Eastplats Update - New Decline Development Underway at Barplats' Crocodile River Mine, Zandfontein SectionOctober 26, 2006
Ian Rozier, President and CEO of Eastern Platinum Limited ("Eastplats") and Chairman of Barplats Investments Limited ("Barplats"), reports that the commencement of additional decline development at the Zandfontein section of Crocodile River Mine ("CRM") in South Africa has commenced. Development of the decline system from a section of the mine which was successfully de-watered in June this year, will be undertaken using mechanised equipment; mining of the UG2 reef accessed by this development will be by conventional mining methods.
Murray & Roberts Cementation("MRC"), recognized as one of the worlds leading mining contracting companies, are undertaking the decline development at Zandfontein. Work in terms of the MRC's ZAR65 million two-year contract began in July 2006 and entails developing Declines 2 and 5 and all associated horizontal development required for production over the next 18-24 months.
Currently, mining operations at the Zandfontein section uses four operating declines from surface. Alternative access methods are being considered for long term mine planning to exploit defined resources at Zandfontein. Existing infrastructure for this includes a 8.5-metre diameter vertical shaft to a depth of 450m. This shaft has been successfully dewatered and is in excellent condition, enabling it to contribute for the first time to the mine's production as an intake airway, providing multi-blast conditions, and thus allowing high speed mine development. This shaft could be re-equipped for production as part of the longer term mine development program.
"The development at Zandfontein is a significant milestone for the Crocodile River Mine. Zandfontein has a key role to play in contributing to the mine's growth profile with the plan to ramp-up production from this section to 140,000 tonnes a month by mid 2009," said Tom van den Berg, General Manager of the Crocodile River Mine.
As reported in previous news releases, Barplats is a platinum group metals ("PGM" ) company whose core business is PGM mining and processing in South Africa's world-renowned Bushveld Igneous Complex ("BIC"). Eastplats owns a 69% indirect interest in Barplats, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and controls a resource base containing in excess of 70 million PGM ounces. The company's two main assets are the Crocodile River Mine operations on the western limb of the BIC and the Kennedy's Vale project on the eastern limb of the BIC immediately adjacent to and down-dip from Eastplats' Spitzkop project.
Further information on Barplats (symbol "BPL") and the CRM operations in South Africa can be found on the Barplats website: www.barplats.net.
Eastplats trades on the TSX and AIM stock exchanges under the trading symbol ELR.
For further information, please contact:
Mr. Ian Rozier, M.Sc., P. Eng., President & C.E.O.
#408 - 837 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6C 3N6
Tel: 604-685-6851 Fax: 604-685-6493
Certain statements included herein constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. These forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions by Eastplats and Barplats and as such are not a guarantee of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements due to factors such as general economic and market conditions, increased costs of production and a decline in metal prices. Eastplats is under no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws.