Bakubung Platinum Mine project, South Africa – update

Image of Bakubung platinum mine head gear

Photo by © Bloomberg

25th August 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Bakubung Platinum Mine (BPM) project.

On the western limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, north of the City of Rustenburg, in South Africa’s North West province.

Project Owner/s
Wesizwe Platinum.

Project Description
The project entails the construction of a platinum group metals (PGMs) mine on Wesizwe Platinum’s core assets.

The mine will comprise an underground mine, with a twin vertical shaft system, a production shaft and a services shaft, which will also function as the second escape route, and a process plant. An optimisation study completed in 2014 increased mine capacity by 8.7% to 250 000 t a month of run-of-mine ore at full capacity.

The key results of the optimisation study included:
• semimechanising all development;
• shortening the shafts through the removal of underground crushing, and bringing level development close to reef horizons (on-reef development), which will result in a substantial reduction in off-reef development and an increase in hoisting capacity to support increased production rates;
• the substantial use of conveyor belts and chairlifts to transport ore and mineworkers respectively;
• using three 6.1 m raisebore shafts to further assist with ventilation distribution;
• increasing hoisting capacity to support increased production rates;
• moving underground infrastructure to surface, including primary crushing; and
• revising the shaft pillar strategy, which will be mined at the end of the mine’s life.

A combination of conventional and mechanised methods will be employed.
The Merensky and upper group two reefs will be mined using conventional stoping, with mechanised mining used in all the development to access the two reef horizons.

The concentrator design, emanating from the results of the testwork conducted during the bankable feasibility study, is based on a standard PGMs plant layout.

Options for collaboration in developing synergies with neighbouring mines are continually being investigated to exploit benefits from economies of scale and sharing capital infrastructure costs. BPM will have a 35-year life-of-mine.

Potential Job Creation
Once the mine has reached full production, it is expected to have about 3 190 employees.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Wesizwe Platinum informed its shareholders on August 22 that BPM has successfully reopened and resumed activities.

Operations ground to a halt in July after employees had embarked on an unprotected strike. The company and employees have since reached an agreement to end the strike.

Key Contracts and Suppliers
Eskom (power supply); LT Services (surface road infrastructure); EBJ Mining Construction (development and construction labour); Kamano group (trackless mine machinery maintenance); NHI (conveyor structure); Howden (ventilation fans); and Louwill (shaft equipping).

Contact Details for Project Information
Wesizwe Platinum, tel +27 11 994 4600 or email


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