Wesizwe gets ready for development

[miningmx.com] — WESIZWE Platinum announced on Tuesday that the official launch date for its Frischgewaagd-Ledig mine development project would be July 4.

“The date that has been set provides the benchmark against which future project delivery milestones will be measured,” said acting joint CEO Arthur Mashiatshidi in company statement. “With the financial resources from the capitalisation programme now available, Wesizwe can start in earnest with mine development.”

The $227m equity portion of the funding transaction with China’s Jinchuan was concluded in May and converted to local currency and is now in Wesizwe’s bank accounts, said the company.

TWP has been appointed as the engineering, procurement, construction and management contractor for the first 12 months of mine development – until June 2012 – with an option to renew this over the entire life of project execution. The scope of this work will include all activities that will be critical to start pre-sink preparation on the main and ventilation shafts in the first half of 2012.

Some of the key contracts to be awarded in the short term are the civils contract, which will be appointed within four months to do the collaring on the main and ventilation shafts following the box cut excavations, while the shaft sinking contractor is expected to be appointed within six months from the start date.

Other activities on the critical path include a complete refurbishment of all the winders which have been purchased and are currently being stored at the Wesizwe Platinum site, and securing final approval for bulk services, being water and electricity.

Wesizwe has also paid Eskom a deposit of about R58m and has provided the required performance guarantees of around R31m which will enable Eskom to commit to provide permanent power supply to the mine in line with the requirements of the project.

Furthermore, Wesizwe Platinum and its 26%-owned associate company, Maseve, are collaborating in the processes of securing bulk water supply to the two mines.

The companies are continuing their discussions with the Magalies Water Authority and other stakeholders in order to derive maximum advantages from a synergistic approach to the infrastructure needs of both parties.

“Internally, we are finalising our structure with a view to bringing in specialist skills as required over the next 12 to 18 months,’ said Mr Jianke Gao, the CEO designate of Wesizwe who will take over in the position once he has secured an appropriate work permit.