SOUTH AFRICA – Executives at Vancouver’s Ivanhoe Mines welcomed the positive pre-feasibility study for its Platreef PGM-nickel-copper project in Limpopo state. The study examined the first phase of development of a 4.0 million t/y underground mine and concentrator.
Ivanhoe owns 64% of the Platreef project and is the operator. A black economic empowerment partner holds a 26% stake, and a Japanese consortium holds a 10% stake.
Three phases of development are planned. After the initial 4.0 million t/y phase, capacity will be doubled to 8.0 million t/y, and the final phase will see throughput raised again, this time to 12.0 million t/y.
The Platreef pre-production capital requirement is estimated at US$1.2 billion, including a contingency fund of US$114 million. That will create a project with an initial average annual production of 433,000 oz of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (3PE+Au) as well as 19 billion lb of nickel and 12 million lb of copper. Ivanhoe believes that cash costs will be low at US$322 per oz of 3PE+Au. Concentrate production could begin in 2019.
The Platreef project has an after tax net present value of US$972 million (8% discount) and internal rate of return of 13%.
Click here to read the detailed news release of the proposed Platreef project.