Vancouver, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 June 2008 – Eastern Platinum Limited (Eastplats) – Canada’s leading platinum group metals producer – expects a fourfold increase in PGM production in South Africa over the next four years from an expected 128 500 oz this year to more than 500 000 ounces in 2012.
Eastplats president and CEO Ian Rozier made this revelation in an updated production growth profile issued here.
“With the issues currently faced in the mining sector in South Africa, we are extremely pleased to see that our production growth profile remains on track to produce 530 000 annual ounces within the next four years,” he said.
“We are acquiring heavy fuel oil generating capacity that will enable us to meet the initial power requirements independently. Based on our recent experience at the Crocodile River mine we are confident that the required mining permits for Spitskop and Mareesburg will be received from the South African authorities to meet this schedule,” he added.
Rozier went on to explain that the production increase from the 128 500 oz anticipated in 2008 to 530 000 oz in 2012 would be achieved through the commissioning of four new decline mines (Crocette, Mareesburg, Spitskop UG2 and Spitskop Merensky), and a new concentrator plant at Spitskop/Kennedy’s Vale. Development of Kennedy’s Vale and the Kareespruit deposit at the Crocodile River mine would take place subsequent to 2012.
He anticipated that 2008 production of 128 500 oz at Crocodile River would grow to 220 000 oz in 2010 as a new decline at Crocette and the existing Zandfontein operation reached full production.
Spitskop, where initial development of the two access declines is already underway, will commence test mining in the first half of 2009, according to Rozier. He said ore produced during this phase would be stockpiled, and then, subject to regulatory approval, the concentrator would be commissioned with production at 60 000 tpm planned for Q3 of 2010. This would be ramped up in several stages, reaching 180 000 tpm by 2012.
And at Mareesburg ore production is scheduled to commence at 20 000 tpm in Q4 of 2009.