Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW — 25 February, 2008 – Xstrata Alloys and Nkwe Platinum Limited – through Nkwe’s South African subsidiary Nkwe Platinum De Wildt (NPDW) – have entered into an agreement whereby Xstrata is to acquire new order prospecting rights for the De Wildt project from Nkwe for US$12 million (R90 million).
The new order prospecting rights are held by NPDW primarily in respect of certain portions of the farms Zilkaatsnek 439JQ, Krelingspost 425 JQ and Schietfontein 437JQ, situated on the western Limb of the Bushveld Complex. Both properties are adjacent to Xstrata’s Elandsfontein mine and lie up-dip from the property held by Xstrata on the farm Hoekfontein 432JQ.
Xstrata acquired the Elandsfontein mine and the Hoekfontein property as part of the Eland Platinum transaction concluded in late 2007 for more than R1 billion.
“The new order prospecting rights constitute a natural extension to the existing opencast activities on the Elandsfontein mine,” said Xstrata Alloys CEO Peet Nienaber. “This acquisition marks a small but decisive step in the extension of Elandsfontein mine, and in the fulfillment of Xstrata’s PGM growth strategy,” he added.
Nkwe CEO Maredi Mphahlele commented: “The disposal of the De Wildt properties is in line with Nkwe’s strategic re-focus on its Eastern Limb properties to develop a world-class mine to market operation. With the recent removal of the Anglo Platinum claim over its core asset, and over US$25 million (almost R190 million) now available to fast-track the exploration and feasibility process on our flagship project,” he continued, “Nkwe is extremely well placed to deliver on its aggressive growth and value-add strategy for shareholders.”
In addition to existing projects with JORC resources of approximately 12m oz pgm+au, Nkwe Platinum has acquired a controlling interest in a quality land holding on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex. The project consists of five contiguous farms in strike length of more than 30km, stretching all the way from Implats Marula mine in the north, past Anglo Platinum’s Modikwa joint venture to the border of Eastplat’s Spitzkop-Kennedy Vale project in the south.
Nkwe Platinum’s Eastern Limb project is located in an established mining district with well developed infrastructure with a surface footprint of more than 10 500 hectares, underlain by both the Merensky Reef and UG2 chromotite seam from surface to a depth of 1,500m.