Mining zones in the current Ivanplats’ Platreef mine plan occur at depths ranging from approximately 700 metres to 1,200 metres below surface. Once expanded mine production is achieved, primary access to the mine will be by way of a 1,104-metre-deep, 10-metre-diameter production shaft (Shaft 2).
Secondary access to the mine will be via the 996-metre-deep, 7.25-metre-diameter ventilation shaft (Shaft 1) that recently has been sunk to its final depth. During mine production, both shafts also will serve as ventilation intakes. Three additional ventilation exhaust raises (Ventilation Raise 1, 2, and 3) are planned to achieve steady-state production.
Mining will be performed using highly-productive mechanized methods, including long-hole stoping and drift-and-fill. Each method will utilize cemented backfill for maximum ore extraction. The orebody was targeted to recover approximately 125 million tonnes at the highest net smelter return.
The production plans in both the PEA’s initial five-year drift-and-fill mining operation off of Shaft 1 and the larger FS expansion are focused on maximizing higher-grade areas, which was achieved through optimization based on stope locations, stope grades, mining method, and zone productivities.
The ore will be hauled from the stopes to a series of internal ore passes and fed to the bottom of Shaft 2, where it will be crushed and hoisted to surface.
In February 2021, Ivanplats signed a non-binding term sheet with Orion Mine Finance, a leading international provider of production-linked stream financing to base and precious metals mining companies, for a $300 million gold, palladium and platinum streaming facility.
The streaming facility is planned to be drawn down in four separate tranches, as needed, in parallel with the engineering studies to upgrade the Platreef 2020 PEA to a feasibility study and the changeover of Platreef’s Shaft 1 to a production shaft.
Ivanplats also appointed two prominent, international commercial banks – Societe Generale and Nedbank – as mandated lead arrangers for a senior project debt facility of up to $120 million. The senior project debt facility is scheduled to be utilized only after the streaming facility is fully drawn down.
Definitive terms and conditions of the debt facility are subject to the completion of the feasibility study for Platreef’s phased development plan, completion of due diligence and structuring, as well as negotiation and execution of definitive documentation. Terms and conditions of the debt facility will be made available when finalized.