One of the biggest platinum developments in the world, in South Africa, has reach 996 level.

The Platreef project has reached another milestone. Iamge credit: Ivanhoe

The Platreef project has reached another milestone. Iamge credit: Ivanhoe

Good news for those interested in new mining projects in South Africa (No, your eyes are not deceiving you – there are new mines being developed in South Africa. Big mines, in fact). South Africa is by far the largest producer of Platinum Group Metals (PGM) in the world, and apart from the eastern and western limb of the Platinum Belt, the country boasts one of the most prospective platinum ore bodies ever seen – Platreef, on the Northern Limb, in the Limpopo Province. That in itself should claim headlines. Nevertheless, despite Covid-19, corruption, lockdowns and the like, that old mining mogul Robert Friedland has pulled it off again.

Ivanplats, Friedland’s company Ivanhoe Mines’ South African subsidiary, announced at the beginning of June that they have just successfully completed sinking Shaft 1 to a final depth of 996m below surface at their potentially prolific Platreef underground mine. Platreef contains the thick, high-grade, flat-lying, underground Flatreef Deposit, a Tier One discovery by Ivanhoe Mines’ geologists.

Underground mine development work now will focus on the construction of the 996-metre-level station at the bottom of the shaft, with final completion forecasted for the end of July 2020, well ahead of the contractual schedule. The shaft can then be reconfigured and equipped for rock, personnel and material hoisting.

The new auxiliary winder for the 7.25m diameter Shaft 1, which is scheduled to be delivered to Platreef later this year, will be used to assist in equipping the shaft and thereafter for logistics, shaft examination and auxiliary functions. The auxiliary winder will provide a second means of ingress and egress from the shaft after removal of the stage winder. Shaft 1 is located approximately 350m away from a high-grade area of the Flatreef orebody, planned for bulk-scale, mechanised mining.

The Platreef Project is one of the world’s largest deposits of high-grade PGM’s, nickel and copper. Just north of Platreef lies AngloPlats’ Mogalakwena mine, the most productive open-pit platinum mine in the world and the location of some of MTE Exhibitions best ever shows. Be sure not to miss it when the lockdowns eases and we get the show on the road again.