Appeals against PTM Waterberg Project mining right award dismissed by SA Govt.

SOUTH Africa’s mines ministry dismissed an appeal against the grant of a mining licence in 2021 to Platinum Group Metals (PTM), the Toronto-listed firm said on Monday.

Attempts to block the award came from “individual appellants” from the communities near the proposed Waterberg Project, a palladium-rich prospect in the Limpopo province.

“We are pleased with the decision of the DMRE [Department of Mineral Resources and Energy] and that due process and regulatory oversight have been fairly applied,” said Frank Hallam, CEO of PTM in a statement.

He said the company had received “a great deal of support and encouragement to proceed with mine development”.

PTM announced last week that it had struck an “in-principle” agreement with its partners to spend R380m preparing the Waterberg Project for development.

A 2019 study estimated capital expenditure of about $874m in order to develop a 420,000 ounce a year mine at Waterberg. Since then, the company has entertained a smaller footprint that would cost less to build.

PTM owns 50.01% in the Waterberg Joint venture, with Impala Platinum as a 13% minority shareholder. As yet the two companies have not agreed on a concentrate offtake agreement over which Implats claims to have first right of refusal – although PTM has said it can seek other partners.

The other joint venture members are Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (12.2% stake), Korea’s Hanwa Company (9.75%) and Mnombo Wethu Consultants (26%), a black-owned South African company.