Mareesburg Platinum Project
In February 2004 Eastplats acquired the rights to a 50% interest in the Mareesburg Platinum Project ("Mareesburg") from Samancor by way of a 50:50 Joint Venture with Lion's Head Platinum Pty ("LHP"). Two other agreements enabled Eastplats to earn a 51% interest in LHP, and the Company's interest in Mareesburg subsequently increased to 87%.
LHP is a private South African Black Economic Empowerment company that is fully compliant with the South African Mining Charter.
The Mareesburg property is located close to Steelpoort in the southern part of the Eastern Bushveld, approximately 50 km west of Lydenburg, adjacent to Angloplats' proposed new platinum mine on the farm Der Brochen. Access to the property is good and power lines traverse the area. The Steelpoort area is rapidly developing into a major mining district with platinum and chrome mining currently underway and a number of possible new platinum mines being investigated and developed by Angloplats, Mvelaphanda, Impala Platinum and Aquarius. The majority of these platinum mines are planning to mine the UG2 Reef.
Qualified consultants with substantial PGM project experience gained on previous PGM projects in South Africa conducted the feasibility study which was completed in 2010. Geological work in 2006/7, included core logging and sampling was undertaken according to strict standards demanded by the SAMREC/SAMVAL codes, and this work, along with resource estimations and classification, JORC compliant. These codes meet the regulatory guidelines for stock exchanges in Canada, the U.S.A., the U.K. and Australia.
New order mining rights were granted for both the Mareesburg and Spitzkop projects which will allow the Company to move forward with the development of these projects. Under this development plan, a 90,000 tonnes of ore per month concentrator would be located on the Kennedy's Vale site and the planned production ramp-up at Mareesburg would allow the concentrator to ramp up to full capacity shortly after commissioning. To accommodate future capacity increases, the plant at Kennedy's Vale has included the civil and other surface infrastructure work required for an additional 90,000 tonne per month processing stream and appropriate tailings facility infrastructure to process up to 180,000 tonnes per month of ore.
Mareesburg will initially be an open-pit mining operation and consequently will require little power. An existing power line currently provides 800 KVA across the Mareesburg property and this will be adequate to run administration and workshop/maintenance facilities with any further power requirements to be provided by on site diesel power generators.
The Company has already secured 3MVA of power for the construction phase for the concentrator at the Kennedy's Vale site. With respect to permanent operating power for the concentrator and for the Spitzkop mine, the Company has applied for 40 MVA of installed capacity, of which 20MVA would be required for the initial 90,000 tonnes per month plant, and the Company has paid the necessary fees to initiate the acquisition of this power requirement and Eskom has commenced the necessary engineering work.
If you would like to view the current state of construction progress at Kennedy's Vale, please see the Photo Gallery section "Construction at Kennedy's Vale."