Sylvania Platinum has secured an environmental assessment for its proposed Volspruit project in South Africa.

The company said that the environmental assessment practitioner has recommended the advancement of the project, which is a significant milestone in the development.

Sylvania noted that additional permit applications are now underway and the company expects to secure a decision on the mining right application (MRA) by mid year.

The Volspruit project is located in the northern limb of the Bushveld Igneous complex near the Nyl River in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

The project covers two adjacent ore bodies that will be mined for platinum group metals (PGMs) and other base metals like copper and nickel, through two open cast pits.

Volspruit is intended to feed three 100,000t per month capacity plants at full production.

In September 2011, Sylvania submitted a MRA of which a key component was the completion of an environmental impact assessment report.

The company said the critical stage of the MRA process has now been completed and it awaits the decision from the authorities.

Sylvania is starting work to finalise permissions, including the waste management, water use and atmospheric emissions licenses required in order for the project to be approved in full.

IGS completed the geology work while SRK finished pit designs required for the project and Mintek undertook bulk sample mined and milled and float metallurgy testing.

The project has measured resources of 1.1 million ounces of PGM, 87.8 million pounds of nickel, 25.5 million pounds of copper, and indicated/inferred resources of 2.4 million ounces of PGM, 174.8 million pounds of nickel and 51.5 million pounds of copper.

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