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Platinum group metals company assessing economic feasibility of furnace and refinery

Platinum Group Metals CEO Frank Hallam.

Platinum Group Metals CEO Frank Hallam.

14th July 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Toronto- and New York-listed Platinum Group Metals (PTM) is assessing the economic feasibility of constructing a matte furnace and base metal refinery in South Africa, either with or without partners, to process the concentrate from its Waterberg platinum group metals (PGMs) mining project.

PTM’s primary business objective is to advance the Waterberg project to a development and construction decision.

PTM, as the Waterberg project operator, is directed by a technical committee made up of representatives from its joint venture (JV) partners, Impala Platinum, Mnombo Wethu Consultants, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Hanwa.

A matte furnace and base metal refinery is envisioned as a separate business from the Waterberg JV company that could provide offtake terms to it and possibly to other PGM miners as well.

“Discussions with potential participating partners and investors are ongoing,” PTM stated in a release to Mining Weekly.

The company, headed by CEO Frank Hallam, is also assessing the economic feasibility of constructing a matte furnace and base metal refinery outside of South Africa to process Waterberg concentrate.

Working with a potential partner in a jurisdiction with less expensive power and water, PTM has completed a trade-off study which indicates that savings on power and water substantially offset the cost of additional concentrate transportation. Before concentrate could be exported from South Africa, a formal government approval would be required and further studies are underway.

The shallow-resourced Waterberg project, located on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex, is planned as a mechanised, shallow, decline access palladium, platinum, gold and rhodium mine.

In March, positive results from a completed infill drill and a stage-two budget of $3.6-million, covering the period from April 1 to August 31 next year, is a subcomponent of an approved $21-million work programme.

During the nine-month period ended May 31, PTM incurred a net loss of $4.05-million, which was well below the $7.26-million incurred during the corresponding nine months of last year.

Loss per share for the current period amounted to $0.04, as compared to a loss of $0.08 per share for the nine-month period ended May 31, 2022. Total expenditures on the Waterberg project, before partner reimbursements, for the nine months were $3.5-million.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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