"Mphahlele Indicated Mineral Resources increased by 37% to 7.8Moz 5PGE+Au
and Inferred Mineral Resources increased by 47% to 10.0Moz 5PGE+Au"
/NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR OVER UNITED STATES
TORONTO, Sept. 15 /CNW/ - Platmin Limited ("Platmin", TSX/AIM: PPN) is
pleased to announce the positive results of a revised NI 43-101 compliant
Mineral Resource estimate for its Mphahlele Project. The Indicated Mineral
Resources have increased by 37.4% as a result of in-fill drilling and the
Inferred Mineral Resources have increased by 47.1% as a result of the
discovery of extensions to the UG2 Chromitite Layer and Merensky Reef
mineralization at depth.
In addition, new analytical results also allow for the inclusion of
iridium and ruthenium, two 'minor' platinum group metals in the resource
estimates. These metals occur with platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (the
"3PGE+Au") throughout the Bushveld Complex on both the Merensky Reef and UG2
Chromitite Layer and are expected to be economically recovered as co-products
of the 3PGE+Au during mining. Thus this project's resources can now be
declared as '5PGE+Au' to account for all of these precious metals.
As a direct result of the Mphahlele increase, Platmin's global Mineral
Resource estimates have increased by 15.2% to 16.1Moz 5PGE+Au (13.5% increase
to 9.74Moz attributable to Platmin) in the Measured and Indicated Mineral
Resource categories and by 19.7% to 19.55Moz 5PGE+Au (20.3% increase to
10.33Moz attributable to Platmin) in the Inferred Mineral Resource category.
Mphahlele Project Mineral Resources
- Indicated Mineral Resources have increased by 37.4% to 49.5Mt at
4.91g/t 5PGE+Au for 7.81Moz (37.4% increase to 4.24Moz attributable
- Inferred Mineral Resources have increased by 47.1% to 71.9Mt at
4.34g/t 5PGE+Au for 10.03Moz (47.1% increase to 5.45Moz attributable
- The Mphahlele Project has a 7.9km strike of Merensky Reef and UG2
Chromitite Layer and is adjacent to Lonmin's Limpopo Platinum mining
operations. Both reefs sub-crop approximately 30m below surface
- The revised Indicated Mineral Resource forms the basis for the
definitive feasibility study (the "DFS") currently underway on the
Mphahlele Project and expected to be complete at the end of 2008
Mr. Ian Watson, Chief Executive Officer of Platmin, said today that "this
substantial increase in the Indicated Mineral Resource at the Mphahlele
Project underpins a definitive feasibility study which is being undertaken by
SRK Consulting Engineers scheduled for completion at the end of this year.
This study is expected to demonstrate that an economically viable project can
be developed which would produce over 270,000 ounces of 5PGE+Au in
concentrates, from near surface resources, for an initial life of mine in
excess of 20 years."
Mr Terry Holohan, Chief Operating Officer, commented today, "it should
also be noted that combined Merensky and UG2 concentrates produced from this
region of the Eastern Bushveld Complex are 'smelter friendly' in that relative
to other mining areas in the Bushveld Complex they contain significantly lower
levels of chromitite and higher levels of base metals and sulphides. Thus they
are a sought after commodity within the platinum industry."
August 2008 Mineral Resource Estimate
SRK has conducted the revised Mineral Resource estimate for the Mphahlele
Project on the basis of the additional drilling that has been ongoing on the
project. The Mineral Resource estimate is based on drilling data up to the end
of June 2008, which consists of 155 boreholes (66,636m) and assay results for
119 boreholes; with deflections this represents 161 intervals through the
Merensky Reef and 267 through the UG2 Chromitite Layer.
The August 2008 Mineral Resource estimate is presented in the table below
and represents increases to both the Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources
relative to those reported in October 2007 (see Market Release dated October
16, 2007 available at www.platmin.com). The completion of deeper drilling down
to 1,500m has allowed for the resources to be estimated over a larger area and
nickel sulphide analyses of a sub-set of the boreholes has enabled the
resource to be declared as a 5PGE+Au resource including iridium and ruthenium.
