He would serve the Toronto- and London-listed company as exploration manager.
Platmin, which was building the Pilanesberg mine north-west of Johannesburg, would become a producer in the first quarter of 2009, building up to steady state production of 250 000 oz of platinum-group metals by mid- to late-2009.
The firm said that Van der Merwe had 20 years of experience at Lonmin, the company which Xstrata was trying to buy for $10-billion.
“We are delighted that Jan has decided to join us at Platmin. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our exploration efforts in the Bushveld Complex,” Platmin COO Terry Holohan said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Pallinghurst Resources, which will list on the JSE on Wednesday morning, on Monday said that it had bought Platmin’s local empowerment partner, Moepi.
This gave it a 25% stake in Platmin’s South African operating subsidiary, Boynton Investments.