Engineering & Mining Journal

NOV 2017

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 83

NEWS-LEADING DEVELOPMENTS 6 E&MJ • NOVEMBER 2017 15% interest in the Waterberg platinum group metals (PGM) development project, with an option to acquire majority owner- ship following completion of a definitive feasibility study (DFS). Located on the northern limb of South Africa's Bushveld complex, Waterberg hosts a large-scale PGM resource with an attractive risk pro- file given its shallow nature, which will facilitate fully mechanized production. Under the terms of the agreements and subject to various conditions, Implats will pay $30 million in cash to acquire a 15% shareholding in the project from PTM and JOGMEC. Implats will then be closely in- volved with the DFS process, which is in- tended to examine alternative options to establish a preferred development path. Implats will have 90 business days following approval of the DFS to deter- mine whether it wishes to exercise an option to acquire control of the project and a further 90 business days to confirm acceptable financing arrangements. Sub- ject to any necessary adjustments, Im- plats would obtain a 50.01% sharehold- ing by purchasing an additional 12.195% equity interest from JOGMEC for $34.8 million and by contributing $130 million into Waterberg in return for an addition- al 22.815% equity interest. This capital would be contributed as required to fund the development of the project, which would be managed by Implats. The parties have also reached an agree- ment to ensure there will be participation in the Waterberg project by appropriately broad-based empowerment groupings. "We have made it a priority to increase Implats' strategic optionality, and this investment represents an important step to create the potential to develop a signifi- cant, lower-cost, lower-risk resource," said Implats CEO Nico Muller. "We look for- ward to working with PTM, JOGMEC and Mnombo on the feasibility study process." The agreements also provide Implats with a right of first refusal to smelt and refine Waterberg concentrate. JOGMEC will retain certain metal-marketing rights to final metal. "We are extremely excited about the participation of Implats in the Water- berg project," said PTM CEO R. Michael Jones. "Implats will be fully involved in the Waterberg DFS, and the fully integrat- ed nature of Implats' business also offers a clear potential roadmap to market for Waterberg production. It is very satisfying to see the Waterberg discovery recognized and advanced by Implats." Current PGM probable reserves at Wa- terberg total 12.3 million oz, comprising 61% palladium, 30% platinum, 8% gold, and 1% rhodium, plus 191 million lb of copper and 333 million lb of nickel. Much of the Waterberg project area remains to be drilled and assessed. The deposit re- mains open down dip and along strike. Canadian Zinc Expands Prairie Creek Project Canadian Zinc Corp. has reported prelim- inary results from a feasibility study of its underground Prairie Creek zinc-lead-silver project in the Northwest Territories, Cana- da. The feasibility study expands on a pre- liminary feasibility study (PFS) completed in 2016 and confirms that the Prairie Creek project can support a significant increase in the mining rate and mill throughput, enabling production of higher quantities of zinc, lead and silver at lower operating costs than those presented in the PFS. The Prairie Creek project benefits from previous project development, including installation of a mill and underground mine development, that was nearly com- pleted in 1982 before the silver price col- lapsed and halted work on the project. The current feasibility study calls for production of approximately 65,000 met- ric tons per year (mt/y) of zinc concen - trate and 72,000 mt/y of lead concen- trate, containing an average of 95 million pounds per year (lb/y) of zinc, 105 million lb/y of lead, and 2.1 million oz/y of silver. The mining rate is planned at 1,600 mt/ day (d), an increase of 18.5% over the PFS, and mill throughput after dense me- dia separation processing is planned at 1,200 mt/d, up 25% from the PFS. Capital costs to develop the Prairie Creek project are estimated at $279 mil- lion, including contingency. The post-tax payback period is estimated at 4.6 years from mill startup. Project development is based on a cur- rent proven and probable reserve of 8.1 million mt at a combined grade of 16.75% lead and zinc, plus 124 g/mt silver. Located on the northern limb of South Africa's Bushveld complex, Waterberg hosts a large-scale PGM resource with an attractive risk profile given its shallow nature. (Continued on p. 24)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Engineering & Mining Journal - NOV 2017