Head gear at the first shaft at the Platreef project. (Credit: Ivanhoe Mines)
SOUTH AFRICA – Ivanhoe Mines has released the definitive feasibility study for phase one of its Platreef platinum group-nickel-copper-gold project 280 km northeast of Johannesburg. The first phase of the project will produce 476,000 oz. of platinum group metals and 33 million lb. of nickel and copper annually.
The study covers construction of a modern underground mine, concentrator and other infrastructure to reach production by early 2022. The first phase includes development of the Flatreef deposit with a projected 32-year life and a capex of US$1.5 billion. The project has an after tax net present value (8% discount) of US$916 million and an after tax internal rate of return of 14.2%.
Using a PGM and gold cut-off of 3 g/t, Platreef has an indicated resource of 204 million tonnes grading 4.7 g/t PGM+gold, 0.18% copper and 0.35% nickel containing 13.9 million oz of platinum, 13.9 million oz. of palladium, 2.2 million oz. of gold, 800 million lb. of copper and 1.6 billion lb. of nickel. The inferred resource is 225 million tonnes at 4.29 g/t PGM+gold, 0.17% copper, 0.35% nickel with 13.8 million oz. of platinum, 14.0 million oz. of palladium, 2.3 million oz. of gold, 865 million lb. of copper, and 1.7 billion lb. of nickel.
Ivanhoe says the Platreef mine will be Africa’s lowest cost producer of PGMs, with a cash cost of US$351 per oz. PGM plus gold, net of by-products and including sustaining capital costs. The company believes the project could be easily and cheaply expanded from the initial 4.0 million t/y to 6.0 million or 8.0 million t/y.
Additional details of the Platreef project are posted at www.IvanhoeMines.com. The feasibility study should be available there shortly.