Name: Two Rivers mine.
Location: Two Rivers mine is located on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex, near the town of Lydenburg, in Mpumalanga province.
Brief history: In December 2001, Anglovaal Mining (Avmin) (55%) and Impala Platinum (Implats) (45%) joint venture acquired the platinum- group metals (PGMs) mineral rights to the Dwarsrivier property. Corporate activity involving Avmin, African Rainbow Minerals (Arm) and Harmony Gold Mining Company resulted in the transfer of Avmin’s share in Two Rivers to a new, empowered platinum entity, Arm Platinum, a division of Arm. Trial mining to determine the most appropriate mining method began in January 2004. The boards of both Implats and Arm approved the start of develop- ment in June 2005. The Two Rivers platinum mine came into production on schedule in 2006, and will reach full production in 2008.
Brief description: Two Rivers has a life-of-mine of 20 years. The mine will employ around 1 000 people, including contractors. The mine has an estimated average annual production rate of 2,4-million tons.
Mining method: Underground.
Reserves: Total proven and probable reserves as at June 30, 2006, were 40,3-million tons.
Resources: Total measured, indicated and inferred resources as at June 30, 2006, were 81,9-million tons.
Geology: The Bushveld Complex is a large, two-billion-year-old layered igneous intrusion. The Bushveld Complex was formed by the repeated injection of magma into a subvolcanic chamber. Owing to the huge volumes of magma involved, cooling and crystal- lisation were slow processes. Different minerals were formed as the magma cooled, accumulating into subhorizontal layers building from the base of the chamber. The complex comprises an array of diverse igneous rocks, ranging in composition from ultramafic to felsic. Contained within a well-layered ultramafic to mafic succession called the Rustenburg Layered Suite, are two horizons which host economically exploitable quantities of PGMs, namely the Merensky reef and the underlying UG2 chromitite layer. The Merensky reef is generally composed of a feldspathic pyroxenite hanging wall, overlying a basal chromitite unit, followed by an anorthosite to anorthositic-norite footwall. The Merensky reef zone displays a gradational mineralised zone, with grades decreasing from the Merensky chromitite unit into the footwall and hanging wall. The UG2 reef is defined as a main chrome unit with the mineralisation wholly contained within this unit.
Major infrastructure and equipment: The underground mine will be accessed through a decline shaft system comprising a footwall conveyor decline and two on-reef declines: one for vehicle access and the other, a chairlift installation for the transportation of employees. Underground mining operations will be fully mechanised. Trackless (mechanised) bord-and-pillar mining is currently being implemented.
Prospects: Implats is working towards a maximum annual output of 2,4-million tons mined, to yield an average of 120 000 oz of platinum-in-concentrate from the UG2 horizon.
Controlling company: Impala Platinum Holdings (45%).
Contact person: Alice Lourens, investor relations.
Impala Platinum Holdings, tel: +27 11 731 9000
, fax: +27 11 731 9254
and website: www.implats.co.za
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Two Rivers mine, South Africa
Name: Two Rivers mine.
By: Martin Creamer
The decision of the Royal Mint, in the UK, to launch its first-ever platinum bullion products has rekindled hopes that the South African Mint will wipe the dust off its plans for a Mandela coin in platinum and mimic some of its gold coin success. In what is potentially a beneficial measure to boost platinum demand, the 1 000-year-old Royal Mint last week launched 500 g and kilo platinum bars as investment-grade precious metal and will within a matter of weeks bring out a 1 oz ‘Queen’s Beasts Lion of England’ coin, the first platinum coin to be launched in the popular heraldic series. →
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