MOKOPANE, SOUTH AFRICA – Ivanhoe Mines’ (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF) Co-Chairmen Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun announced today that the company’s South African subsidiary, Ivanplats, has successfully completed the sinking of Shaft 1 to a final depth of 996 metres below surface, at the company’s palladium, platinum, nickel, copper, gold and rhodium Platreef mining licence.
The Platreef Project, which contains the thick, high-grade, flat-lying, underground Flatreef Deposit, is a Tier One discovery by Ivanhoe Mines' geologists on the Northern Limb of South Africa's Bushveld Igneous Complex; the world's premier platinum producing region.
Underground mine development work now will focus on the construction of the 996-metre-level station at the bottom of the shaft, with final completion forecasted by the end of July 2020, well ahead of the contractual schedule. The shaft can then be reconfigured and equipped for rock, personnel and material hoisting.
The new auxiliary winder for the 7.25-metre diameter Shaft 1, which is scheduled to be delivered to Platreef later this year, will be used to assist in equipping the shaft and thereafter for logistics, shaft examination and auxiliary functions. The auxiliary winder will provide a second means of ingress and egress from the shaft after removal of the stage winder. Shaft 1 is located approximately 350 metres away from a high-grade area of the Flatreef orebody, planned for bulk-scale, mechanized mining.
“The Platreef Project has long been recognized as one of the world’s largest deposits of high-grade platinum-group metals, (PGMs) nickel and copper. With the sinking of Shaft 1 now complete, we are exploring near-term development pathways at Platreef that will allow us to expedite production at the next world-class mine on the Northern Limb,” said Mr. Friedland. “We are particularly pleased that the project remains ‘Fall-of-Ground’ incident free since shaft-sinking operations began in July 2016, which is a tribute to the excellent work by the Platreef Project team and its South African sinking contractor, Moolmans.”
The Platreef team has proudly achieved South African shaft-sinking industry leader status in terms of safety performance.
Members of the Platreef team celebrate the completion of sinking Shaft 1 to a final depth of 996 metres below surface. Shaft 1’s headframe is in the background.
Updated DFS is nearing completion, which includes a scoping study on the phased development production plan for the Platreef Project
Ivanhoe is updating the Platreef Project’s 2017 definitive feasibility study (DFS) to take into account development schedule advancement since 2017 when the DFS was completed, updated costs and refreshed metal prices and foreign exchange assumptions.
Concurrently, Ivanhoe is finalizing a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the phased development production plan for the Platreef Project. The plan targets significantly lower initial capital, to accelerate first production by using Shaft 1 as the mine’s initial production shaft, followed by expansions to the production rate as outlined in the 2017 DFS.
The re-evaluation is being done in parallel with the ongoing mine development work to access the thick, high-grade, flat-lying Flatreef deposit that was discovered in 2010 and outlined in the Platreef 2017 Feasibility Study.
“The pending study will assess phased development options at Platreef with substantially lower upfront capital. The goal is to prioritize near-term production while safeguarding our strong balance sheet. We are confident that the project will, in time, become one of the world’s largest and lowest-cost primary producers of platinum-group metals and provide long-lasting and meaningful benefits to all of our stakeholders, including the 20 local communities − comprising approximately 150,000 local Mokopane area residents − that are our equity partners," Mr. Friedland added.
Sifiso Mblangwe and his shaft-sinking teammates at a pre-shift safety meeting. The team achieved a South African shaft-sinking industry leader status for its safety performance.
Underground mining to incorporate highly-productive, mechanized methods
Planned mining methods will use highly-productive, mechanized methods, including long-hole stoping and drift-and-fill mining. Each method will utilize cemented backfill for maximum ore extraction. The ore will be hauled from the stopes to a series of internal ore passes and fed to the primary ore silos adjacent to Shaft 2, where it will be crushed and hoisted to surface.
Shaft 1 reached the top of the high-grade Flatreef Deposit (T1 mineralized zone) at a depth of 780.2 metres below surface in Q3 2018. The thickness of the mineralized orebody (T1 and T2 mineralized zones) at Shaft 1 is 29 metres, with grades of platinum-group metals ranging up to 11 grams per tonne (g/t) 3PE (platinum, palladium and rhodium) plus gold, as well as significant quantities of nickel and copper. The 29-metre intersection yielded approximately 3,000 tonnes of ore, estimated to contain more than 400 ounces of platinum-group metals. The ore is stockpiled on surface and is being used for metallurgical test work.
Platreef’s shaft-sinking team operating the six-boom jumbo to drill the final round to a depth of 996 metres below surface. Underground development work now will focus on the construction of the 996-metre-level station.
The development of the three primary mining access level stations has been completed with only the 996 metre spillage clearing level remaining, which will be completed by end July 2020. The three development stations will provide initial, underground access to the high-grade orebody. Shaft 1 changeover detailed designs are being completed and will enable Shaft 1 to be configured for permanent hoisting and dewatering.
