Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 17 November 2008 – Anooraq Resources Corporation – a Canadian-incorporated BEE company focused on platinum group metals (PGM) on the Bushveld Complex – has agreed to review its Lebowa projects with its partner, Anglo Platinum.
A media release issued here gave an update on the proposed transaction announced in April this year, whereby Anooraq would purchase from Anglo Platinum Limited an effective 51% of the Lebowa Platinum Mine and an effective 1% controlling interest in each of the Ga-Phasha, Boikgantsho and Kwanda joint venture projects, currently 50-50 joint ventures between the two companies.
That announcement revealed that a component of the transaction was the development and financing of the Middelpunt Hill UG2 expansion project at Lebowa. It was announced that the MPH Project would be developed by Anooraq and Anglo Platinum as part of the then current mine plan and capital development programme for Lebowa, which had been approved by Anglo Platinum in May 2007. However, during the period July 2008 to October 2008, global economic conditions deteriorated significantly, contributing to a material decline in platinum group metal prices and resulting in constrained debt and equity capital markets.
Anglo Platinum then announced that it was reviewing the costing and scheduling of all its capital projects, including the MPH Project, in light of current metal price levels and uncertainty in global markets. Anooraq confirmed this weekend that it was participating in the review of the MPH Project costing and scheduling. Furthermore, Anglo Platinum and Anooraq have agreed to review the current Anglo Platinum approved mine plan and capital programme at Lebowa.
The media release went on to say that as a result of these developments, Anglo Platinum and its parent company, Anglo American plc – and Anooraq and its largest shareholder, Pelawan Investments (Pty) Ltd – were currently in advanced stage discussions surrounding the transaction, as well as the associated financing strategy, and would provide a detailed transaction update to the market as soon as possible after such discussions had been concluded.
It emphasised that the parties remained committed to concluding the transaction as soon as practically possible. However, the transaction would not close on November 30, 2008, as originally anticipated. The parties were confident, however, that it would close during the first quarter of 2009.