South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources has granted a mining right to Ivanhoe Mines for its Platreef project in the Limpopo province.
The mining right will allow the company to mine and process all platinum-group elements at the Platreef project mining area, such as nickel, copper, gold and other associated metals.
The approval is subject to the company meeting environmental management programme prerequisites, and will be valid for an initial 30 years, which can be renewed an unlimited number times up to 30 years.
Ivanhoe Mines executive chairman Robert Friedland said that awarding this mining right is hugely significant, not only for Ivanhoe Mines but for South Africa's mining industry as a whole, and is a culmination of Ivanhoe's exploration on the Bushveld for the past 16 years.
"Ivanhoe now has the green light from the South African Government to build a pre-eminent mine that will create thousands of new direct and indirect jobs and contribute to socio-economic development in the Mokopane region and beyond," Friedland said.
The agreement was part of the South African Government's broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) initiative, which was designed to offer benefits for its participants, including local communities and Platreef employees.
As per the agreement, the B-BBEE partners will own a joint 26% stake in the Platreef project, and Ivanhoe will take 64%.
The remaining 10% will continue to be owned by a Japanese consortium of Itochu, ITC Platinum Development, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National, and Japan Gas.