MIKE Jones, the long-serving CEO of Platinum Group Metals (PTM), and a seemingly permanent fixture of South Africa’s junior mining sector has resigned from the company, it was announced today.
No reason for Jones’s resignation was provided.
“Mr. Jones has agreed to continue as a consultant to Platinum Group until December 31, 2021 to provide transition assistance,” the company said.
Frank Hallam, CFO of the company, will be president and CEO on an interim basis. “Mike Jones and I have worked together for many years, including on the team that discovered the company’s Waterberg Project,” said Hallam. He added Jones had “… made a significant contribution to the concepts and genesis of the Waterberg discovery”.
With indefatigable optimism and keen marketing skills, Jones led PTM from 2000 through the development of its Maseve project, an R12bn venture that eventually foundered owing to a slump in PGM prices and ramp-up problems. It left PTM with $100m in debt.
Jones later reflected on the experience saying he had been “through business hell and back”, but he was back in the headlines, barely dropping a beat, with a new project: PTM’s Waterberg Project, a large palladium dominant deposit.
Impala Platinum (Implats) took a 15% stake in the Waterberg Project and an option to take 50.02% control at a cost of $166m, before deciding to buy North American Palladium instead. It has retained its minority stake, however.
Most recently, Jones declared that the $400m required to finance the Waterberg Project was imminent. “We have a line of sight of about $400m of the $600m we need to build it,” said Jones in an interview with Miningmx in June.
“We know what the terms are, we know who the counterparty is, we’re in detailed documentation,” he added. PTM is also waiting on an appeal process related to its mining licence for the Waterberg Project.
The Waterberg Project has been scoped for production of some 420,000 ounces of PGMs. First production would be three years after construction with full production reached after five years, the company said.
Shares in the company were about 1.5% weaker in Toronto on Thursday but over the last month PTM has lost nearly 16%.