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Platinum Metals Rev., 1993, 37, (4), 224

New South African Platinum Mine

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After just two years of development work, the first permanent open-cast platinum mine in South Africa has recently been brought on stream by Potgietersrust Platinums, a subsidiary of Johannesburg Consolidated Investments. Located on the Platreef orebody, at the farm Sandsloot to the north-west of the town of Potgietersrus in the northern Transvaal, this development by PPRust is planned initially to produce some 200,000 tonnes of ore per month. The ore has a similar mineralogy to that of the Merensky Reef and flotation mill concentrates will be toll-smelted and refined by Rustenburg Platinum Mines.

Annual production of platinum group metals is expected to be: 170,000, 165,000 and 13,000 ounces of platinum, palladi-um and rhodium, respectively, while in addition significant amounts of gold, nickel and copper will be recovered. Open-cast mining will extend to a depth of 250 metres, and the estimated reserves of 88 million tonnes are sufficient to last for about thirty years at the planned rate of extraction. Furthermore, increased pla-tiniferous reserves have been found in satellite orebodies located close to the main pit.

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