Waterberg JV Resources has been appointed to direct the ongoing Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the Waterberg Project by Platinum Group Metals. The scope of work and plans for the DFS have been agreed in detail by a technical committee which includes all of the Waterberg Project partners such as Impala Platinum, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Mnombo Wethu Consultants.

Full steam ahead for Waterberg feasibility studyStantec Consulting International and DRA Projects SA have been selected as the lead independent project engineers based on a detailed, professionally supervised tendering process. Stantec will focus on underground mining engineering and design and reserve estimation, while DRA will focus on metallurgy, plant design, infrastructure and cost estimation.

Seventeen drill rigs are on site and have commenced drilling with the objectives of defining the shallowest areas of the current 102 million tonne reserve for increased confidence and detailed mine planning and to upgrade a portion of the indicated resources to measured resources for reserve consideration in the DFS. Much of the Waterberg Project area still needs to be drilled and assessed.

The Waterberg Project has a number of highly attractive characteristics, which indicate it will be a low-cost, shallow, bulk mineable project with significant scale and growth potential, the project partners said in a statement. “The recent participation of Implats, the world’s second largest platinum producer with fully integrated mine to market operations, represents a significant step in the advancement of the Waterberg Project towards potential development and production,” the statement adds.

Current Platinum Group Element probable reserves at 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. These figures will be updated as part of the DFS.

The detailed scope of work for the DFS will investigate a 600 000 tonne per month mine (744,000 ounces PGEs per year) as well as a lower capital option at 250 000 to 350 000 tonnes per month. Early optimisation work by the project team detailing the potential of the lower capital option using three decline mechanised mining modules in sequence are encouraging, with potential for optimisinge the mine plan. Current drilling at Waterberg is focused on the higher-grade areas of the large-scale deposit.

The estimation of mineral reserves has taken into account environmental, permitting and legal, title, taxation, socio-economic, marketing and political factors. Based on the cut-off grade and a maximum depth cut-off of 1,250 metres the probable reserve will support an 18-year mine life.

“We are very pleased with the work completed by the Technical Committee. The mine building and operating experience of the technical team, including Implats and the newly appointed engineers, alongside our own discovery team, are working with an excellent ‘best for value of the project’ attitude. In our joint venture, we have perspectives ranging from geology to metals marketing, including contributions from South Africa, the USA, Canada and Japan. Waterberg, which is palladium dominant, is modelled for fully mechanised production and has the potential to be among the lowest operating cost mines in the PGM sector,” says R. Michael Jones, CEO of Platinum Group.

Image credithttp://www.platinumgroupmetals.net/projects/waterberg/default.aspx


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