Ivanhoe Mines recently announced that the company’s South African subsidiary, Ivanplats, has completed construction of the 996-metre-level station at the bottom of the project’s Shaft 1 – well ahead of the contractual schedule.
Shaft 1 now is positioned to be equipped as Platreef’s initial production shaft, if Ivanhoe chooses to proceed with phased development to expedite production at the tier-one palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-rhodium-gold project on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex.
“Given the flurry of recent transactions in precious metals markets, we are actively exploring a number of options that can help us unlock Platreef's extraordinary value for the benefit of all Ivanhoe stakeholders,” said Co-Chairmen Robert Friedland. “After all, Platreef is among this planet’s largest precious metals deposits.”
“Platreef now has a completed shaft within a few hundred metres of the initial high-grade mining zone. We have a mining licence, we have water, and we have a team of highly-skilled employees. The deposit has enormous quantities of palladium, platinum, rhodium, nickel and copper; and it has more ounces of gold than many leading gold mines,” Mr. Friedland added. “Given the current precious metals environment, I am confident that the pending studies will showcase the exceptional economics that one would expect from such a thick, high-grade and flat-lying deposit.”
The Platreef Project is owned by Ivanplats (Pty) Ltd, which is 64%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines. A 26% interest is held by Ivanplats’ historically-disadvantaged, broad-based, black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) partners, which include 20 local host communities with approximately 150,000 people, project employees and local entrepreneurs. A Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corporation, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Japan Gas Corporation owns a 10% interest in Ivanplats, which it acquired in two tranches for a total investment of $290 million.