Based on the positive preliminary economic (PEA) results, Platinum Group Metals will immediately advance its 49%-owned Waterberg Joint Venture (WBJV) project to the pre-feasibility study stage.

“We see significant opportunity to expand the project’s resources and to optimize the project in the pre-feasibility study. The potential for good margins, improved safety, better productivity and well paid workers along with improved working conditions compared to conventional mines is exciting,” R. Michael Jones, president of Platinum Group Metals said in a statement.

A two-year construction period has been planned for the WBJV, taking place between 2016 and 2018, followed by a targeted steady-state production of 655 000 ozpa of platinum, palladium and gold and ‘peak funding’ estimated at R8.85 billion.

“The Waterberg Joint Venture project stands out as an exceptional opportunity for the shallow production of safe, low cost platinum, palladium and gold by fully mechanized mining methods utilizing multiple decline access ramps,” said Jones.

“The planned 655,000 3E ounces of steady state production is significant in the global market for platinum group elements.  The peak funding estimate is modest compared to the opportunity for large scale participation in the platinum and palladium markets.”