London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 18 May 2010 – Aquarius Platinum Limited “’ the world’s fourth largest primary platinum producer “’ is pleased to announce that, following the restart of the Everest Mine, the concentrator plant has now been commissioned and milling operations have recommenced.
Revealing this in a statement issued here, the company said first concentrate had been shipped from Everest last Friday, some three months ahead of schedule. It was anticipated that approximately 120 000 tonnes of ore would be processed at Everest in May and June, contributing approximately 8 000 PGM (4E) ounces to Aquarius’ attributable production for the financial year ending 30 June 2010.
The statement added that the capital cost of R259 million for the project to restart Everest “’ of which approximately R170 million had been spent to date “’ remained within budget. Revenues from the above-mentioned production and the associated operating costs would be charged to the income statement.
Aquarius CEO Stuart Murray commented: “We are very pleased with the progress at Everest. Following the closure of the mine in December 2008 due to a subsidence event, the restart of the mine has been delivered ahead of schedule and within budget, and in a better PGM price environment than that originally anticipated when the restart was authorised. We anticipate a fairly rapid ramp-up of production as underground stoping is being complemented with opencast tonnes being mined from a reserve that was previously sterilised,” he added.
“We expect Everest will be producing approximately 120 000 PGM (4E) ounces in the 2011 financial year, approximately 180 000 ounces in the 2012 financial year and then reaching steady-state production of 200 000 ounces per annum beyond that,” Murray concluded.