Ivanplats' Flatreef Deposit is characterized by its very large vertical thicknesses of high-grade mineralization. The grade shells used to constrain mineralization in the indicated resource area have average true thicknesses of approximately 24 metres at a 2 g/t 3PE (platinum-palladium-gold) cut-off grade, with an equivalent average resource grade of 4.1 g/t 4PE for a grade-thickness of 98 grams-metre per tonne and an average true thickness of approximately 17 metres at a 3 g/t 3PE cut-off grade with an equivalent average resource grade of 5.1 g/t 4PE for a grade-thickness of 51 grams-metre per tonne. In contrast, most of the world's platinum production comes from the Bushveld's Merensky and Upper Group 2 reefs, which average 4.0 to 10.0 g/t 4PE but have narrow thicknesses that average 0.4 to 1.5 metres, for a grade-thickness range of less than 5 to 15 grams-metre per tonne of PGE.
Ivanplats is focusing its Platreef Project development work on the Mineral Resources contained in the Flatreef Deposit. Given the thickness of the Flatreef's mineralization, the company is investigating mining scenarios that concentrate on highly mechanized mining methods.
Mining Right Application being prepared for application in Q2
Operations at the Platreef Project during Q4 2012 and Q1 2013 to date have primarily focused on the generation and compilation of the Mining Right Application (MRA). The MRA is comprised of a number of different reports, including the Mine Works Program, Social and Labour Plan and the broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) structure. Ivanplats contemplates submitting its MRA to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) in Q2 2013. A Bulk Sample Application, in which Ivanplats proposes to construct an exploration shaft on the property and take a bulk sample from the Flatreef Deposit, was filed in September 2012 and is awaiting approval.
As part of its MRA filing, the Company is working with its advisers and regulatory authorities to ensure that it meets South African ownership requirements prescribed by the Mining Charter. Ivanplats is committed to the highest standards of community engagement and participation and intends to fashion the Platreef Project ownership in line with a BBBEE model, with the major beneficiaries being local communities, employees and a trust for woman and children.
The purpose of the Social and Labour Plan is to address skills training and sustainable local economic development projects. Community liaison offices have been officially opened in five of the eight directly affected communities to provide information and establish direct communications with residents interested in the Company's development plans. The offices also will be used to continue with the skills and business survey, which was concluded last year. Survey data will be recorded to assist the Company in planning future training and development initiatives. A stakeholder engagement forum was established during Q1 2013 involving various independent community groups. The forum has met twice, improving transparency within the greater community. Training and development plans outlined in the Social and Labour Plan will commence in due course and will focus primarily on Ivanplats staff until the Mining Right is granted.
Ivanplats received a Section 93 directive from the DMR during Q4 2012, halting exploration activity (including drilling) at the Platreef project site until the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) has ratified Platreef's current community compensation agreements. The DRDLR now has issued the DMR with a compliance letter indicating that the Company's compensation agreements are valid. Ivanplats' request that the directive be lifted is being reviewed by the DMR.
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