The revised estimate comprises Indicated Mineral Resources of 49.5Mt at
4.91g/t 5PGE+Au for 7.81Moz and Inferred Mineral Resources of 71.9Mt at
4.34g/t 5PGE+Au for 10.03Moz. The August 2008 5PGE+Au Indicated Mineral
Resource represents a 37% increase in terms of contained ounces over the
previous (October 2007) 3PGE+Au Indicated Mineral Resource while the Inferred
Mineral Resource represents a 47% increase over the 2007 estimate. The UG2
Chromitite Layer contributes 75% of the Indicated Mineral Resource and 69% of
the Inferred Mineral Resource. The balance of the Mineral Resource is from the
The inclusion of iridium and ruthenium in the August 2008 Mineral
Resource contributes 1.16Moz or 15% to the Indicated Mineral Resources and
1.37Moz or 13.6% to the Inferred Mineral resources.
The revised Mineral Resource estimates are presented in the table below.
Attributable Mineral Resources
Platmin through its subsidiary Boynton Investments (Pty) Ltd has an
attributable interest in the Mphahlele Project of 54.3%. A summary of the
Mineral Resources attributable to Platmin from the project is presented below.
Analysis of revised Mineral Resource estimates
Additional in-fill drilling has improved the understanding of the
Merensky Reef facies variations and has resulted in the shallow Merensky Reef
east of the zone affected by intrusive dunite and harzburgite being upgraded
to the Indicated Mineral Resource category. Deeper drilling has allowed the
area over which the resource is declared to be increased and this has made the
most significant difference in the revised resource estimate. The inclusion of
nickel sulphide analyses reporting minor platinum group metals Iridium and
Ruthenium has made it possible to declare the resource in terms of 5PGE+Au.
Geological discounts have been applied to the Mineral Resources and are as
follows: UG2 Indicated 15%, UG2 Inferred 25%, Merensky Reef Indicated West
Block 12%, East Block 25%, Merensky Reef Inferred West Block 20%, East Block
Comparison of the '3PGE+Au' grades from the previous (October 2007) to
the current August 2008 estimate indicate decreases in the grades estimated
for both reefs. This is partly as a result of greater reef width being applied
and a larger data set being used in the estimation.
The estimation methodology applied in the 2008 revision of the resource
represents spatially controlled geostatistical estimates in three dimensions.
This resource model will be used for the completion of a definitive
feasibility study on the Mphahlele Project.
SRK considers that the Mineral Resources declared at the Mphahlele
Project are of a sufficient quality and quantity for a definitive feasibility
study to be conducted.
PLATMIN TOTAL MINERAL RESERVES & RE
Total Mineral Reserves and Resources for all Platmin's projects are
currently as follows:
- Proven plus Probable Mineral Reserves of 67.43Mt at 2.04g/t 3PGE+Au,
for 4.42Moz (3.20Moz attributable to Platmin)
- Measured plus Indicated Mineral Resources of 146.1Mt at 3.43g/t
5PGE+Au for 16.1Moz (9.74Moz attributable to Platmin)(1)
- Inferred Mineral Resources of 174.6Mt at 3.48g/t 5PGE+Au for 19.55Moz
(10.33Moz attributable to Platmin)(1)
This revision of the Mphahlele Mineral Resource translates to an overall
15.2% increase in Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources and 19.7% increase
in Inferred Mineral Resources when the revised contained 5PGE+Au ounces are
compared with the previous estimate of 3PGE+Au ounces on all of Platmin's
UG2 Chromitite Layer - Mineral Resources from the UG2 have been estimated
across the entire 7.9km strike of the Mphahlele orebody. Indicated Mineral
Resources have been declared from 30m down to approximately 730m below surface
and the Inferred Mineral Resource continues down to approximately 1,770m
vertically below surface and remains 'open' beyond this depth. The Indicated
Mineral Resource totals 31.2Mt at 5.84g/t 5PGE+Au for 5.86Moz while the
Inferred Mineral Resource totals 43.1Mt at 4.98g/t 5PGE+Au for 6.90Moz. The
areas over which the UG2 Mineral Resources have been declared are shown in the
Map 1 below.
UG2 Chromitite Layer: Map 1
A full version of this release including maps can be found on the
Company's website, www.platmin.com
Merensky Reef - Mineral Resources from the Merensky have been estimated
across approximately 83% of the 7.9km strike of the Mphahlele orebody.
