Nkwe Platinum
managing director
Maredi Mphalele
 
Perth, Australia — 15 June 2012 – Major Australian-listed exploration and development company Nkwe Platinum says it intends approaching the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) as one of several sources of capital to help finance its R6 billion Garatau platinum project in South Africa’s Bushveld Complex.

“We have the IDC in our sights,” said Nkwe Platinum managing director Maredi Mphalele. “It will be one of several partners in the project owing the size of capital needed,” he said. Miningmx reports that earlier this week, Nkwe Platinum published an updated bankable feasibility report in which it has scaled back Garatau.

In March, the IDC announced it would pump R3.4 billion into Pallinghurst Resources’ platinum company, formerly called Platmin, in return for a 16% stake in the 130,000ozpa producer. It plans to produce 1.1Mozpa by 2017. By comparison, Nkwe Platinum’s Garantau will produce about 330,000ozpa.

Amid strain in South Africa’s platinum industry “’ which has seen Eastern Platinum shelve its Crocodile River project and Aquarius Platinum close its Marikana mine “’ Nkwe Platinum has reduced capital expenditure by R3.6 billion to just under R6 billion by delaying development of the deeper lying UG2 ore body and focusing on Merensky reef. This will deliver cash flow earlier into the project, a proposal that it believes will improve mine payback to 10 years.

The current life of mine at Garatau is 17 years, but including development of the UG2 and the ore body on adjacent farms, the project could be extended to 40 years, said Mphalele.

Nkwe Platinum said first production from Garatau was expected in 2017 and that it had assumed a platinum price of some $1,601/oz and a platinum group element basket price of $1,336/oz; a forecast drawn from seven independent sources. The current price of platinum is about $1,452/oz. “We have a positive view of the platinum price, especially in the medium term. We know sentiment isn’t great now, but we look at things in the medium to long term,” Mphalele said.

Source: Miningmx. For more information, click here.