The mining zones in the current Platreef Mine plan occur at depths ranging from approximately 700 metres to 1,200 metres below surface. When completed, Shaft 2 is expected to provide primary access to the mining zones; secondary access is expected to be via Shaft 1. During mine production, both shafts also are expected to serve as ventilation intakes. Three additional ventilation exhaust raises are planned to achieve steady-state production.
Ivanplats received its Integrated Water Use Licence in January 2019, which is valid for 30 years and enables the Platreef Project to make use of water as planned in the 2017 DFS.
Figure 1: Schematic section of the Platreef Mine, showing Flatreef’s T1 and T2 thick, high-grade mineralized zones (red and dark orange), underground development work completed to date in shafts 1 and 2 (white) and planned development work (gray).
Revenue per tonne of ore at the Platreef Project in South African Rand near all-time highs
Significant increases in the price of palladium, rhodium, gold and nickel over the last three years has resulted in the weighted price of the ‘basket’ of metals contained in the ore at the Platreef palladium-platinum-rhodium-nickel-copper-gold project to rise to levels that are significantly higher than when the 2017 DFS was completed. In addition, the South African Rand has depreciated significantly against the US dollar in recent years, resulting in the weighted price of Platreef’s ‘basket’ of metals in South African Rand trading near all-time highs.
Figure 2. Revenue per tonne of ore at the Platreef Project since 2016 (shown in US dollars)
Figure 3. Revenue per tonne of ore at the Platreef Project has risen steadily since 2016 (shown in South African rand).
Source for figures 1 & 2: Bloomberg. Based on historical weekly commodity prices at the end of each week.
Notes for Figures 1 and 2:
- Based on Platreef Mineral Reserves with an effective date of May 24, 2017.
- Probable Mineral Reserve of 124.7 million tonnes at a grade of 1.95 grams per tonne (g/t) platinum, 2.01 g/t palladium, 0.30 g/t gold, 0.14 g/t rhodium, 0.34% nickel and 0.17% copper.
- A declining NSR cut-off of $155 per tonne (t) to $80/t was used for the Mineral Reserve estimates.
- The NSR cut-off is an elevated cut-off above the marginal economic cut-off.
- Metal prices used in the Mineral Reserve estimate: US$1,600 per ounce (oz) platinum, US$815/oz palladium, US$1,300/oz gold, US$1,500/oz rhodium, US$8.90 per pound (lb) nickel and US$3.00/lb copper.
- Tonnage and grade estimates include dilution and mining recovery allowances.
- Applies life-of-mine average recoveries of 87.4% for platinum, 86.9% for palladium, 78.6% for gold, 80.5% for rhodium, 87.9% for copper and 71.9% for nickel.
- Total cash cost includes mine site costs, plus realization costs such as treatment and refining charges, royalties and transportation.
About the Platreef Project
The Platreef Project is owned by Ivanplats (Pty) Ltd, which is 64%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines. A 26% interest is held by Ivanplats’ historically-disadvantaged, broad-based, black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) partners, which include 20 local host communities with approximately 150,000 people, project employees and local entrepreneurs. In Q2 2019, Ivanplats reached Level 2 contributor status in its verification assessment on the B-BBEE scorecard. A Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corporation, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Japan Gas Corporation owns a 10% interest in Ivanplats, which it acquired in two tranches for a total investment of $290 million.
Boilermaker, Aide Samuel Teffo (left), Millwright, Lerato Maake (centre), and Rigger, Innocent Nchabeleng (right), display medals they received for their excellent safety performance during the sinking of Shaft 1.
Disclosures of a scientific or technical nature in this news release have been reviewed and approved by Stephen Torr, who is considered, by virtue of his education, experience and professional association, a Qualified Person under the terms of NI 43-101. Mr. Torr is not considered independent under NI 43-101 as he is the Vice President, Project Geology and Evaluation. Mr. Torr has verified the technical data disclosed in this news release.
Ivanhoe has prepared a current, independent, NI 43-101-compliant technical report for the Platreef Project, titled The Platreef 2017 Feasibility Study Technical Report dated September 4, 2017, prepared by DRA Global, OreWin Pty. Ltd., Amec Foster Wheeler, Stantec Consulting, Murray & Roberts Cementation, SRK Consulting, Golder Associates, and Digby Wells Environmental. This technical report include relevant information regarding the effective dates and the assumptions, parameters and methods of the mineral resource and reserve estimates on the Platreef Project cited in this news release, as well as information regarding data verification, exploration procedures and other matters relevant to the scientific and technical disclosure contained in this news release in respect of the Platreef Project.
