Anglo Platinum sells resources to Northam Platinum for $72 million

South Africa’s Northam Platinum has agreed to buy a mining right from Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) for $72 million (1 billion rand), which will enable it to extend the life of its Zondereinde mine, the world’s deepest mine for the metal, beyond 30 years.

This will be possible, said Northam, because part of Amplats’s Amandelbult mining right is next to, or contiguous with, the north-western boundary of Zondereinde.

Amplats also remains confident the sale of its Rustenburg mines in South Africa to Sibanye Gold will clear its last regulatory hurdle before the end of the year.

“The acquired resource is of high quality, is well understood by Northam and allows us to better leverage the existing Zondereinde infrastructure,” Northam Chief Executive Officer Paul Dunne said in the statement. “The additional resource also enables Northam to continue mining higher-grade Merensky ore for a longer period, with relatively low incremental capital expenditure.”

Northam is also acquiring part of the Elandsfontein 386 KQ farm overlying part of Amandelbult in exchange for a portion of the Zondereinde mining right.

In a separate statement, Amplats — the world’s biggest platinum producer —said the transaction would not constrain next generation options for the Amandelbult mine, which had a number of shallow and less capital intensive life extension options.

Amplats chief executive Chris Griffith said the proceeds of the transaction, which was subject to the regulatory approval, would be used to further reduce net debt and strengthen the balance sheet.

Last week, Griffith said he remained confident the disposal of the company's labour-intensive Rustenburg mines in South Africa to Sibanye Gold would clear its last regulatory hurdle before the end of the year.