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Blitz

The Blitz project development area is adjacent to the Stillwater mine and is expected, ultimately, to extend that mine’s underground infrastructure by approximately 23,000 feet to the east of current mine operations.

Work on the Blitz development project began in 2010. The Blitz tunnel-boring machine was commissioned at Stillwater in 2012 and definition drilling began in 2013.

Currently, the focus is on development and progress on critical path items essential to first production. The 53 East decline, providing access to the first production stope, remains ahead of schedule. Tunnel boring development totalled 2,893 feet in 2016. The Benbow access portal, for which permitting was completed in the third quarter of 2015, is being developed at the far end of the two primary Blitz tunnels and is designed to intersect the two tunnels from the surface. This portal will provide ventilation and emergency egress for the Blitz development area. Construction of the surface facilities is nearing completion and work on the excavation of the Benbow decline started in the third quarter of 2016 using a contractor and is progressing on schedule.

Updates on the engineering work for the Blitz project have driven a substantial increase in the scope of the project and an accelerated production profile at relatively minimal additional costs. It is estimated that the Blitz project will cost approximately $250 million in all, of which approximately $111.6 million had been incurred by the end of 2016 and around $138 million remains to be spent. Capital expenditure in 2016 amounted to $46.0 million (2015: $27.7 million).

It is estimated that Blitz will produce between 270,000oz and 330,000oz of platinum and palladium (2E) annually. First production is expected in early 2018 with steady state production scheduled for 2021. Development of the core infrastructure is expected to be completed in early 2019.

Additional capital will be required to expand the Stillwater concentrator to treat the increased ore tonnage once production has begun at Blitz and related work is currently underway.