The Southern Africa PGM operations are currently supported by a pipeline of three projects, which are at varying stages of development. The projects – Blue Ridge, Akanani and Limpopo – are all located on the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and present significant optionality to sustain and/or enhance the current production profile.
At 31 December 2022, our advanced Southern Africa PGM projects had combined attributable 4E PGM Mineral Resources of 53.1Moz.
Akanani is an exploration project located on the northern limb of the BIC, in the Limpopo province of South Africa, 30km north-east of the town of Mokopane.
Extensive exploration drilling has been conducted on the southeastern portion of the property, confirming significant Mineral Resources that offers the potential for a long-life, low-cost operation. The wide orebody (>20m thick for the P2 Unit) would enable a mechanised, long-hole, open-stope mining operation.
A unique feature of the Platreef mineralisation, is the ratio of platinum:palladium, which is close to 1:1, as well as the high concentration in base metal by-products, with nickel and copper grading 0.24% and 0.13% respectively, making for a very attractive and diversified metal mix.
Akanani Mining (Propriety) Limited (“Akanani”) was the holder of a new order (converted) prospecting right MPT No. 249/2006 for platinum group metals, gold, silver, nickel, copper and cobalt on the Farms Moordkopje and Zwartfontein which covered 40.95km². The right was registered in the Mining Titles Registration Office on 28 June 2006, which, following renewals, ultimately expired on 3 April 2021. An application for conversion to a mining right was submitted in March 2021.
The application has been rejected by the DMRE, related to an interpretation of the expiry date of the prospecting right. To secure its position, the Group has launched internal appeal proceedings in accordance with the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002. The internal appeal process is progressing within the prescripts of the MPRDA. The Group will resort to court action in order to enforce its rights should the internal appeal not be successful, as it believes that it has complied with all the regulations for a successful transition to a mining right.
At 31 December 2022, Akanani had a total attributable PGM Mineral Resource of 31.6Moz.
Blue Ridge is a 50:50 joint venture with Imbani Platinum acquired following the acquisition of Aquarius Platinum in 2016. It is approximately 30km southeast of Groblersdal on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex. The operation was placed on care and maintenance in 2011 and no exploration work has been undertaken during this time.
This mining operation remains under care and maintenance while Sibanye-Stillwater engages with its partners and stakeholders to find an optimum way to maximise value for all stakeholders. No exploration work has been undertaken at this operation since being placed on care and maintenance in 2011, although a Mineral Resource estimate update and a pre-feasibility study into the re-start of the operation was concluded in 2020.
At 31 December 2022, Blue Ridge had a total attributable PGM Mineral Resource of 1.6Moz.
The Limpopo project is located on the northern sector of the eastern limb of the BIC in the Limpopo province, approximately 50km south of the city of Polokwane. The project area consists of three mineral title areas, Voorspoed (Including the Baobab mining right and the Voorspoed prospecting area), and the Dwaalkop and Doornvlei mining right areas.
The Baobab property has the full surface and underground infrastructure to support a mining rate of 90ktpm. It has a vertical shaft to a depth of 450m. There is a 90,000tpm concentrator on the property. The Limpopo Baobab property was a producing operation that reached a maximum extraction rate of 75,000tpm, before being placed on care and maintenance in early 2009. The concentrator plant is currently being leased to Anglo American Platinum. The Dwaalkop Project is a 50:50 JV with Northam Platinum (via Mvelaphanda Resources). Doornvlei is an undeveloped property.
Due to the steep dip of the UG2 and Merensky Reefs, the project remains an attractive mechanisation option, which fits well with Sibanye-Stillwater’s strategic goals. Development of the project remains subject to Group capital expenditure ranking.
At 31 December 2022, the Limpopo project had a total attributable PGM Mineral Resource of 19.9Moz.