Vancouver, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 17 April 2008 – Anooraq Resources Corporation – a Canadian-incorporated BEE company focused on platinum group metals (PGM) on the Bushveld Complex – has finalised a R3.6 billion agreement in a major move towards converting from an exploration and development company into a significant independent PGM producer.
An Anooraq announcement here confirms that the deal was with Anglo Platinum Limited for the acquisition of a majority interest in the operating Lebowa Platinum Mines, together with an additional 1% controlling interest in their Ga-Phasha, Boikgantsho and Kwanda joint venture projects.
To date, Anooraq has been actively engaged in the exploration and development of PGM mineral properties in the Bushveld Complex. The company’s primary assets are Ga-Phasha, Boikgantsho and Kwanda, which were held as 50/50 joint ventures with Anglo Platinum before the new agreements gained an additional 1% to give Anooraq a controlling interest.
Anooraq acting president and CEO Tumelo Motsisi commented: “This transaction is a win-win for both parties. It represents a solid foundation for Anooraq to fulfill its objective of becoming a significant PGM producer, and it creates a good platform for enhancing our existing relationships with Anglo Platinum”
Current production at the Lebowa platinum mine stands at approximately 130 000 tpm of ore, of which 85 000 tpm is Merensky from the existing vertical shaft and the UM2 incline shaft, and 45 000 tpm is UG2, currently mined from the Middelpunt Hill adits. It’s been confirmed that Anglo Platinum has approved a long-term plan for Lebowa which essentially involves the doubling of existing production by 2013, and tripling of existing production by around 2020.
The Ga Phasha PGM project has measured and indicated resources amounting to 24 Moz of 4E, plus inferred resources of 60 Moz.. The initial intention is to mine 250 000 tpm of UG2 ore and produce approximately 270 000 oz pa of 4E, but this will be reviewed on implementation of the Lebowa acquisition and further technical work that has been completed on the Merensky reef.
The Boikgantsho PGM project – which is adjacent to Anglo Platinum’s PPRust mine – has indicated resources of 7.7 Moz of 3E and 230 000t of nickel, plus inferred resources amounting to 4.1 Moz of 3E and 75 000t of nickel. A preliminary assessment on Boikgantsho has indicated the potential for a 32-year life open-pit mining and milling operation at a mining rate of approximately 400 000 tpm.