TSX / NYSE-listed Platinum Group Metals has announced that Waterberg JV Resources has filed a Mining Right Application for the large-scale Waterberg PGM project.
The application was submitted to South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), consisting of the Mining Work Program, Social and Labour Plan and associated Environmental Applications.
The applications are supported by all of the JV partners including Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats), Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Mnombo Wethu Consultants (Mnombo).
President and CEO of Platinum Group R. Michael Jones states, “The filing of the Mining Right Application represents a significant milestone in the evolution of the Waterberg Project.
"First discovered in 2011, Waterberg has grown both in scale and stature to become a significant mineral asset and a rare, large scale, low cost primary palladium deposit.
"The project has the potential to positively impact South Africa’s economic development, creating high-value jobs and skills training opportunities for local residents.
"We look forward to ongoing interaction with all of our stakeholders, including government, local communities and our joint venture partners to help ensure the successful development and operation of the Waterberg Project.”
Waterberg represents a large scale resource of platinum group metals (PGM), including palladium, platinum and gold, with an attractive risk profile.
Given its shallow nature and ability to support a fully mechanized operation, the Waterberg Project has the potential to be amongst the lowest cost producers in the PGM sector.
A pre-feasibility study (“PFS”) was completed in 2016 and a definitive feasibility study (DFS) is in progress for completion in calendar Q1, 2019.
The DFS is considering two options including the 600 ktpm complex outlined in the PFS and a phased approach commencing with a smaller, 250 ktpm to 350 ktpm alternative. Stantec Consulting International LLC and DRA Projects are the lead independent project engineers.
Platinum Group currently holds an effective 50.02% interest in the Waterberg Project. Implats, the world’s second largest platinum producer, owns a 15% interest. Mnombo, a black empowerment company, holds a 26% interest.
The Company owns a 49.9% interest in Mnombo.
JOGMEC holds a 21.95% interest in the Waterberg Project and is in the process of transferring a 9.755% interest to Japanese conglomerate Hanwa.
Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited, a South African black empowerment investment holding company listed on the JSE with a US$1.1 billion market capitalization, owns a 15% stake in Platinum Group.
Implats is an active participant in the joint venture and holds an option to increase their stake to 50.01% following the completion of the DFS.
Implats has identified Waterberg as a potential low-cost alternative to deep conventional PGM mining, with an attractive metal balance for the future.
Palladium has been gaining market interest based on continued demand in the auto sector, due to a growing trend towards gasoline engines and hybrids that use palladium dominant catalysts.
Current Platinum Group Element (PGE) Probable Mineral Reserves at the Waterberg Project (100%) are 12.3 million ounces, comprising 61% palladium, 30% platinum, 8% gold and 1% rhodium plus 191 million and 333 million pounds of copper and nickel respectively and will be updated as part of the DFS.
Much of the Waterberg Project area remains to be drilled and assessed.
The Waterberg deposit remains open down dip and along strike.