Ivanplats seeks $420m financing to develop South Africa’s Platreef mine

17 February 2021 (Last Updated February 17th, 2021 12:21)

Ivanplats, the South African subsidiary of Canadian miner Ivanhoe Mines, has said that it is arranging project-level financing of nearly $420m for the development of its Platreef palladium, platinum, rhodium, nickel, copper, and gold project in Limpopo.

Ivanplats seeks $420m financing to develop South Africa’s Platreef mine
The Platreef palladium, platinum, rhodium, nickel, copper and gold project is located in South Africa. Credit: Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.

Ivanplats, the South African subsidiary of Canadian miner Ivanhoe Mines, has said that it is arranging project-level financing of nearly $420m for the development of its Platreef palladium, platinum, rhodium, nickel, copper, and gold project in Limpopo.

The firm has signed a nonbinding term sheet with Orion Mine Finance for a streaming facility of $300m as well as appointed Societe Generale and Nedbank as mandated lead arrangers for a senior project debt facility of up to $120m.

Ivanplats will use the stream financing and project debt facility to advance the development of the Platreef project toward initial production.

As per the 2020 preliminary economic assessment (PEA), the initial capital cost for the project’s phased development is estimated at $390m, starting at a mining rate of 700,000 tonnes per year.

Ivanhoe said that the phased development plan will make use of use the project’s first shaft (Shaft 1) for initial hoisting and mine development.

The mine’s initial concentrator is expected to have a capacity of 770,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) with first concentrate production is slated for mid-2024.

Ivanhoe Mines co-chair Robert Friedland said: “We are excited to work with Orion, Societe Generale, Nedbank and our other long-term investors to unlock Platreef’s world-scale potential.

“The production of key ‘green metals’ needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is at a critical inflection point as businesses are pressed to secure long-term supplies.”

“Platreef’s Shaft 1 has been sunk to its final depth and is within a few hundred metres of the initial high-grade mining zone.

“The deposit has an enormous endowment of palladium, platinum, rhodium, nickel, copper and gold in a thick, high-grade, flat-lying underground orebody that is ideal for modern, bulk-scale, mechanized mining.”

The company plans to use the senior project debt facility only after the streaming facility is fully drawn down.

The stream financing, however, is subject to completion of legal due diligence and structuring, as well as negotiation and execution of definitive documentation.

Ivanhoe owns 64% of the Platreef project through its subsidiary, Ivanplats, and is directing all mine development work.

The South African beneficiaries of the approved broad-based, black economic empowerment structure have a 26% stake in the Platreef.

A Japanese consortium of Itochu, ITC Platinum Development, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National, and JGC own the remaining 10%.