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Mar 2006 - Platinum Australia

Platinum Australia Ltd (PLA) – Bringing Smokey Hills into Production at ~95,000ozpa 4E (>40,000ozpa platinum)

  • Platinum Australia (PLA) currently has two main projects in South Africa that are in the process of being taken through to platinum production, namely Smokey Hills in the east (~13km NW of Steelpoort) and Kalplats (~90km SW of Mafeking).
  • PLA expects both projects to soon receive their “New Order” Prospecting Rights allowing Smokey Hills to convert to a Mining Right after completing the BFS in June 2006, and Kalplats to extend the exploration, upgrade the ore resource and complete a BFS by June 2007.
  • Smokey Hills is a conventional UG2 eastern limb (of the Bushveld) reef that is expected to initially be mined by open-cut and then underground, very similar to the UG2 being mined underground on the adjacent Modikwa (ARM/Angloplats) platinum mine about 4km further south. Production has been estimated at ~95,000ozpa 4E PGM (Pt, Pd, Rh, Au) based on diluted grades of 5.0g/t and 82.5% recoveries, although >5.2g/t 4E and >=85% recoveries appear to be achievable.
  • Kalplats represents a previously unrecognised style of platinum mineralisation in 3bn year-old greenstone rocks. Initial studies show that production from the >3.5g/t higher grade reefs could result in 3E PGM production rates ~190,000ozpa, although we have used a more conservative model on 3.25g/t and ~175,000ozpa.
  • Both Smokey Hills and Kalplats appear to have significant upside potential. Smokey Hills could extend its planned mining west across the boundary into Modikwa ground in an arrangement with ARM/Angloplats, while Kalplats appears to have been misunderstood, with recoveries ~80% using conventional techniques, and possibly material extensions on strike and on parallel structures.
  • Written by: Keith Goode
  • Thursday, 23 March 2006