"ON TRACK FOR NEAR-TERM PRODUCTION"
/NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR OVER UNITED STATES
TORONTO, July 22 /CNW/ - Platmin Limited ("Platmin", TSX/AIM: PPN) is
pleased to advise the appointment of the contract mining company, MCC
Contracts (Pty) Ltd ("MCC") to conduct the open-cast mining operations at its
Pilanesberg platinum mine in South Africa's western Bushveld Complex.
The ZAR 4.8 bn (approximately US$ 596 million) contract will be in effect
for the first six years of the mine's scheduled thirteen year operating life.
MCC has more than 20 years of experience in platinum mining, and is presently
operating open-cast mining for other platinum producers such as Zimplats,
Aquarius, Lonmin, and Xstrata. It is anticipated that MCC will directly employ
more than 500 people from the areas surrounding the Pilanesberg mine.
Platmin's Pilanesberg platinum mine is anticipated to start production of
PGM concentrate in early 2009, rapidly building up to steady state levels of
250,000 oz (3PGE+Au) per annum by mid-year of 2009.
Platmin CEO Ian Watson commented, "I am very pleased to welcome the MCC
team to our Pilanesberg project as they bring vast experience on open-cast PGM
mining in Southern Africa and have managed to secure critical mining fleet
early on in the project. With this major contract in place we are now better
placed to predict our operating costs for the project and progress to
production with greater cost certainty. Fortunately being an open-cast mining
project these costs have not been directly affected by the recent Eskom power
cost increases. The Board is confident that this project will be amongst the
lowest cost producers within the South African platinum industry."
Due to early availability the mining equipment is being brought on site
ahead of the original schedule and the stripping of overburden started early
in March of this year. MCC is presently 'ramping up' the overburden extraction
rates from July to approximately 1 million tonnes per month. The mining and
stockpiling of ore from the surface outcrop is scheduled to commence in
September of this year. The mining schedule is expected to be approximately
three months ahead of the original bankable feasibility study ("BFS")
Terry Holohan, Platmin COO, said earlier today, "The project is firmly on
track to meet our production timetables as outlined in our BFS. The plant
construction is on schedule and on budget with over 85% of the capital cost of
ZAR 1.6bn committed. It should also be noted that over the past year PGM
prices have seen dramatic increases from the base case presented in the BFS,
which was justified on a long term platinum price of US$ 951 per ounce.
Current prices are over US$ 2 000 per ounce as a basket of 3PGE+Au. In
addition, the metal payabilities achieved in the off-take contract with our
custom smelter are significantly higher than those in the base case presented
in the BFS."
Platmin is an explorer and emerging PGM producer whose four key projects
host mineral resources and reserves: Pilanesberg, Mphahlele, Grootboom and
Loskop. The Pilanesberg Project is under construction with production of PGM
concentrate expected in 2009. All of Platmin's projects are located in the
Bushveld Complex of South Africa, which is estimated to contain approximately
90% of global platinum mineral resources.
In this Market Release "3PGE+Au" means: Platinum ("Pt"), Palladium
("Pd"), Rhodium ("Rh") and Gold ("Au"). "PGM Concentrate" means: an
intermediary product material, which contains the economically recoverable
metals, that will be forwarded to a custom smelter for recovery of the
Platinum Group Metals (these being Platinum ("Pt"), Palladium ("Pd"), Rhodium
("Rh"), Ruthenium ("Ru"), Iridium ("Ir") and Osmium ("Os")), Gold ("Au"),
Silver ("Ag") as well as the base metals Nickel ("Ni"), Copper ("Cu") and
Technical and scientific information contained in this Market Release is
based on a National Instrument 43-101 (Standards of disclosure for Mineral
projects) ("NI" or "National Instrument 43-101") and Canadian Institute of
Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (commonly known as the "CIM" standards)
compliant Independent Technical Report dated August 7, 2007 which has been
filed on SEDAR and is available to be downloaded from www.sedar.com.
FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION, FUTURE ORIENTED FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND
Certain statements contained in this market release constitute
forward-looking information, future oriented financial information, and
financial outlooks (collectively "forward-looking information") within the
meaning of Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information may relate to
the matters discussed in this market release and other matters identified in
Platmin's public filings, Platmin's future outlook and anticipated events or
results and, in some cases, can be identified by terminology such as "may",
"will", "should", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "intend",
"estimate", "predict", "potential", "continue" or other similar expressions
concerning matters that are not historical facts. Forward-looking information
in this market release includes the future price of PGMs, future changes in
'run of mine' head grade, and the commencement of PGM concentrate production
at the Pilanesberg mine in 2009. Actual results may vary from such
forward-looking information for a variety of reasons, including those set
Forward-looking statements in this Market Release are based on a number
of material factors and assumptions, including, Eskom supplying adequate power
to the processing plant, geological conditions and the result of drilling
activities, that contracted parties provide goods and/or services on the
agreed timeframes, that equipment necessary for construction and development
and mining is available as scheduled and does not incur unforeseen break
downs, that no labour shortages or delays are incurred, that plant and
equipment functions as specified, that no unusual geological or technical
problems occur, and that other on-going contractual negotiations will be
completely successful and progressed and/or completed in a timely manner.
There can be no assurance that Platmin's actual results will match the
forward-looking information as a result of a number of risks for Platmin's
projects with power requirements or otherwise normal hazards (geological,
technical, and production) associated with mining operations, adverse currency
fluctuations, and those risks publicly disclosed by Platmin in its filings
available at www.sedar.com. While Platmin considers these assumptions to be
reasonably based on information currently available to it, they may ultimately
prove to be incorrect.
For further information:
For further information: Ian Watson, Chief Executive Officer, +27 12 661
4280; Terry Holohan, Chief Operating Officer, +27 12 661 4280; Fiona Owen,
Grant Thornton UK LLP (Nominated Adviser), +44 207 383 5100; Nicola Brower,
Russell & Associates, +27 11 880 3924