South African Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has given the final approval to Ivanhoe Mines to produce platinum-group and base metals at its $1.6bn Platreef project in the northern Limpopo province.
The mining right has been approved for an initial period of 30 years and may be renewed for further periods, each of which may not exceed 30 years.
Ivanhoe Mines is planning a multi-phased mine development on its Platreef discovery on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex.
Ivanhoe is now authorised to mine and process platinum-group metals, nickel, copper, gold, silver, cobalt, iron, vanadium and chrome at its Platreef discovery.
South African Minister of Mineral Resources Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi: "The final regulatory approval of the Platreef project's mining right is significant not only for the development of the project itself but it also signals the South African Government's determination to grow our country's economy.
"The Platreef project will attract foreign capital, create much-needed jobs and contribute significantly to socio-economic development in areas surrounding the project."
Ivanhoe Mines executive chairman Robert Friedland said: "With the shared, on-going commitments of the Department of Mineral Resources, our broad-based, Black Economic Empowerment partners and our supportive co-investors from the Japanese trade and industry consortium, Ivanhoe Mines' Platreef project is going to become a sustaining foundation of jobs and support serving the common interests of our host communities in Limpopo province."
Following the approval of mining rights, the company will start preparation work immediately for construction at the Platreef site.
Platreef project's managing director Dr Patricia Makhesha Ivanplats, Ivanhoe Mines' wholly owned subsidiary, will work closely with the DMR to ensure that the project's host communities receive maximum achievable benefits from the company's social and labour plan, and also the B-BBEE structure.
Image: Ivanhoe Mines is planning a multi-phased mine development on its Platreef discovery at Bushveld Complex. Photo: courtesy of kevinzim / Kevin Walsh.