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Spitzkop is characterised by high grade near surface PGM mineralization occurring in both the UG2 and Merensky reefs, with platinum being the dominant ore mineral.
Spitzkop is located on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex in Limpopo Province. Angloplats, the world's largest producer of PGM, is currently planning the Helena and De Brochen platinum mines in the UG2 reef in the immediate vicinity to Spitzkop, Mvelaphanda is studying the Booysendal deposit and Aquarius Platinum Ltd. has developed the Everest South mine. Eastplats is developing the nearby Mareesburg PGM project (see below).
The New Order Mining Rights at Spitzkop are currently registered in the name of Spitzkop Platinum Pty Ltd. ("Spitzplats") and are in good standing. Eastplats entered into a 50:50 Joint Venture Agreement with Spitzplats (April 2005) and subsequently Eastplats acquired a 74% interest in Spitzplats. Spitzplats is an "empowered" company under the Empowerment Charter and fully compliant with South African B.E.E. requirements. The transactions are fully compliant with South African law and the New Mining Act.
The technical data used for the Mineral Resource estimates were generated by Anglo American, Samancor (B.H.P.), Impala and Eastplats. The data used are considered to be of a high quality and to be reliable.
The PGM Resources in the UG2 at Spitzkop are high grade with a fairly constant Pt/Pd ratio, with Pt always dominating over Pd.
The average thickness of the UG2 Reef at Spitzkop is 1.5m. Dips of the UG2 reef are consistent across most of the property at approximately 12º.
The Merensky Reef at Spitzkop has an average thickness of 3m thick with the same dip as the UG2.
Although preliminary metallurgical test work by Impala reported metal recoveries as high as 93% in the UG2, it is expected that metal recoveries at Spitzkop will be similar to those on other PGM properties and mines in production in the Spitzkop area, with approximately 80% recovery of the PGM in the concentrate. The concentrate produced from Spitzkop would be platinum and rhodium rich and may command a premium.
Declines have been developed to both the UG2 and Merensky reefs. Trial mining was postponed in 2010, subject to improved PGM prices. The Company’s current strategy is to develop Spitzkop as our next operating mine after the Mareesburg open pit mine. Hence the 90,000 tonnes per month concentrator being built at the Kennedy’s Vale site has been designed for easy expansion to 180,000 tonnes per month by adding a second line.
Kennedy's Vale is a very large underground resource containing PGM's in both the UG2 and Merensky Reefs.
The Kennedy's Vale project comprises PGM minerals rights on several farms in the Steelpoort Valley. Previous exploration on the property was undertaken by Rand Mines, Gencor and Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) during the period 1985 to 2003.
The existing infrastructure includes two vertical shafts that intersect the UG2 at a depth of approximately 900 m. A drilling programme, which is part of a future pre-feasibility study, was completed in 2007.
Both the UG2 and the Merensky Reefs extend down dip from Spitzkop into Kennedy's Vale. The UG2 at Kennedy's Vale is separated from the Merensky Reef by some 200 m vertically. The Merensky Reef is over 2.5 m thick at Kennedy's Vale.
Although preliminary metallurgical test work by Impala reported metal recoveries as high as 93% in the UG2, it is expected that metal recoveries at Kennedy's Vale will be similar to those on other PGM properties and mines in production in the Spitzkop area, with approximately 80% recovery of the PGM in the concentrate.