R259 million, as previously disclosed.
Aquarius announced the temporary suspension of the Everest Mine resulting from a subsidence event in December 2008. Re-establishment of the mine commenced in June 2009, with Phase 1 of the reestablishment project focusing on the excavation of the North and South box cuts and the initial development of the new declines.