Barplats enters agreement with ABT on feasibility study for tailings retreatment plant
DURBAN - Eastern Platinum (Eastplats) subsidiary, Barplats Mines, yesterday said it had entered into a project framework agreement with Advanced Beneficiation Technologies of South Africa (ABT) to complete an independent feasibility study for a tailings retreatment plant.
The study is into the development and construction of a 20000 to 50000 tons-a-month platinum group metals (PGMs) facility at its Zandfontein tailings dam at the Crocodile River.
Eastplats said there were several milestones it required to complete and establish this project, including the completion at ABT’s risk and cost, assessment and acceptance of the feasibility study, which is expected during November this year.
The group added that this would be followed by the conclusion of agreements, including a joint venture agreement between Barplats and ABT and procuring appropriate funding.
ABT is fully compliant as a black economic empowerment entrepreneur and a member of the Omang Group of companies.
Eastplats, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and JSE, is a PGM and chrome-operating company engaged in the exploration, development, mining and potential acquisition of PGM/chrome properties in South Africa.
Eastplats chief executive Diana Hu said they were pleased to sign the agreement with ABT and begin the feasibility study and project.
“This venture is a new potential revenue source for the company without any additional capital funding obligations and an opportunity to recover PGMs from the tailings redeposited on to the Zandfontein tailings dam,” Hu said.
Barplats would supply the material and infrastructure for the PGMs processing from the dam, establish an appropriate off-take agreement, and support the project through both executive management and administration.
The group said ABT, as the intended operator, was responsible to complete the feasibility study, including appropriate drilling, secure appropriate funding, oversee the construction and commissioning and operate the project. However, Eastplats said it could not reasonably estimate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this project.
“The effects of Covid-19 are changing rapidly and the company cannot reasonably estimate at this time the impact of Covid-19 on this project, current operations, new lockdowns or policies imposed by the government could potentially have material adverse effects on the company’s business, liquidity and cash flows.
Eastplats’ operations at the Crocodile River mine currently include re-mining and processing its tailings resource, with an off-take of the chrome concentrate from the Zandfontein tailings facility.
Eastplats shares closed unchanged at R3.79 on the JSE yesterday.