About Ivanhoe Mines
Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its three principal joint-venture projects in Southern Africa: the development of major new, mechanized, underground mines at the Kamoa-Kakula discoveries in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and at the Platreef palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-rhodium-gold discovery in South Africa; and the extensive redevelopment and upgrading of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium-silver mine, also in the DRC. Kamoa-Kakula and Kipushi will be powered by clean, renewable hydroelectricity and will be among the world’s lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of metal produced. Ivanhoe also is exploring for new copper discoveries on its wholly-owned Western Foreland exploration licences in the DRC, near the Kamoa-Kakula Project.
Bill Trenaman +1.604.331.9834
Matthew Keevil +1.604. 558.1034
Cautionary statement on forward-looking information
Certain statements in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” or “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such statements and information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company, its projects, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “scheduled”, “forecast”, “predict” and other similar terminology, or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved.
Forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to: (1) statements regarding the forecasted completion of construction of the 996-metre-level station at the bottom of the shaft by the end of July 2020; (2) statements regarding the expected delivery of the new auxiliary winder for Shaft 1 to Platreef later this year; (3) statements regarding the high-grade area of the Flatreef orebody that is planned for bulk-scale, mechanized mining, located approximately 350 metres away from Shaft 1; (4) statements regarding Ivanhoe’s confidence that the Platreef Project will, in time, become one of the world’s largest and lowest-cost primary producers of platinum-group metals and provide long-lasting and meaningful benefits to all of our stakeholders; (5) statements regarding planned mining methods will use highly-productive, mechanized methods, including long-hole stoping and drift-and-fill mining; and (6) statements regarding the updated Definitive Feasibility Study is expected to be finalized in Q3 2020 and will include a scoping study on the phased development production plan.
Forward-looking statements and information involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indicators of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements or information, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in the company’s MD&A, as well as the inability to obtain regulatory approvals in a timely manner; the potential for unknown or unexpected events to cause contractual conditions to not be satisfied; unexpected changes in laws, rules or regulations, or their enforcement by applicable authorities; the failure of parties to contracts with the company to perform as agreed; social or labour unrest; changes in commodity prices; and the failure of exploration programs or studies to deliver anticipated results or results that would justify and support continued exploration, studies, development or operations.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of the company believes are reasonable assumptions, the company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, the company does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this news release.
