Jewellery has been
a key driver of
overall platinum demand
in the past decade
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 August 2008 – Pallinghurst Resources (PRLLP) – which began trading on the JSE this week – is considering the possibility of launching a platinum production operation in South Africa.

An investment company and advisor to the Pallinghurst Resources Fund – a specialist vehicle which pursues strategic partnerships and investments in the natural resources sector – PRLLP covers all commodities in the natural resources sector and evaluates investment assets including mines, smelters, refineries, and processing plants to identify business opportunities.

Bloomberg News reports that Pallinghurst chairman Brian Gilbertson said the company could start mining platinum in South Africa as early as the end of 2009.

The company has already raised almost US$1 billion (R7.5 billion) from investors, including Korean steel company Posco and AMCI – an affiliate of American Metals & Coal International Incorporated. “The company – which did not raise money in this week’s listing – may seek additional funds at a later date,” Gilbertson said, adding that the current investors “are willing to contribute additional funds to the right projects.”

Bloomberg quotes Gareth Tredway of Vetact – which manages US$256 million (R1.9 billion) in assets, as saying that Gilbertson’s reputation preceded him. “Especially in times like these where money is harder to come by, maybe investors would want to stick with names they know,” he added.

“We have two opportunities in platinum,” Gilbertson said, “and they could have quite fundamental value if we play our cards right.”

Bloomberg reports that Pallinghurst revealed this week that a platinum venture it would form with the Bakgatla community plans to acquire 25% of Boynton Investments Limited, which has assets in the Bushveld Complex, northwest of Johannesburg. The venture has also agreed to buy 40% of Richtrau No. 123 Limited in order to explore for the metal there.

The agency adds that Pallinghurst also plans to start producing manganese in South Africa in three years’ time, in partnership with the Ntsimbintle black investors group. Gilbertson is reported to be looking to acquire more sources of steel-making ingredients, including iron ore and ferrochrome.