Modern Mining

Ivanhoe Mines’ Executive Chairman Robert Friedland, CEO Lars-Eric Johansson and Platreef Project Managing Director Patricia Makhesha have welcomed the positive findings of an independent Definitive Feasibility Study ( DFS ) of the planned initial 4 Mt/a mine and concentrator in the first phase of development of the company’s Platreef mine.

The Platreef project, which contains the Flatreef deposit, is a Tier One discovery by Ivanhoe Mines’ geologists on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex.

Positive DFS on Ivanhoes Platreef projectMembers of the Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers visiting the Platreef mine in July 2017 (photo: Ivanhoe).

Ivanhoe Mines plans to develop the Platreef mine in three phases: an initial rate of 4 Mt/a to establish an operating platform to support future expansions; a doubling of production to 8 Mt/a; and a third phase expansion to a steady-state 12 Mt/a.

The DFS covers the first phase of development that would include construction of a state-of-the-art underground mine, concentrator and other associated infrastructure to support initial concentrate production by early 2022.

“The completion of the definitive feasibility study for the first phase of production is another key milestone in Ivanhoe’s planned transformation of the Platreef discovery into one of the pre-eminent South African producers of platinum-group metals,” said Friedland.

Friedland said the results reported in the new study demonstrate Platreef’s robust economics, which first were highlighted in the March 2014 preliminary economic assessment and further reinforced by the January 2015 pre-feasibility study.

“Now this definitive study has confirmed the technical viability of what is projected to be the world’s lowest-cost, and in time expected to be the largest, single primary producer of platinum group metals.

“Despite lower metal prices used in the Definitive Feasibility Study compared to the 2015 pre-feasibility study , we have maintained the excellent economics of the Platreef project due, in part, to the mine optimisation work completed with assistance from industry-leading experts, such as Whittle Consulting of Melbourne, Australia. Even at today’s spot metal prices, the Platreef project would generate an operating margin in excess of 40 %,” Friedland added.

Highlights of the DFS include a planned initial average annual production rate of 476 000 ounces of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (3PE+Au), plus 21 million pounds of nickel and 13 million pounds of copper. The estimated pre-production capital requirement is approximately US$1,5 billion, at a rand/US dollar exchange rate of 13 to 1.

Platreef would rank at the bottom of the cash-cost curve, at an estimated US$351 per ounce of 3PE+Au produced, net of by-products and including sustaining capital costs, and US$326 per ounce before sustaining capital costs.

Mining zones in the current Platreef mine plan occur at depths ranging from approximately 700 m to 1 200 m below surface. Primary access to the mine will be by way of a 1 104-m-deep, 10 m diameter production shaft (Shaft 2). Secondary access to the mine will be via a 980-m-deep, 7,25-m diameter ventilation shaft (Shaft 1), which is currently under construction. During mine production, both shafts also will serve as ventilation intakes. Three additional ventilation exhaust raises (Ventilation Raise 1, 2, and 3) are planned to achieve steady-state production.

Mining will be performed using highly productive mechanised methods, including long-hole stoping and drift-and-fill. Each method will utilise cemented backfill for maximum ore extraction. The current mine plan has been improved over the 2015 PFS mine plan by optimising stope design, employing a declining Net Smelter Return (NSR) strategy and targeting higher-grade zones early in the mine life.

The ore will be hauled from the stopes to a series of internal ore passes and fed to the bottom of Shaft 2, where it will be crushed and hoisted to surface.

Shaft 1 sinking continues to advance at a rate of 45 to 50 metres per month, and has reached a depth of 450 m below surface. Shaft 1 is expected to reach its projected, final depth of 980 m below surface in 2018. The first lateral development off-shaft at 450 m below surface is underway. This station will serve as an intermediate water pumping and shaft cable termination station.

Early-works surface construction for Shaft 2 began in late May 2017. It includes the excavation of a surface box-cut to a depth of approximately 29 m below surface and construction of the concrete hitch for the 103-m high concrete headgear (headframe) that will house the shaft’s permanent hoisting facilities and support the shaft collar. The early-works construction is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months.

On July 19, 2017, Ivanhoe Mines announced the appointment of two leading mine-financing institutions, in addition to the three leading financial institutions appointed earlier this year, to arrange project financing for the development of the Platreef project. The five Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers (IMLAs) will make best efforts to arrange a total debt financing of up to US$1 billion for the development of Platreef’s first-phase mine. Preliminary expressions of interest now have been received for approximately US$900 million of the targeted US$1 billion financing.

Contact Modern Mining

Title: Editor
Name: Arthur Tassell
Email: mining@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Bennie Venter
Email: benniev@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

BANNER 9

 
Full Name*
Invalid Input

Company Name*
Invalid Input

Your Email*
Invalid Input

Phone*
Invalid Input

Postal Address 1*
Invalid Input

Postal Address 2*
Invalid Input

Postal Code*
Invalid Input

Street Address 1
Invalid Input

Street Address 2
Invalid Input

Postal Code
Invalid Input

Town / City*
Invalid Input

Country*
Invalid Input

Magazine

Invalid Input

Invalid Input