PLATINUM GROUP METALS
Jubilee secures rights to process platinum rich chrome tailings from Bushveld mine
Junior platinum mining and metallurgical operator, Jubilee Platinum, has been awarded rights to treat old and current tailings from the Dikolong chrome mine on South Africa's Bushveld complex.
Posted: Wednesday , 13 Jun 2012
There has been much interest recently in the Bushveld Complex area of South Africa in reprocessing chrome mine tailings for the platinum group metal content and the latest company to secure rights to process such tailings is Jubilee Platinum, the licensor of the ConRoast process for treating chrome rich platinum ores developed by Mintek. Other companies which have already gone down the chrome tailings route for some of their operations are Aquarius Platinum which has a chrome tailings treatment plant at its Kroondal mine near Rustenburg, Sylvania Platinum, which has an interest in the Aquarius operation and its own Millsell, Moonoi, Lannex and Steelpoort chrome dump retreatment operations and Pan African Resources with its Phoenix platinum project.
AIM and JSE listed Jubilee has been awarded rights to process tailings from the Dikolong chromite mine on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex. The tailings are said to be PGE (platinum group element) rich from dumps, as well as from current and future operations at the Dikolong mine. The dump tailings are believed to carry grades of 3.5-4.0 g/tonne PGE and contain around 90-100,000 ounces of the precious metals. Total historic dump material is put at some 800,000 tonnes while the ongoing tailings output from Dikolong is around 8,000-15,000 tonnes per month.
Jubilee reckons PGEs in concentrate production will peak at around 12,900 ounces a year and average revenue over an 11-year assumed project life would be in the order of ZAR 67 million (US$8 million), but peaking at ZAR 97 million ($11.6 million)
Commenting on the award, Leon Coetzer, the Jubilee CEO said "This award of contract is a major advancement in the fulfilment of Jubilee's mine-to-metal strategy and will facilitate the company's medium term mission to install its new direct current arc furnace for ConRoast. Jubilee's ConRoast process will be ideally suited to the smelting and refining of the PGE concentrates recovered from the Dump Tailings and from other chromite ores and historic dumps of chromite waste. This illustrates the versatility of the ConRoast process."
The platinum to palladium ratio of the contained PGEs is believed to be around 2.8 to 1, a potentially favourable ratio for the project's economics.
The capital cost of the PGE tailings beneficiation plant (including chrome recovery) is estimated at ZAR120 million ($14.4 million). The project offers a strong project financing opportunity to minimise the need for additional equity funding.
Under the award, Jubilee proposes to create a special purpose company in which it will hold an initial 67.5% interest with the option to increase its holding. Jubilee will assume responsibility for initial funding of the project, with the other shareholders' contributions being recovered by Jubilee from dividends.