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Miner provides update on Waterberg project

10th December 2021

By: Anna Moross

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TSX-listed mine developer Platinum Group Metals in October provided an update on the Waterberg project, a bulk underground palladium and platinum deposit located in the northern limb of the Bushveld Complex, in the Limpopo province.

The update noted that the geotechnical drilling campaign, which began in July 2021, was nearing completion and demobilisation. The geotechnical drilling campaign consisted of 46 boreholes drilled along the planned centreline of two sets of twin declines and box-cut positions.

About 11 holes were drilled vertically, and the remaining holes were inclined out of the plane to intersect all possible discontinuities. A total of 5 966 m of drill core were recovered and a total of 2 696 m of core were geotechnically logged from within the zone of interest.

All boreholes except those in the planned box-cut areas were backfilled with cement upon completion. Downhole geophysical surveys were also conducted consisting of optical and/or acoustic televiewer and gamma probes as well as calliper probes. Three packer tests were conducted in boreholes where groundwater strikes were encountered. Core samples of all the major geotechnical units encountered were collected and subjected to laboratory testing.

The results of the drilling campaign confirm that the box-cut positions are in sandstone, and the central and southern declines transition from sandstone into a dolerite sill and back into sandstone before cutting into the igneous rocks of the Bushveld Complex.

In general, results are as expected, and the rock mass is competent. Further, as expected, some support will be required for both tunnel sets.

No problem areas, where special mining methods or nonstandard support would be required, have been identified and groundwater inflow is also not considered a risk.

The standard practice of probe drilling ahead of decline tunnel development will be important to monitor rock quality and identify the correct support standards ahead of mine development.

The geotechnical qualified persons monitoring the drill programme have stated that, in general, the rock mass encountered along both decline routes can support the planned excavations with no major problem areas expected.

ESG Report

Platinum Group Metals also reported the completion of its inaugural environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) disclosure submission with UK-based, mining-focused ESG disclosure platform Digbee.

The platform’s goal is to provide improved disclosure and better access to capital markets for mining companies with strong ESG practices.

Digbee has reportedly been endorsed by leading financial firms such as BlackRock, BMO, and Dundee Corporation. Platinum Group Metals said Digbee’s reporting framework is aligned with global standards, including the Equator Principles, which provide a framework for financial institutions to assess project-related environmental and social risks.

Outlook

The company noted that its key business objective was to advance the palladium-dominant Waterberg project to a development and construction decision.

Recent work included the erection of fences, ground clearing, geotechnical drilling and infrastructure engineering and surveying. At the time of the release, the Waterberg joint venture (JV) was planning for preconstruction activities including the engineering and design of roads, power and water infrastructure.

Technical personnel were in the process of identifying, testing and delineating appropriate sources of aggregate material for roadways and infrastructure lay down pads. Environmental monitoring activities were ongoing and were expected to increase into 2022.

Platinum Group Metals and the Waterberg JV noted that they continued with a process to assess commercial alternatives for mine development financing and concentrate offtake, adding that several parties were in discussions with the company.

Concentrate offtake discussions with 15% project shareholder Impala Platinum, were also expected to continue.

Platinum Group Metals

battery technology initiative, through Lion Battery Technologies, together with Anglo American Platinum, represents a new opportunity in the high-profile lithium battery research and innovation field.

As of October 14, 2021, three patents had been issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office, with several more patent applications in the review process.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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