Indicated Mineral Resources have been declared from 30m down to approximately
550m below surface and Inferred Mineral Resources from 550m to approximately
1,440m vertically below surface. Mineralisation in the Merensky Reef remains
'open' beyond this depth. The variations in the Merensky Reef on the property
necessitate the estimation of separate Eastern and Western blocks based on
facies. The Eastern and Western blocks lie on either side of the zone affected
by intrusive dunite and harzburgite that was excluded from the resource as
shown in Map 2 below. Higher grades have been estimated for the Merensky Reef
within the Western Block.
The Merensky Reef Indicated Mineral Resource totals 18.3Mt at 3.32g/t
5PGE+Au for 1.95Moz while the Inferred Mineral Resource totals 28.8Mt at
3.39g/t for 3.14Moz. The area over which the Merensky Reef Mineral Resources
have been declared is shown in the Map 2 below.
Merensky Reef: Map 2
A full version of this release including maps can be found on the
Company's website, www.platmin.com
Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS")
The current Indicated Mineral Resource will form the basis for the DFS
currently underway on the Mphahlele Project with SRK as lead consultants. This
study will investigate mining down to approximately 500m below surface
utilising the expertise of the mining contractor Murray and Roberts
Cementation to carry out the design and the detailed mine scheduling. It is
anticipated that both Merensky and UG2 ores will be processed through a single
conventional flotation plant designed to optimise the production rate.
Current Drilling Program
A drilling program is currently underway targeting the planned start up
mining blocks at the base of the three planned declines. Information from this
drilling will be used for the detailed mine planning.
Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Qualified Persons
Exploration at the Mphahlele Project is being conducted under the
supervision of Mr. Mike Bowen, Project Manager for the Mphahlele Project. Mr.
Bowen (M.Sc. Geology) is a geologist with more than 11 years experience in PGM
exploration and a member of the Geological Society of South Africa. Mr. Bowen
is an independent contractor to Platmin.
Consulting Geologist, Mr. John Astrup, the Company's Qualified Person for
the Mphahlele Project, as defined under National Instrument 43-101, is
responsible for the technical material in this release, excluding the mineral
resource estimate. Mr. Astrup has verified the data disclosed in this release.
Mr. John Astrup (M.Sc. Exploration Geology) is a registered Professional
Natural Scientist ("Pr.Sci.Nat.") with the South African Council for Natural
Scientific Professions ("SACNASP") and has 11 years of experience in PGM, Ni
and Cu exploration. The technical content of this press release has been
compiled by Mr. John Astrup.
Bore holes were drilled with a combination of NQ, and TNW core; generally
mother holes are completed as NQ core and deflections as TNW core. The core is
logged by suitably experienced geologists and mineralised intervals are
identified and sampled. Sample intervals are kept to approximately 20cm; core
is then split by means of a diamond saw. Geological logging and sampling was
carried out under the supervision of Mr. Bowen. Further details of Platmin's
geological procedures have been reported in Platmin's August 2008 ITR.
Samples are submitted to SGS Lakefield Research Africa Laboratories, an
ISO 17025 accredited laboratory, in Johannesburg where they are prepared and
analysed for Pt, Pd, Au, Rh, Ni and Cu. The Pt, Pd and Au analyses involved a
lead fire assay technique with a silver collector and ICP-OES finish, Rh is
analysed as a separate lead fire assay using a palladium collector and ICP-OES
finish. Ni and Cu are analysed using an Aqua Regia digest with an AA finish
and reflect the acid soluble metal content.
Quality Control ("QC") procedures include the submission of certified
standards and blanks with every reef intersection submitted. Results of the
standards are assessed on a batch by batch basis as is all internal Quality
Assurance ("QA") / QC included by the laboratory which includes laboratory
repeats, standards and blanks. A selection of milled sample pulps that have
been returned from Lakefield are relabelled and resubmitted to Lakefield for
repeat analyses. In addition further pulps are submitted to an independent
second or umpire laboratory (Genalysis, an accredited laboratory in Perth,
Western Australia). Further details of Platmin's QA/QC procedures are
described in Platmin's Independent Technical Report.
