Volspruit platinum group metals project, South Africa – update

8th March 2024 By: Sheila Barradas - Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

Volspruit platinum group metals project, South Africa – update

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

On the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex, in South Africa.

Project Owner/s
Sylvania Platinum.

Project Description
The project comprises the Volspruit North and Volspruit South deposits. The scoping study envisages steady-state mining production supplying the mills with a capacity of 150 000 t a month.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a pretax net present value, at a 12.5% discount rate, of R464-million, excluding significant potential upside from rhodium contribution, and the South Body PGM ounce inclusion being assessed. The project has a pretax net present value of 17.9%, with a payback of 4.25 years from first production.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
Peak funding is estimated at R2.5-billion.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Sylvania Platinum has announced the completion of a mineral resource estimate update, facilitated by South African geological company Earthlab Technical Division.

CEO Jaco Prinsloo has said the exploration results align with the company’s strategic goals, emphasising the importance of exploration assets as a key driver for Sylvania’s growth strategy.

The results include revised updates for the Volspruit North and Volspruit South orebodies, including for rhodium and ruthenium, both of which had previously not been assayed. The update is in line with the Joint Ore Reserves Committee standards.

Results from Volspruit North include 16.42-million tonnes at a platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (4E) grade of 2.52 g/t; 1.33-million 4E ounces at a grade of 2.52 g/t; 21.94-million pounds of copper at a grade of 0.07%; and 61.50-million pounds of nickel at a grade of 0.18%.

The MRE represents a 10% increase in the indicated tonnage from the previously reported MRE (October 2022), resulting from a more defined geological modelling exercise that has also resulted in the 4E grade improving by 4%.

The addition of rhodium estimates has also improved the overall grade by about 7%.

At Volspruit South, results include 10.60-million tonnes at a 4E grade of 2.11 g/t; 14.83-million pounds of copper at a grade of 0.06%; and 46.96-million pounds of nickel at a grade of 0.20%.

This update is the first one completed since the mineralised zones have been redefined and, as expected, it reports about one-third of the tonnages at almost double the grades previously reported by Integrated Geological Solutions in 2012.

The previously declared measured resources for Volspruit North were downgraded to the indicated category, as a result of the short-range variability between closely spaced boreholes being highlighted during the reef-redefining exercise.

“This serves to demonstrate that while our understanding of the resource is improving, we are also able to identify where future efforts will need to be focused. Resources for Volspruit South are currently categorised as inferred due to structural complexity and sparse drilling data,” Prinsloo has explained.

The company is committed to further exploration activities in 2024 to unlock additional value from its existing mining rights.

Sylvania has embarked on a preliminary economic assessment of the Volspruit project to assess what value the addition of the Volspruit South resources, and the rhodium and ruthenium resources, might add value to the overall project.

Metallurgical testwork is being undertaken on fresh core that was drilled in 2023. Based on the results of the scoping study and the metallurgical testwork, which is expected during the fourth-quarter of 2024, a decision will be made on progressing the project to a prefeasibility-study phase during full-year 2025.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Earthlab Technical Division (scoping study).

Contact Details for Project Information
Sylvania Platinum, tel +27 11 673 1171 or email info@sylvaniaresources.com.