Nkwe Platinum said on Monday that it would likely establish a mechanised mine, describing this decision as a ‘necessity’.

The platinum developer Nkwe Platinum is prepping its Garatau project in South Africa for full-scale mine production and the company believes that its strategy to design a mechanised mine is proving to be perceptive.

Mechanisation economics

Nkwe Platinum stated that there has been a recent general acknowledgement in the industry that large-scale mechanisation is not an option, but rather a necessity due to its robust economics and operating efficiencies.

The company noted that an early works programme (EWP) to prepare the Garatau project for full-scale mine construction had been designed.

Work on the water-use license, environmental authorisations, main engineering, procurement and construction management contract and block plan is currently under way.

During the EWP, the company would finalise water and power supply for construction, complete bulk earthworks and establish a trackless workshop on surface.

Predevelopment estimates

The project has a total resource of 39.94-million oz of platinum-group elements and gold had been independently estimated during predevelopment work.

Further resource estimates and classification is pending for the project. The Garatau Project consists of two contiguous properties Garatouw 282 KT and De Kom 252 KT.

These farms are located adjacent to three operating mines; the Marula Mine of Impala Platinum, Smokey Hills Mine of Platinum Australia and Anglo Platinum’s Modikwa Mine.

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