Platinum Group Metals (PTM)reports that the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (“DMRE”) of South Africa has notified the Company in writing that the Waterberg JV Resources (Pty) Ltd. Mining Right for the Waterberg Project (the “Waterberg Mining Right”) has been granted. The Waterberg Project is located on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa, approximately 85 km north of the town of Mokopane (formerly Potgietersrus).
A definitive feasibility study announced in September 2019 (the “Waterberg DFS”) models the Waterberg mine as a low cost, large-scale, shallow, decline-accessible, mechanised, palladium, platinum, gold, and rhodium (“4E” or “PGM”) mine with 19.5 million 4E ounces in proven and probable mineral reserves(1) and projects that the mine will produce 420,000 4E ounces per year at a steady state. The current basket price per 4E ounce of Waterberg PGMs is approximately US $2,100 and the Waterberg DFS estimated the life of mine cash cost per 4E ounce at the US $640. For further details, please refer to the Waterberg DFS (“Waterberg Project Definitive Feasibility Study and Mineral Resource Update – Bushveld Complex, South Africa” dated October 4, 2019, with an effective date for resources and reserves of September 4, 2019).
The Waterberg Mining Right has been granted in terms of section 23(1) of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (2002). After notarial execution, the Waterberg Mining Right will be registered at the Mining and Petroleum Titles Registration Office in South Africa. The Waterberg Mining Right was issued for an initial period of 30 years and maybe renewed for further periods, each of which may not exceed 30 years at a time. Mining will be subject to the Environmental Authorization granted on November 10, 2020, Water Use Licenses, and compliance with other legislation on an ongoing basis.
Platinum Group is the operator of the Waterberg Project on behalf of Waterberg JV Resources (Pty) Ltd. (“Waterberg JV Co.”), representing the owners of the project, being Platinum Group, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (“Implats”), Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (“JOGMEC”), Hanwa Co. Ltd. (“Hanwa”) and Mnombo Wethu Consultants (Pty) Ltd. (“Mnombo”).
Mlibo Mgudlwa, Vice President of Platinum Group Metals RSA (Pty) Ltd. (“PTM RSA”), said, “The mining right approval process is very thorough on environmental matters, social and labour plans and mine work programs. All participants, including government, communities, and interested parties, were engaged and the process was efficiently administered by the DMRE.”
The Company’s near-term objectives are to establish construction funding and concentrate offtake arrangements. With the Waterberg Mining Right now granted, the Company plans to consult with local communities and then commence with pre-construction work at the project site, including geotechnical drilling, power, water and road engineering works, completion of servitudes, construction camp design and establishment, and final equipment and infrastructure engineering and procurement.
The positive results of the Waterberg DFS provide a solid value assessment for the Waterberg Project. The long-term market outlook for the metals to be produced at Waterberg remains strong. The Company will follow government health directives in the months ahead. The health and safety of employees is a priority.