Eastern Platinum retreatment projects review

Vancouver, British Columbia – Eastern Platinum Limited (Eastplats) has provided the Retreatment Project operations technical summary for 2019 and 2020. The Retreatment Project is operated by the Company’s subsidiary, Barplats Mines (Pty) Ltd. (Barplats) at its Crocodile River Mine property in South Africa.

The Retreatment Project is a proprietary operation in South Africa producing chrome concentrates. It includes a combined hydro and mechanical re-mining method, magnetic separation applied to produce chrome concentrates, thus obtaining superior yield result compared to traditional gravity technology. The Retreatment Project is the only large-scale magnetic separation application in South Africa.

Since 2017 Barplats has grown from 100 employees to over 350 contractors and employees engaged in supporting the Retreatment Project. The current Retreatment Project is expected to continue operating into 2024.

The key highlights of the Retreatment Project are as follows:

Total tons of tailings re-mined to December 31, 2020 = 4,107,257, with annual production levels as follows:

  • 2019 = 1,778,525
  • 2020 = 2,328,732

Total tons of chrome concentrate produced to December 31, 2020 = 1,575,009, with annual production levels as follows:

  • 2019 = 588,006
  • 2020 = 987,003

Recoveries of chrome – Yields (wet)

  • 2019 – 32.63%
  • 2020 – 37.47%

Availability of the Retreatment Project as a 24-hour continuous operation (including chrome recovery plant, deposition and remining on the tailings dam) including planned maintenance has improved significantly from 76.43% in 2019 to 85.71% in 2020.

PGM Update

The two years of successfully operating the Retreatment Project has laid the ground work to acquire the technical knowledge, confirm the upgrade required in the feed as well as establish the financial resources required to restart the PGM operations.

Eastplats is currently reconfiguring and optimizing the small-scale PGM circuit (previously the scavenger plant circuit) (PGM Circuit D) which also includes funding for some of the initial work required to restart the main PGM plant circuit (PGM Main Circuit) and the Company estimates the work to be completed before March 12. The extraction of PGMs will generate additional revenue sources and create new employment opportunities.

Barplats has entered into an agreement with Advanced Beneficiation Technologies of South Africa to complete an independent feasibility study for the development and construction of a new modular plant with a capacity to process the PGMs from the tailings redeposited from the Retreatment Project at a designated area of the Zandfontein Tailings Dam at an expected rate of 50,000 tons per month (the Circuit H Project).

The Circuit H Project is being pursued to provide the opportunity to remine the tailings already deposited from the beginning of the Retreatment Project and extract additional value from PGMs.

The Feasibility Study is in its final stages and the results are expected by the end of March 2021. The process was delayed by COVID-19 related impacts, particularly as it relates to the assay labs.

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