Construction work at Ivanhoe Mines’ Platreef Project will resume after South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) gave final approval of mining right for the development of the mine in Mokopane, Limpopo.
The mining licence, given for an initial period of 30 years, authorizes the Canadian mining company to mine and process platinum-group metals, nickel, copper, gold, silver, cobalt, iron, vanadium and chrome at its Platreef discovery, on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex.
Announcing the finalisation of the granting of the mining licence on Wednesday, 5 November, Ivanhoe Mines’ Executive Chairman Robert Friedland said the execution of the mining licence will enable the immediate resumption of preparations for construction at the Platreef site.
“With the shared, ongoing commitments of the Department of Mineral Resources, our Broad-Based, Black Economic Empowerment partners and our supportive co-investors from the Japanese trade and industry consortium, Ivanhoe Mines’ Platreef Project is going to become a sustaining foundation of jobs and support serving the common interests of our host communities in Limpopo province,” Friedland said.
Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodi said the final approval of the Platreef mining licence shows the department’s commitment to ensure mining companies comply with South Africa’s mining laws, while attracting investment and growing the economy.
“The final regulatory approval of the Platreef Project’s mining right is significant not only for the development of the project itself but it also signals the South African government’s determination to grow our country’s economy. The Platreef Project will attract foreign capital, create much needed jobs and contribute significantly to socio-economic development in areas surrounding the project,” said Ramatlhodi.
Adding, Ramatlhodi said he is confident the Platreef Project will satisfy the environmental, socio-economic as well as Black Economic Empowerment requirements as set out in South African mining law. “We look forward to a constructive partnership on this project between Ivanhoe Mines, the South African government, communities and workers,” he said.
Under a broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) structure announced earlier this year, the Platreef Project is now 26% owned by 20 host communities, employees and local entrepreneurs. About 150 000 people live in the 20 host communities that form part of the B-BBEE transaction and 187 local entrepreneurial companies, representing 333 individual shareholders, took part in the entrepreneurial subscription.
Ivanplats, Ivanhoe Mines’ wholly-owned subsidiary, will work closely with the DMR to ensure that the Platreef Project’s host communities receive maximum benefits from the company’s operations, said Platreef Project’s Managing Director Patricia Makhesha.
“After all of the discussions that have been held with stakeholders about these very significant benefits that will flow from the development and operation of the planned mine, we are about to begin seeing our words translated into meaningful actions,” Makhesha said.
Following the granting of the mining licence, Ivanplats will immediately halt retrenchment plans that it started at the beginning of November. Work at the Platreef site had been suspended since May this year pending finalisation of the mining licence.