Platinum Group Metals has awarded the Independent Qualified Person role for the ongoing Waterberg Pre-Feasibility Study to South Africa based and global engineering firm DRA Mineral Projects. The award of the contract to DRA follows a competitive tender and adjudication process.
R. Michael Jones, President and CEO of Platinum Group Metals Ltd. said “We are very pleased to be working with DRA at Waterberg. DRA had a compelling bid for the work and we know the company very well as our engineering, procurement and construction manager for the ongoing build at our WBJV Project 1 (Maseve) platinum mine where approximately CAD $300 million in construction and development has been completed so far.
“DRA has done an excellent job managing to budget and schedule. Current site activities at Project 1 include mine construction and underground development involving over 1,600 people with planned production in the 4th quarter 2015. DRA has a strong team with local experience on the North Limb of the Bushveld and we know they have the ability to perform well at a large scale, as required at Waterberg, all the way into project execution.”
The Waterberg Project has emerged as one of the world’s largest undeveloped palladium discoveries. The current combined Waterberg resource stands at 29 million ounces 4E of which 17.74 million ounces are palladium, 61% of the current inferred resource.
Palladium has been one of the top performing commodities over the past year recently skirting US $900 per ounce driven by a combination of strong global auto demand, supply disruptions stemming from strike activity in South Africa and potential economic sanctions against Russia, the world’s largest palladium producer.
Based on a Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Waterberg Joint Venture filed on SEDAR on March 13, 2014, first production is planned for 2018. At steady state the project is modelled to produce 397,000 ounces of palladium per year with a 20 year plus mine life along with platinum, gold, rhodium and significant nickel and copper by-products (655,000 Pd, Pt, Au ounces /year steady state).
As global demand for palladium continues to grow the Waterberg project is well positioned in terms of timing and scale.
The company also announced the acceleration of drilling programs on the Waterberg Joint Venture (49.9% Effective Interest) and Waterberg Extension (87% Effective Interest) with a total of 24 drill rigs now in operation. Including drilling contractors under the Company’s supervision, approximately 180 people are involved in the activities at Waterberg.
The program at Waterberg is focussed on infill drilling with the objective of delineating indicated resources on the Waterberg Joint Venture with 20 machines and drilling with 4 machines to expand known resources northward for several kilometers on the Extension.
At present the Inferred Mineral Resource for the Waterberg deposit stands at 29 million ounces of palladium, platinum, gold and rhodium (287 million tonnes grading 3.15 g/t 4E – 0.94g/t Pt, 1.92 g/t Pd, 0.04 g/t Rh, 0.25 g/t Au, 30%, 61%, 1%, 8% respectively).
The deposit remains open. Current drilling is in progress across the Joint Venture area and directly north on the Waterberg Extension along strike beyond the 8 kilometer long published resource.
Platinum Group Metals awards Waterberg prefeasibility to DRA Mineral Projects
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