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Bengwenyama platinum group metals project, South Africa

Image of South Africa flag and periodic table symbols for platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and gold

15th March 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Bengwenyama platinum group metals (PGMs) project.

Location
Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex, in Limpopo, South Africa.

Project Owner/s
Southern Palladium.

Project Description
A scoping study has shown the project to have very attractive economics, with results justifying a prefeasibility study (PFS) already under way.

The project aims to extract PGMs from the upper group two (UG2) and Merensky reefs, which constitute one of the very few remaining areas within the Bushveld Complex where economically viable PGM deposits remain unexploited.

The scoping study proposes a two-million-tonne-a-year UG2 reef underground mining operation using hybrid mining, with conventional stoping supported by on-reef mechanised development and ore clearance.

The life-of-mine for only the UG2 reef is estimated at 36 years, with a total of about 52-million tonnes mined – about 10.9-million ounces platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, osmium and gold (7E or 6E+gold), for an average production rate of 330 000 oz/y platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and gold (6E or 5E+gold) basis ignoring residual value beyond modelled life or any exploration
upside.

The project includes:

  • construction of a flotation and spiral plant to deliver PGM and chrome concentrates from a conventional plant, with an estimated 200 000-t-a-month ore feed design capacity. A 75 µm grind size is envisaged.
  • construction of a dry-stack tailings storage facility conforming to Global Industry Standards on Tailings Management requirements.
  • connection to the nearby national grid power substation and construction of a 132 kV overhead powerline to supply (based on initial indications) of about 43 MVA peak demand.
  • connection to an existing licensed, bulk water supply pipeline, located at the entrance road to the project. Water supply will be supplemented with available ground- and surface water.
  • comprehensive integration of all on-site infrastructure, encompassing site access roads, office and administrative buildings, engineering workshops, stores, guardhouse, surface water storage facilities and other supporting
  • facilities.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a pretax net present value, at an 8% discount rate of, $1.04-billion and an internal rate of return of 24%, with a payback of from the start of plant production of 4.5 years.

Capital Expenditure
$408-million.

Planned Start/End Date
The completion of the PFS and associated resource drilling is planned to be completed during the second half of calendar 2024 and is fully funded.

Latest Developments
None stated.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Southern Palladium, email info@southernpalladium.com.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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