Xstrata buys another platinum prospect
Posted: Fri, 22 Feb 2008
[miningmx.com] -- XSTRATA Alloys will buy Nkwe Platinum's De Wildt prospect on the southern tip of the Western Bushveld Igneous Complex for $12m. The prospect is contiguous to the Elandsfontein mine Xstrata bought in 2007.ASX-listed Nkwe has long flagged the possibility of selling its smaller properties as it focuses on bringing five major property holdings on the Eastern Limb into production in a planned one million oz/year independent platinum project that could include smelting and refining. “The New Order Prospecting Rights constitute a natural extension to the existing opencast activities on the Elandsfontein mine. This acquisition marks a small but decisive step in the extension of Elandsfontein mine, and in the fulfilment of Xstrata’s PGM growth strategy,” said Xstrata Alloys CEO Peet Nienaber. De Wildt lies up-dip from the Hoekfontein property Xstrata acquired as part of the Eland Platinum transaction. Nkwe will use the cash towards fast tracking its exploration project at two of the five farms its already owns. Its empowerment partner Genorah is likely to vend the remaining three farms into the company in exchange for shares, lifting its stake in Nkwe to between 60% and 70%. Nkwe will be listed on the JSE and AIM in May or June this year, but it will not be a capital raising exercise. “The disposal of the De Wildt properties is in line with Nkwe’s strategic refocus on its Eastern Limb properties to develop a world-class mine to market operation," said Nkwe MD Maredi Mphahlele. Anglo Platinum and Genorah have settled a legal dispute over the ownership of the prospecting rights to the five farms, clearing the way for Nkwe's listing in South Africa. The parties, including African Rainbow Minerals, are in talks about possible synergies between Nkwe's projects and the Modikwa mine. Nkwe has a number of smaller, less explored properties on both the Western and Eastern Limbs. It has the Rooderand/Ruighoek property immediately north of the Pilanesberg game reserve and close to the Anglo Platinum's Union smelter. On the Eastern Limb is hs the Tinderbox/Klipriver prospect, which is close to Aquarius's Everest South mine.