Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) has announced that its South African subsidiary, Ivanplats, has completed the construction of the 996-metre-level station at the bottom of the Shaft 1 at the Platreef mine.
In a press release, Ivanhoe’s co-chairmen Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun said that the work was finished well ahead of the contractual schedule.
According to Friedland and Sun, the Shaft 1 now is positioned to be equipped as Platreef’s initial production shaft. This, if Ivanhoe chooses to proceed with phased development to expedite production at the tier-one palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-rhodium-gold project located on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex.
“Given the flurry of recent transactions in precious metals markets, we are actively exploring a number of options that can help us unlock Platreef’s extraordinary value for the benefit of all Ivanhoe stakeholders,” Friedland said. “After all, Platreef is among this planet’s largest precious metals deposits.”
The operation now has a completed shaft within a few hundred metres of the initial high-grade mining zone. Friedland also said that it has a mining license, water, and a team of highly-skilled employees.
“The deposit has enormous quantities of palladium, platinum, rhodium, nickel and copper; and it has more ounces of gold than many leading gold mines,” Friedland said. “Given the current precious metals environment, I am confident that the pending studies will showcase the exceptional economics that one would expect from such a thick, high-grade and flat-lying deposit.”
Platreef’s current indicated mineral resources are 346 million tonnes grading 3.77 grams per tonne (g/t) 3PE+gold (1.68 g/t platinum, 1.70 g/t palladium, 0.11 g/t rhodium, 0.28 g/t gold), 0.32% nickel and 0.16% copper at a 2.0 g/t 3PE+gold cut-off.
These resources contain an estimated 26.8 million ounces of palladium, 25.6 million ounces of platinum, 4.5 million ounces of gold, and 1.8 million ounces of rhodium, plus 4.1 billion pounds of nickel and 2.1 billion pounds of copper, at a cut-off grade of 1 gram per tonne.