TSX- and NYSE American-listed Platinum Group Metals (PTM) has extended the completion date of a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the large-scale, palladium dominant and bulk mineable Waterberg project in South Africa to August to accommodate a new design plan.
The DFS is being managed by PTM and a technical committee. The Waterberg joint venture (JV) partners are considering the use of tailings and concrete as backfill to fill in mined out stopes, which will allow for the extraction of mineralised material that would otherwise be left as support pillars.
PTM expects the extraction of pillars to positively impact on the tonnes and ounces for reserves, while also reducing the project’s tailings footprint and increasing safety.
The new DFS design will incorporate two decline systems rather than the three envisioned in the design set out in the project’s prefeasibility study.
As a result of the DFS design optimisation, more time and money are needed to complete the DFS, resulting in the completion date being moved to August. It had initially been set for completion in March.
Further, the Waterberg JV partners have approved a change order for R21.5-million to fund the additional work.
Meanwhile, as part of the DFS, an environmental authorisation and mining right application are being advanced.
The DFS team is also working with a Canadian training specialist to incorporate local skills development into the DFS, while PTM has advanced its cooperation agreement with the Capricorn municipality for the supply of water to the project and planned increases in water delivery to the local community as a component of the mine plan.
The Waterberg project is owned by PTM, Impala Platinum (Implats), the Japan, Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and empowerment partner Mnombo Wethu Consultants.
Implats, which bought an initial interest of 15% in the JV in November 2017, may elect to increase its interest in the project to 50.01%.