Ivanhoe Mines has announced outstanding positive findings of an independent Platreef 2022 Feasibility Study for the Platreef palladium, rhodium, nickel, platinum, copper and gold project in South Africa, which ranks as world’s largest precious metals deposit under development.
The company said that Platreef’s Phase 1 mine is in construction, advancing towards first production in Q3 2024, and that the project’s Phase 2, 5.2-Mtpa steady state production rate would rank it as the world’s fifth largest primary platinum-group metals (PGM) mine.
On a palladium equivalent basis, its annual forecast production is more than 590,000 ounces of palladium, platinum, rhodium and gold, plus more than 40 million pounds of nickel and copper.
Importantly, the project’s 2022 Feasibility Study yields an after-tax NPV8% of US$1.7 billion and IRR of 18.5% at long-term consensus metal prices, with after-tax NPV8% improving to US$4.1 billion and IRR to 29.3% at current spot metal prices.
“2022 Feasibility Study confirms Platreef’s potential to be the industry’s largest and lowest-cost primary PGM producer,” the company said in a statement.
The Platreef project, which includes an underground deposit of thick, high-grade PGE-nickel-copper-gold mineralization discovered by Ivanhoe’s geologists, is in the northern limb of the Bushveld Complex approximately 11 kilometres from Mokopane, and 280 kilometres northeast of Johannesburg.
Platreef’s Indicated Mineral Resources contain an estimated 18.9 million ounces of palladium, 18.7 million ounces of platinum, 3.1 million ounces of gold, and 1.2 million ounces of rhodium (a combined 41.9 million ounces PGMs plus gold), plus 2.4 billion pounds of nickel and 1.2 billion pounds of copper, at a 2.0 g/t 3PE+Au cut-off.
Platreef’s Inferred Mineral Resources contain an additional 23.8 million ounces of palladium, 23.2 million ounces of platinum, 4.3 million ounces of gold, and 1.6 million ounces of rhodium (a combined 52.8 million ounces PGMs plus gold), plus 3.4 billion pounds of nickel and 1.78 billion pounds of copper, also at a 2.0 g/t 3PE+Au cut-off.