The initial phase of the Zandfontein underground section of Eastern Platinum’s (Eastplats) CRM in South Africa is now fully operational.

The mine, situated within the Bushveld Complex near Brits, 70km from Johannesburg, is a significant source of platinum group metals (PGM), hosting nearly 80% of the world’s PGM-bearing ore.

CRM is a shallow, long-life hybrid PGM mine and was established in 1987.

Eastplats is targeting a mining run rate of 40,000t per month by the end of the current year.

The company’s goal for 2024 is to process up to 235,000t of ore from the underground production.

The operational activities at CRM currently encompass re-mining and processing its tailings resource.

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This process yields PGM and chrome concentrates from the Barplats Zandfontein tailings dam.

Eastplats owns several PGM and chrome assets in the Republic of South Africa, both directly and indirectly.

All of the company’s properties are strategically located on the western and eastern limbs of the Bushveld Complex.

CEO Wanjin Yang said: “It is my pleasure to announce that the soft restart of the Zandfontein underground operations is complete and is fully operational.

“We can now begin to ramp up underground mining efforts and bring run-of-mine (“ROM”) material to the surface, where we will begin the first batch of ROM processing in Q2 2024. I would like to thank all employees for achieving this milestone and our shareholders for their continued support.”

In January 2023, Eastplats disclosed that terms for Crocodile River tailings concentrate between Impala Platinum and Barplats Mine for delivery of PGM tailings concentrate to Impala were extended.