The company’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of the factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in the company’s MD&A for the quarter ended March 30, 2020 and its latest Annual Information Form.
南非莫科帕内 — 艾芬豪矿业 (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF) 联席主席罗伯特 • 弗里兰德先生 (Robert Friedland) 和孙玉峰先生 (Miles Sun) 今天宣布，公司的南非子公司Ivanplats的普拉特瑞夫 (Platreef) 钯-铂-镍-铜-金-铑开采许可区一号竖井的凿井工程已顺利完成，达到地表以下996米的最终深度。
计划开采方法将会采用高效率的机械方法，包括深孔采矿法 (long-hole stoping) 及分层充填开采法 (drift-and-fill)。两种方法都会采用水泥回填以采掘最多的矿石。矿石将会从矿场通过一系列的内部矿石运送点，输送到邻近二号竖井的主要矿仓进行破碎并提升至地表。
一号竖井于 2018 年第三季度已成功达到位于地表以下 780.2 米深度的高品位 Flatreef 矿床 (T1 矿化带) 的顶部。一号竖井的矿体（T1 和 T2 矿化带）厚度为 29 米，铂族金属（铂、钯和铑）及黄金的综合品位高达 11 克/吨，并含有大量的镍和铜。29 米的钻孔见矿产生了约 3000 吨矿石，其中估计含有超过 400 盎司的铂族金属。矿石已送往地表堆场作选冶实验备用。
目前，普拉特瑞夫采矿计划中的开采范围位于地表以下约 700 米至 1,200 米的深度。二号竖井完工后将会用作通往开采范围的主要通道；而一号竖井将会用作次要通道。矿场生产期间，一号和二号竖井将会用作通风入口。规划的另外三个通风天井将用于实现稳定产量。
Ivanplats 于 2019 年 1 月取得综合用水许可证，有效期为30年，因而普拉特瑞夫项目能够按照 2017 年最终可行性研究报告的计划利用水资源。
图1：普拉特瑞夫矿山的示意图，显示Flatreef的T1和T2厚大的高品位矿化带(红色和深橙色) 、一号竖井和二号竖井至今已完成的地下开发工程(白色) 和规划的掘进工程(灰色) 。
普拉特瑞夫项目的每吨矿石价值 (以南非兰特计) 创下历史新高
图 2﹕普拉特瑞夫项目自 2016 年以来的每吨矿石价值 (以美元计)
图3﹕普拉特瑞夫项目的每吨矿石价值自 2016 年以来稳步上升 (以南非兰特计)
图2 和图3 的来源﹕Bloomberg。基于每周末的当周大宗商品价格。
图 2和图 3 的注释：
- 基于普拉特瑞夫的矿产储量信息 (2017年5月24日生效)。
- 可信矿石储量为 1.247亿吨 (铂品位1.95 克/吨、钯品位2.01克/吨、黄金品位0.30克/吨、铑品位0.14克/吨、镍品位0.34%，铜品位0.17%)。
- 矿产储量估算中使用的精矿净回报 (NSR) 边界值从每吨 155美 元下调至每吨 80美 元。
- NSR 边界值用于圈定边际经济临界值之上的储量。
- 矿产储量估算中使用的金属价格为﹕每盎司铂1,600 美元、每盎司钯815 美元、每盎司黄金1,300 美元、每盎司铑1,500 美元、每磅镍8.90 美元以及每磅铜3.00 美元。
- 总现金成本包括矿区成本加上变现成本 (例如粗炼及精炼费、权益金及运输费)。
普拉特瑞夫项目由 Ivanplats (Pty) Ltd.（以下简称“Ivanplats”）持有，该公司的 64% 权益归属于艾芬豪矿业。普拉特瑞夫项目的 26% 权益由 Ivanplats 的《全面提高黑人经济实力法案》(B-BBEE) 的南非受益人持有。这些受益人包括 20 个当地社区，约150,000 位居民、项目雇员和当地企业主。 2019 年第二季度，Ivanplats 在 B-BBEE 得分卡上的核实评估中达到 2 级贡献者身份。由伊藤忠商事株式会社、日本石油天然气和金属国家公司和日本天然气公司组成的日本财团通过 2 轮投资 (共 2.9 亿美元) 获取了 Ivanplats 的 10% 权益。
锅炉制造人员Aide Samuel Teffo (左)、工厂技工Lerato Maake (中)及钻机操作员Innocent Nchabeleng (右)，展示他们在一号竖井矿山凿井工程期间因出色安全业绩而获得的奖牌。
本新闻稿中的科学或技术性披露已经过 Stephen Torr 的审查和批准，他凭借其教育、经验和专业协会会籍被认为是 符合NI 43-101 要求的合资格人士。然而由于 Torr 先生是项目地质和评估副总裁，因此他并非符合 NI 43-101标准 的独立人士。Torr 先生已核实本新闻稿所披露的技术数据。
艾芬豪已经为普拉特瑞夫项目编制了一份符合NI 43-101 标准的独立技术报告，即于2017年9月4日发布的《2017 年普拉特瑞夫可行性研究技术报告》，由DRA Global 、OreWin PtyLtd.、Amec Foster Wheeler、Stantec Consulting、Murray & Roberts Cementation、SRK Consulting、Golder Associates 和Digby Wells Environmental编制。该技术报告包括本新闻稿中引用的普拉特瑞夫项目的矿产资源和储量估算的生效日期、假设、参数和方法等相关信息，以及本新闻稿中关于普拉特瑞夫项目的科学和技术披露的数据验证、勘探程序和其他事项的信息。
艾芬豪矿业是一家加拿大的矿业公司，目前正推进旗下位于南部非洲的三大合资矿业项目﹕对位于刚果民主共和国 (简称“刚果”) 的卡莫阿-卡库拉 (Kamoa-Kakula) 铜矿群建设大型、全新机械化地下矿山，对南非普拉特瑞夫钯-铂-镍-铜-铑-金地下矿山的的开发建设工作；以及同样位于刚果、久负盛名的基普什 (Kipushi) 锌-铜-锗-银矿的大型重建和改善工程。卡莫阿-卡库拉和基普什将使用清洁、可再生的水电，并将成为全球最低温室气体排放者之一 (按每吨金属产量计算)。同时，艾芬豪正在刚果境内其全资拥有、毗邻卡莫阿-卡库拉项目的西部前沿勘探许可范围内寻找新的铜矿勘探区。
Bill Trenaman +1.604.331.9834
Matthew Keevil +1.604. 558.1034
本新闻稿载有的前瞻性陈述包括但不限于：(1) 关于在矿井底部建设的996米水平工作站预计于2020年7月底之前完工的陈述；(2) 关于一号竖井的新辅助提升机预计于今年晚些时候运抵普拉特瑞夫的陈述；(3) 关于Flatreef高品位矿区距离一号竖井约350米，计划进行大规模机械化开采作业的陈述；(4) 关于艾芬豪有信心，普拉特瑞夫项目将会成为世界上规模最大且成本最低的主要铂族金属生产商之一，为我们所有利益相关者带来显著的长期利益的陈述；(5) 关于计划开采方法将会采用高效率的机械方法，包括深孔采矿法 (long-hole stoping) 及分层充填开采法 (drift-and-fill) 的陈述；以及 (6) 关于最终可行性研究更新版预计于2020年第三季度完成，将包括分阶段开发生产方案的概略性研究的陈述。