Nickel sulphide ("NiS") analyses were conducted on 19 complete reef
intercepts of Merensky Reef and 32 from the UG2: this represents approximately
12% of all intersections through each reef. The NiS analyses were performed on
milled sample pulps by Genalysis Laboratory Services using their sample
preparation facility in Johannesburg and laboratory in Perth, Western
Australia. The analysis involves a fire assay with nickel sulphide collection
followed by ICP-MS finish.
Dr. Anthony Martin and Mr Mark Wanless, both employed by SRK, are the
Qualified Persons (as defined in National Instrument 43-101 (Standards of
disclosure for Mineral projects)) for the Mineral Resource estimation on the
Mphahlele Project reported in this release. Dr Martin is registered with the
South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions ("Pr.Sci.Nat") and
the Australian Institute on Mining and Metallurgy ("AusIMM"). He has 36 years
experience as a geologist of which 28 have been involved with mining geology
and exploration. Mr Mark Wanless is registered with the South African Council
for Natural Scientific professions ("Pr.Sci.Nat") and has 12 years experience
as a geologist and 10 years in mineral resource estimation.
Resource estimation involved the following; generation of reef composites
(for Merensky Reef by applying a $/t cut off value and keeping to a minimum
width of 1.2m and for UG2 from the top to the base of the chromitite unit
eliminating anomalously thick chromitite units and applying a minimum width of
1.2m), generation of a 3D wireframe model by applying a polynomial trend. The
Eastern and Western blocks of the Merensky Reef were estimated separately. The
UG2 was estimated in three different stacked layer units representing the
upper portion of the UG2, the silicate parting (where developed) and the lower
portion of the UG2. The wireframes were used to generate a block model using
rotated 200m x 200m blocks sub-celled to 10m in the plane of the reef.
Semi-variograms were modeled for Pt, Pd, Rh, Au, Ni, Cu, density and width.
Ordinary Kriging was used to interpolate grades into the block model. The
grades for Ir and Ru were determined from the sub set of NiS data by comparing
the Ir and Ru ratios to the other PGE's. The Ir and Ru both showed good
correlation with Rh and this ratio was used to estimate grades for these minor
The Mineral Resources were classified according to the Canadian Institute
of Mining Metallurgy and Petroleum ("CIM") Standards on Mineral Resources and
Reserves, Definitions and Guidelines. The quality of drilling, logging,
sampling and assaying, confidence in the geological interpretation and quality
of the estimates were considered when classifying the Mineral Resources. The
quality of drilling, logging, sampling and assaying are considered to be
adequate, and the quality of the estimates and confidence in the geological
interpretation are principally influenced by the quantity of information
available. Drill hole spacing was therefore the primary consideration in the
classification. The more densely drilled upper portions of the Mineral
Resources (to 550m below surface for the Merensky Reef and to 730m below
surface for the UG2 Reef) are classified as Indicated Mineral Resources. The
more sparsely drilled and deeper areas are classified as Inferred Resources to
depths just beyond the deepest line of drilling. A 1.3km strike length of the
Merensky Reef, disturbed by intrusive, has been excluded from the Mineral
Resources because the mineralisation is inconsistently developed and is
unlikely to be economic to extract.
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"), "5PGE+Au" means: Platinum ("Pt"),
Palladium ("Pd"), Rhodium ("Rh"), Gold ("Au"), Iridium ("Ir") and Ruthenium
("Ru"), "Mt" means million tonnes, ("g/t") means grams per tonne, ("Moz")
means million ounces Troy. Mineral Resources stated in this Market Release
were estimated by SRK Consulting of Johannesburg ("SRK") as reported in an
Independent Technical Report prepared by SRK in accordance with Canadian
Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum standards (commonly known as the
"CIM" standards) and reported in accordance with National Instrument 43-101
(the "August 2008 Independent Technical Report" or the "August 2008 ITR")
which will be filed on SEDAR in accordance with Canadian regulatory
requirements and 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. Actual results may vary from
such forward-looking information for a variety of reasons, including those set
Forward-looking statements in this Market Release include statements
regarding the results of the definitive feasibility study being conducted on
the Mphahlele project, future life of mine and annual production estimates,
and mineral resource estimates, and are based on a number of material factors
and assumptions, including, the result of drilling activities, current
progress of technical and feasibility studies, 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
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 development and 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.
(1) For projects where 5PG+Au estimates do not exist 3PGE+Au values have
been applied 'unfactored' for iridium and ruthenium
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