Ivanhoe Mines’ co-chairmen Robert Friedland and Yufeng Miles Sun announced that the company’s South African subsidiary, Ivanplats, is fast-tracking a feasibility study on a smaller-scale, early-stage development plan using Shaft 1.The shaft will be used as a production shaft at the Platreef palladium, platinum, nickel, copper, gold and rhodium mining licence, which is located on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa’s Limpopo provinces. Spot prices of palladium and rhodium – two key metals contained in the Platreef ore – have soared in recent months, propelling Platreef’s metals-price basket to a new, all-time high. An independent feasibility study is underway to review Ivanhoe’s planned smaller-scale, early-stage, lower-capital-cost production plan. Ivanhoe’s plan would accelerate the mine’s first production by using Shaft 1 as the mine’s initial production shaft, followed by expansions to the production rate outlined in the project’s 2017 definitive feasibility study. Ivanhoe’s smaller-scale mine design also is optimized to target the highest-grade areas of the mineral resource in close vicinity to Shaft 1.
Platreef’s Shaft 1 currently is at a depth of 957 metres below surface. It is scheduled to be completed to a final depth of approximately 1 000 metres by the end of July 2020. Work on Shaft 1’s 950-metre-level station – the shaft’s third and final station – is expected to be completed in March 2020.