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Limpopo Business 2020/21 edition

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  • Platinum
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OVERVIEW Platinum Group

OVERVIEW Platinum Group Metals Ltd. is the operator of the Waterberg Project but the joint venture (JV) includes Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats), JOGMEC (Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation), Hanwa Co (a Japanese trading company) and Mnombo Wethu Consultants (the BEE partner). The shareholding agreement was amended somewhat in February 2020 when Implats agreed to fund 100% of a new implementation budget and work programme. Implats also has an interest in two big operations on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex. Marula (in which Implats is a 73% shareholder) is in Limpopo province, about 50km north of Burgersfort. South of the same town, in Mpumalanga, Implats (49%) is in a joint venture with African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) at the Two Rivers mine. south of Thabazimbi. By building a second furnace at the facility, Northam is making provision for reaching a goal of processing one-million ounces of PGMs. The cost of the expansion, which was partly born by Heraeus, is R900-million. Heraeus South Africa has offices in Gauteng and runs a precious metal chemical compounds production and refinery site in Port Elizabeth. Image: Anglo American The Waterberg reserves and resources of PGMs are 63% palladium. Mining Technology has previously reported that the developed mine could produce as much as 744 000oz platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold and 23Mlb of nickel and copper on an annual basis. This would make it one of the biggest PGM mines in the world. Impala Platinum has made a bid to add to its South African and Zimbabwean assets through the purchase of Canadian mining firm, North American Palladium. The bid for R11.4-billion would give Implats a pure palladium mine and increase its geographical footprint. The sale in late 2018 of Glencore’s stake in the Mototolo PGM mine and chrome plant marked the end of that company’s foray into platinum. The purchase of Glencore’s 39% stake takes Amplats share in the complex up to 89%, giving Amplats access to a further 130 000oz of platinum and improving the prospects of working on the adjacent Der Brochen. The deal was worth about R1.5-billion. Eland mine, after being put on care and maintenance, was sold in 2017 by Glencore to Northam for R175-million. In 2019 plans were being put in place to reopen the mine because of higher prices for rhodium. The company intends spending R300-million at Eland and R1.5-billion at Booysendal. Northam bought the Tumela block from Amplats and invested heavily in a smelter expansion project at its Zondereinde mine just The future of platinum Two of South Africa’s foremost platinum mining companies have joined forces to support BASF in the development of an automotive catalyst that uses less palladium. The research and development project is backed by Sibanye-Stillwater and Implats. The German chemical group has found a way to replace some of the palladium and the rhodium, both minerals that are in short supply globally, with platinum. Platinum is routinely used in diesel engine catalysts, but this latest adaptation will significantly increase its usefulness. The device is known as the tri-metal catalyst. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21 42

Mothena Shirley Matlala, Mothena Diesel Mechanic, Shirley Matlala, Diesel Platreef Mechanic, Project Platreef Project On June 13, 2020, Ivanhoe Mines’ South African subsidiary, Ivanplats, successfully completed the sinking of Shaft 1 to a final On June 13, 2020, Ivanhoe Mines’ South African subsidiary, depth of 996 metres below surface, at the company’s palladium, Ivanplats, successfully completed the sinking of Shaft 1 to a final depth platinum, of 996 nickel, metres copper, below surface, gold and at the rhodium company’s Platreef palladium, mining platinum, licence, near nickel, Mokopane. copper, gold and rhodium Platreef mining licence, near Mokopane. Ivanhoe is particularly pleased that the project remains ‘Fall-of- Ivanhoe Ground’ is incident particularly free pleased since shaft-sinking that the project operations remains ‘Fall-ofbegan in Ground’ July 2016, incident which free is a tribute since shaft-sinking to the excellent operations work by the began Platreef in July Project 2016, team which and is its a tribute South African to the excellent sinking contractor, work by the Moolmans. Platreef Project team and its South African sinking contractor, Moolmans. The Platreef Project has long been recognized as one of The the Platreef world’s Project largest has deposits long of been high-grade recognized platinum-group as one of the metals, world’s (PGMs) largest nickel deposits and copper. of high-grade With the sinking platinum-group of Shaft 1 metals, now complete, (PGMs) nickel Ivanplats and copper. is exploring With near-term the sinking development of Shaft 1 now pathways complete, at Platreef. Ivanplats is exploring near-term development pathways at Platreef. We are confident that the project will, in time, become one of the We world’s are confident largest and that lowest-cost the project will, primary in time, producers become of one platinumgroup largest metals and provide lowest-cost long-lasting primary producers and meaningful of platinum- benefits of the world’s group to all metals of our and stakeholders, provide long-lasting including the and 20 meaningful local communities benefits − to comprising all of our approximately stakeholders, including 150,000 local the 20 Mokopane local communities area residents − comprising – that are our approximately equity partners. 150,000 local Mokopane area residents – that are our equity partners. Ivanhoe is not a conventional mining company. Our diverse team Ivanhoe is building is not something a conventional different mining and company. exciting. Our We are diverse committed team is to building discovering something and developing different and modern, exciting. leading-edge We are committed mines that to provide discovering secure, and socio-environmentally developing modern, leading-edge responsible access mines to that key provide raw materials secure, as socio-environmentally the world embraces an responsible electric future. access to key raw materials as the world embraces an electric future. Limpopo Business Journal - Platreef.indd 1 Limpopo Business Journal - Platreef.indd 1 2020-06-29 8:12:38 AM 2020-06-29 8:12:38 AM

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