Eastplats .photo :Simphiwe Mbokazi
JOHANNESURG - Platinum group metal (PGM) company Eastern Platinum (Eastplats) said on Friday that the  chrome tailings treatment project at its Crocodile River was estimated at R191.2m.

The figure was 16.6 percent higher than it was previously estimated. 

Eastplats disclosed the information on its first quarter 2018 update and said it had contracted 80 percent of the project’s Phase 1. 

Eastplats and its subsidiary Barplats Mines entered into a framework agreement with Union Goal (UG) relating to construction, mining and processing of the tailings resource and off take of chrome concentrate from Barplats’ tailings facility located at the company’s Crocodile River Mine in South Africa (CRM). 

Eastplats based in Vancouver is listed both in the Toronto Stock Exchange and the JSE.

Eastplats entered the agreement with Union Goal Offshore Solutions on March 1 and Union Goal has made has made an upfront payment of $3.6m to Barplats. 

Eastplats reported that equipment had arrived on site and that it was targeting commissioning of the plant in the third quarter.

“Construction of the Retreatment Project is well underway with the significant components of the chrome processing circuit already imported and at site,” the group said. 

The group added that construction teams were well advanced with the civil construction to build the structures for the chrome processing circuit. “Work is progressing well at the tailings facility to relocate and move the ore for initial production all within the existing facility,” the group said. 

“The schedule remains on track and the company is targeting the third quarter for commissioning with revenue expected in the fall of 2018,” the group said.

In the first quarter to end March results, Eastplats reported a net loss of $1.2m, an improvement of 52 percent as compared to $2.5m reported in the first quarter of 2017.

The group also reported 0.01 US cents loss a share, down from 0.02 US cents loss a share in the quarter. 

Eastplats said the construction of the Retreatment Project had been the primary focus of Eastplats since the UG Agreement was signed.

Appropriate resources havd been authorised and allocated and management is very pleased with the progress and remains optimistic of delivery on the agreed construction timetable for the chrome operations with the expectation of revenue-producing operations during the third quarter of 2018.

The group said an amount of $21.3m in cash and short term investments and working capital of $25.6m at the end March was available for the project.