Planned Definitive Feasibility Study Update and Infill Drilling Program. Platinum Group Metals Ltd. (TSX: PTM) (NYSE American: PLG) (“Platinum Group”, “PTM” or the “Company”) announces that Waterberg JV Resources (Pty) Ltd. (“Waterberg JV Co.”) has approved in principle a Rand 380 million (approximately US $21.0 million) pre-construction work program (the “Work Program”) for the Waterberg Project, focused on early infrastructure, de-risking and project optimization.
The Board of Directors of Waterberg JV Co., which is owned by the Company, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (“JOGMEC“) and Hanwa Co., unanimously approved an initial budget for the first R 45 million (approximately US $2.5 million) of the Work Program, to be spent by March 31, 2023 (the “Initial Budget”). Hanwa Holdings (Pty) Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings (Pty) Ltd., Mnombo Wethu Consultants (Pty) Ltd. (“Mnombo”).
Waterberg Joint Venture owners are excited to work together on and fund this significant Work Program to move the Waterberg Project forward, according to Platinum Group President and CEO Frank Hallam.
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While the Work Program is being carried out PTM plans to evaluate the possibility of establishing a new smelter and base metal refinery business, jointly with third-party investors, capable of processing Waterberg concentrate. This is in addition to continuing to seek a third-party concentrate offtake agreement for Waterberg JV Co.
Initial road access, water supply, essential site facilities, a first phase accommodation lodge, a site construction power supply from state utility Eskom and progress of the Waterberg Social & Labour Plan are all components of the project’s infrastructure that will be prioritized by the Work Program.
There will also be a review of potential changes to the project’s financial model as part of the 2019 Waterberg Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS Update”) update, which will look at things like cut-off grades, mining methods, infrastructure plans, scheduling, concentrate offtake, dry stack tailings, costs and more.
An infill drilling program has been approved in advance of the DFS Update, with the goal of testing modeled Inferred Mineral Resource blocks close to the surface. If successful, these blocks will be upgraded to higher confidence and can be incorporated into early mine plans, potentially shortening the time needed to bring the mine online and cutting costs.
The drill program’s mineralized recoveries will be tested for purity and the byproducts will be treated to learn more about the nature of the dry-stack tailings and the metallurgical properties of the concentrate. It is predicted that mine water usage will be cut by 40–50% if dry stack tailings techniques are incorporated into the DFS Update.
Since JOGMEC and Hanwa share a fiscal year and budgetary cycle, the Initial Budget for the Work Program will be funded on a 50/50 basis by the joint venture partners. Approvals for subsequent Work Program expenditures are anticipated for time periods ending on August 31, 2024.
The announcement made today is an important milestone on the road to realizing the economic, social and community benefits of the Waterberg deposit. Locals stand to gain from a potential choice to build the Waterberg Project in the form of new high-paying jobs, upgraded infrastructure, easier access to clean water and expanded educational and training options.
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