Ivanhoe OK to build one of world’s biggest platinum mines
Shares in Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines (TSE:IVN) were soaring this morning, jumping over 12% mid-morning, as South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources gave final approval for the Canadian company to start building Platreef, one of the world’s biggest platinum mines.
The African government, said Ivanhoe in a statement, issued the license to produce platinum-group and base metals at the $1.6 billion Platreef project in the northern Limpopo province for a renewable 30-year period.
The authorization “signals the South African government’s determination to grow our country’s economy,” Mines Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said, according to the statement. “The Platreef Project will attract foreign capital, create much needed jobs and contribute significantly to socio-economic development in areas surrounding the project.”
No job cuts necessary
Last month the Vancouver-based company said that it had no choice but to lay-off about 325 people at the project, after waiting more than four months for a mining permit.
But today’s news means that measure won’t be necessary, the company said.
Based on a preliminary economic assessment, the Platreef project could mine eight million tonnes a year yielding 785,000 ounces of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold per year. According to the company, this would make it Africa's lowest-cost producer of platinum-group metals.
Ivanhoe completed an empowerment deal in September, which means that 26% of the venture in hands of local communities.