HomeNewsSmokey Hills project moves ahead

Smokey Hills project moves ahead

Diamond drill rig
at Smokey Hills,
with helicopter flying
airborne magnetic
survey overhead
Perth, Western Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 27 February, 2008 – Platinum Australia Limited (PLA) – the Australian-based company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and the London AIM – says it has reached another milestone, and is well underway with its Smokey Hills PGM project – situated on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa.

In a statement released here today, PLA confirmed that it had signed the formal engineering, construction and project management (EPCM) contract for the processing plant and related infrastructure at the Smokey Hills PGM project, with GRD Minproc (Pty) Ltd.

“With construction at the Smokey Hills site now in full swing we are obviously very pleased to have signed the formal EPCM contract with Minproc, following the award of this contract to them last year,” said PLA managing director John Lewins.

“The majority of equipment has now been ordered, the major construction contracts awarded and the detailed design completed,” he added, “so we are now fully focused on site construction activities. Although heavy rains and unexpected rock formations have caused some delays to the project schedule, at this point we are still anticipating first ore feed in July 2008. In addition, we have the open pit mining operations underway with the mining contractor having commenced work on site in the last week,” he said.

“We have finished a bankable feasibility study,” Lewins continued. “It will be an open pit and underground mine with a resource of 4.6 Mt at 5.11 g/t of 4E PGM, and a standard UG2 concentrator treating 720 000 tpa. This will yield around 100 000 oz pa over a seven-year life, with an expected recovery of 85%,” he added, “although we are obviously looking to extend that in the future.”

Average production will be in the vicinity of 95 000 oz of 4E PGM pa, according to Lewins. “The initial capital outlay will be in the vicinity of US$40 million (more than R300 million), with ongoing spending totaling another US$14 million (over R100 million),” he confirmed. “We are looking at US$500 million (about R3.7 billion) in net cash flow over the seven years, which makes it a relatively attractive prospect.”