Ivanhoe finishes building ‘starter mine’ at Platreef in South Africa’s Bushveld Complex

Ivanhoe Mines has announced the completion of the Shaft 1 production changeover at its platinum group metals (PGM) and gold Platreef mine in the South African province of Limpopo.

TSX-listed Ivanhoe is developing the multi-billion dollar project in three scalable phases and sees Shaft 1 as its ‘starter mine’. The project is located 450 metres from the first high-grade area of the Platreef orebody, and will help the Canadian miner establish a strategic production foothold within South Africa’s Bushveld PGM Complex.

“Phase 1 mine is only the beginning of a multi-stage, multi-generational mining complex underpinned by an enormous, high-grade resource and vast exploration upside,” said Ivanhoe president Marna Cloete at the Investing in African Mining Indaba yesterday.

Platreef’s initial production shaft is expected to produce 700,000 tonnes of ore a year, although the company sees the production profile growing to 12 million tonnes per annum and beyond, which would position Platreef among the world’s largest and lowest-cost nickel and PGM mines.

The asset is expected to produce more than 24,000 tonnes of nickel and 1.1 million ounces of palladium, rhodium, platinum and gold per year, Ivanhoe said.

In a statement, executive co-chair and company founder Robert Friedland said the project is on track to deliver first production by Q3 2024. “This achievement will only mark our first milestone. We plan to expand this tier 1 operation into one of the largest and lowest cost, integrated PGM operations on the planet,” he noted.