CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – Ivanhoe Mines has announced at the African Mining Indaba Conference, the completion of the Shaft 1 production changeover at the company’s tier-one Platreef palladium, rhodium, nickel, platinum, copper and gold project in South Africa.
Shaft 1 will serve as Platreef’s initial production shaft and is approximately 450 metres away from the first high-grade area of the Flatreef orebody scheduled to be mined during Phase 1 production. On April 22, 2022, Ivanplats celebrated the first blast at Platreef’s 950-metre level, marking the commencement of lateral mine development, with first production anticipated in the third quarter of 2024.
Platreef’s Phase 2, 5.2-million-tonnes-per-annum steady state production rate would rank it as the world’s fifth largest primary platinum-group metals mine on a palladium equivalent basis, with annual forecast production of more than 590,000 ounces of palladium, platinum, rhodium and gold, plus more than 40 million pounds of nickel and copper.
Underground mine development will use battery-electric M2C drill rigs and 14-tonne load haul dumpers being manufactured by Epiroc, a leading mining equipment manufacturer, at its facilities in Örebro, Sweden. The partnership with Epiroc for emissions-free mining equipment is an important first step toward reducing the carbon footprint of the mine, with learnings to be applied across all of Ivanhoe Mines’ operations.
“The completion of changeover is another noteworthy milestone in the growth of Ivanhoe Mines into a major, diversified miner; one with top ESG credentials and an industry-leading portfolio of tier-one assets,” said Ms. Cloete. “Given our string of successes at Kamoa-Kakula, Platreef, Kipushi, and Western Foreland, it is a great time to be part of the exceptional Ivanhoe team, and continue our track record of delivering world-scale projects on schedule and on budget. I’m extremely proud of how we all work together to keep things on the right track.”
“Platreef is very scalable. The Phase 1 mine is only the beginning of a multi-stage, multi-generational mining complex underpinned by an enormous, high-grade resource and vast exploration upside. Future expansions to 12 million tonnes of ore per annum and beyond, as demonstrated in previous studies, would position Platreef among the world’s largest and lowest-cost nickel and PGM mines: producing more than 24,000 tonnes of nickel and 1.1 million ounces of palladium, rhodium, platinum and gold per year. We expect Platreef to join Kamoa-Kakula in our portfolio as a long-life, leading producer of critical metals that provides outstanding returns for our shareholders and local communities.”
“Platreef is well on track for historic first PGM and base metal production by the third quarter of 2024,” Mr. Friedland said. “Since acquiring the Macalacaskop and Turfspruit prospecting permits in 1998, Ivanplats has successfully advanced Platreef to where it is today – the world’s greatest precious metals deposit under development, with a peerless endowment of palladium, rhodium, platinum, and gold; as well as highly significant quantities of strategic ‘electric’ metals such as nickel and copper. We are counting down to production less than 30 months from now, and this achievement will only mark our first milestone. We plan to expand this tier-one operation into one of the largest and lowest-cost, integrated PGM operations on the planet … all while creating a world-scale, long-life economic driver for South Africa, and generating outstanding returns on capital for a major, disruptive mine.
“Platreef will align with our goal of ‘re-inventing mining’ and leverage the most sustainable technologies available … as evidenced by our commitment to zero-emission, battery-powered equipment, green solar power, and the adoption of the safest possible tailings method utilizing dry-stack technology, which has the added benefit of minimizing water consumption. We will build on our achievements at the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and leverage the valuable experiences from its industry leading phased development model, to build South Africa’s next great PGM complex.
Finally, let us also not forget … Platreef still has vast potential to significantly expand an already enormous resource base … as well as a plethora of new nickel-sulphide exploration opportunities, many of which are near surface.”
Ivanhoe Mines is a leading Canadian mining company developing and expanding its four principal mining and exploration projects in Southern Africa: the Kamoa-Kakula copper mining complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that began commercial operations in July 2021; the Platreef palladium, rhodium, nickel, platinum, copper and gold discovery in South Africa; the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-lead-germanium mine in the DRC; and the expansive exploration program for new copper discoveries on Ivanhoe’s Western Foreland exploration licences, near Kamoa-Kakula.