FIRST RESOURCE DEFINITION DRILLING RESULTS EXTEND MINERALISATION IN TWO OF MAIN DEPOSITS AT PLA’S KALPLATS PROJECTadmin
FIRST RESOURCE DEFINITION DRILLING RESULTS EXTEND MINERALISATION IN TWO OF MAIN DEPOSITS AT PLA’S KALPLATS PROJECT
”¢ Bankable Feasibility Study Should Be Completed By End Of Calendar Year ”¢ Initial Testwork Indicates Recovery Of 80p.c. Into Saleable PGM Concentrate
”¢ Further Drilling Success Could Raise Planned Production By 50p.c. To 300,000oz/y
Platinum Australia Limited says the first results from the initial resource definition drilling programme at its Kalplats PGM project in South Africa extended the mineralisation in both the Crater and Serpens North deposits. PLA expects to complete the planned 45,000m of drilling late in 2007, allowing a Bankable Feasibility Study to be completed by year-end.
In its end-December quarterly, the company says it has three rigs operating on the programme, comprising approximately 45,000m of drilling. In addition, an initial programme of metallurgical testwork has been undertaken, indicating that a recovery of 80p.c. can be achieved into a saleable PGM concentrate, PLA adds.
The company believes that the existing Kalplats resource of 3.4m oz 3E PGM (platinum, palladium and gold) will support development of an open cut project producing 200,000oz/y of 3E PGM. Further success from the drilling programme, however, could see the annual production rate increase to 300,000oz, making it ”a truly world-class deposit”.
The Kalplats project, located 330km west of Johannesburg, comprises seven discrete deposits over some 12km of strike, all of which appear to be open at depth and along strike. PLA has identified numerous additional targets from geochemical survey work and a high-resolution aeromagnetic survey completed in early 2005.
In addition, PLA and its joint venture partner, ARMplats, have previously applied for a prospecting right covering an area approximately 20km north and 18km south of their original Kalplats area, increasing the total strike length held by the two companies to almost 50km. Last week, PLA issued 15m shares to Smokey Hills Platinum (Pty) Ltd to complete the acquisition of an 80p.c. interest in the Smokey Hills PGM project on the eastern rim of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. Standard Bank of South Africa has been mandated to arrange debt finance of approximately US$31m for the US$40m project, with PLA and its joint venture partners provided the balance of the funding
PLATINUM AUSTRALIA 2
Depending on timing of the issue of the necessary permits, PLA proposes to begin mining and construction at Smokey Hills in early 2007, with commissioning of the on-site treatment plant some 12 months later. Initially, mined ore will be toll treated at a nearby plant to generate early cash flow whilst the on-site treatment plant is constructed to produce PGM in a flotation concentrate. The concentrate will be toll treated or sold to one of a number of smelters in South Africa, the nearest of which is less than 100km from the project. Smokey Hills will produce approximately 95,000oz/y of 4E PGM (platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold) contained in concentrate.
PLA’s third PGM project, Panton in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia, contains a resource of 14.3m tonnes of ore grading 5.2g/t 7E PGM*. This is equivalent to 2.4m oz of contained PGMs, most of which lies in the high-grade section of 10.1m tonnes grading 6.1g/t 7E PGM (2m oz contained).
Sally Malay Mining, whose nickel mines lies 60km north of Panton, is earning a 50p.c. interest in an initial parcel of 1.5m tonnes of high-grade Panton ore by completing an updated Bankable Feasibility Study based on processing this ore through the Sally Malay plant to produce a high-grade PGM concentrate. The agreement may be extended to cover additional parcels of ore.
Sally Malay has refurbished the Panton decline, and by early December had completed the mining of a high-grade (approx. 7g/t) bulk ore sample. This has been transported to Perth for laboratory scale and pilot plant testwork at the Ammtec Metallurgical Laboratories.
* Platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, osmium and gold
COPIES OF QUARTERLY REPORT AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
Further Information: John Lewins, Managing Director, Platinum Australia Ltd. Tel: 00-618-9324-1491
Ron Marshman/John Greenhalgh, City of London PR Ltd. Tel: 020-7628-5518