International engineering and project delivery group DRA Global has been awarded the feasibility study for the Ivanplats Platreef project. Ivanplats is the South African subsidiary of TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines.

The Platreef project includes the underground Flatreef deposit of platinum group metals, together with gold, nickel and copper, and is located in the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex, approximately 280 km northeast of Johannesburg.

Award of the feasibility study follows the completion of the pre-feasibility study of the project in January 2015, which was also carried out by DRA and successfully demonstrated a sound business case for further investigation of the project.

DRA’s role will be the management and coordination of the all-encompassing feasibility study of the greenfield project, in addition to providing a wide range of engineering services in its own right.

The scope to be covered by DRA includes the highly mechanised underground mine design, processing facilities and associated project infrastructure.  Among the external consultants to be managed by DRA will be specialists covering geology, life of mine planning, geotechnical, ground water, environmental aspects and tailings storage facility.

Mining will be conducted by a large, state-of-the-art mechanised underground operation, approximately 700 to 1 100 m below surface via a vertical production shaft which will be 10 m in diameter. The process plant is initially planned to consist of two parallel streams, each of 2 Mtpa capacity, with comminution, flotation, concentrate dewatering and tailings disposal.  A full suite of infrastructure will be covered in the feasibility study, including bulk power supply, bulk water supply, internal and external roads, and on-site buildings and systems.

DRA’s CEO, Paul Thomson, comments:  “We are extremely pleased to have been awarded the feasibility study of the Platreef Project.  This is a world-class PGM project and we are very proud to have had the opportunity of completing the earlier pre-feasibility study. Its award is a testament to the good work already carried out by the DRA team, and to the sound relationship developed between our company and Ivanplats.”

Thomson continues; “The scope of the project being managed by DRA is also a clear demonstration of our “Pit-to-Port” capability.  Our in-house engineers and project services personnel will be responsible for all major aspects of the project – for the mining engineering, the processing facilities and the associated infrastructure, in addition to coordinating the input of a number of external specialists.”

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