Platinum Group Metals (TSX: PTM) have announced positive results from an independent definitive feasibility study (DFS) on the Waterberg platinum mine. The project, located in South Africa’s Bushveld Complex, is a joint venture between Platinum Group Metals (37.05%), JOGMEC (21.95%), Mnombo Wethu Consultants (26%) and Impala Platinum (15%).
The DFS shows a significant increase in mineral reserves from the 2016 prefeasibility study (PFS) for a large-scale palladium, platinum, gold and rhodium (4E) mine. However, annual steady state 4E production is estimated at 420,000 ounces, which is a lower production rate than shown in the PFS.
Other highlights of the DFS include an after-tax NPV of $982 million (at 8% discount rate) and an after-tax IRR of 20.7%. Project capital for the Waterberg mine is approximately $874 million. Measured and indicated resources now total 242 million tonnes at 3.38 g/t 4E for 26.4 million 4E ounces.
“The DFS provides a clear outline of the world-class nature of the Waterberg palladium deposit and concludes that it can be one of the largest fully mechanized, low-cost platinum group metals mines in the world,” Michael Jones, CEO and co-founder of Platinum Group Metals, stated in the press release.
Under the DFS mine plan, first production is estimated in late 2023 with ramp-up to steady state by 2027. The life of mine on current mineral reserves extends to 2066.