In its operating and financial results for the three months ended November 30, 2016, Platinum Group Metals, listed on the TSX and NYSE MKT, reports that it currently focused on development and stoping in the best grade thickness areas in Block 11 of the Maseve mine in the Western Bushveld. Block 11 is modelled to be flat dipping with good grade and thickness and is the most important block in the near-term mine plan. It was accessed and opened for mining late in calendar 2016.
Redpath Mining South Africa, a subsidiary of Canadian headquartered Redpath Mining Contractors and Engineers, recently won the tender to provide bord and pillar mining, hybrid mechanised mining and ore transport from Block 11. Since June 2016 Redpath has been providing efficient long hole mining services in Blocks 9 and 12 of the Maseve mine, says PTM.
The new US$500 million Maseve platinum mine (photo: PTM).
The changeover to Redpath as the principal mining contractor at Maseve was undertaken with affected parties during the latter part of the first fiscal quarter ended November 30, 2016 and into early January 2017. The operational and administrative changeover is now well advanced.
Redpath has also entered into a letter of intent whereby it will install, operate and maintain a 1,0 km conveyor towards Block 11, linking into underground silos and the existing 1,4 km conveyor to surface and the 1,7 km conveyor system into the mill. The cost for the conveyor installation – estimated at R25 million – will be borne by Redpath which will recoup its investment by way of a per tonne charge now being negotiated. Redpath has also added four units to the trucking fleet on a rental basis to ensure efficient ore transport.
Comments R. Michael Jones, CEO of Platinum Group Metals: “We are pleased that after working with us on the mining of some of our smaller blocks, Redpath has won the tender to mine Block 11 and will become an important partner in the Maseve mine ramp up. Redpath will continue with mining in Blocks 9 and 12 and will take over ore transport for these blocks from the previous development contractor. Redpath is also scheduled to set up for mining in Block 16 early in 2017.”
During December 2016, Block 11 began to produce mined tonnes, contributing approximately 21,3 % (8 388 tonnes) of mined ore flow to monthly production. Double decline access and through ventilation to Block 11 was completed in late December 2106. Now that infrastructure is coming on line where needed, and with the contractor changeover being undertaken, Block 11 is scheduled to contribute approximately 50 % (30 000 tonnes) to mined ore flow in January 2017.
Mining rates in the second half of January 2017 and in the months ahead are scheduled to continue improving as Block 11 is further developed. During 2017, Block 11 is scheduled to build up to 70-80 % of mined ore flow. At full production Block 11 is planned to provide up to 76 000 tonnes of ore a month.