A comprehensive drill program to define an initial resource at Platreef's southwest extension target area - Madiba - is being planned. Together with the Japanese consortium, Ivanplats is working on a scoping study based on a mining operation of up to 12 million tonnes per year with multiple shafts. The study is expected to be completed late this year or early next year. DRA Mineral Projects (Pty.) Ltd., of South Africa, in consultation with Stantec, SRK, Geotail, Golder Associates and Digby Wells, is continuing with the pre-feasibility study.
68%-owned by Ivanplats
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
The Kipushi Project, also located in the DRC's Katanga province, southeast of the company's Kamoa Project, is adjacent to the town of Kipushi and approximately 30 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital of Lubumbashi. Ivanplats acquired its 68% interest in the Kipushi Project in November 2011; the balance of 32% is held by La Generale des Carrieres et des Mines (Gecamines), the DRC's state-owned mining company.
The Kipushi Project hosts a historical high-grade, underground zinc-copper mine in the Central African Copperbelt, which produced approximately 60 million tonnes grading 11% zinc and 7% copper between 1924 and 1993. The mine also produced 12,673 tonnes of lead and approximately 278 tonnes of germanium between 1956 and 1978. Most of these metals were mined from the Kipushi Fault Zone. The mine was managed on a care-and-maintenance program between 1993 and 2011.
Dewatering and project development
Dewatering of the existing mine workings is continuing. The water level was pumped down to approximately 986 metres below surface at the end of June and had reached 1,016 metres below surface in early August. The full rate of predicted drawdown was not met because of the breakdown of electrical control systems on the primary pumps following power outages and fluctuations in the main power supply. Unstable electricity supply continues to cause problems with pumping schedules and has resulted in motor and electrical control burnouts. SNEL, the state-owned power authority, is working to upgrade the electrical distribution network in the vicinity of the Kipushi Mine and electrical supply and reliability has improved at the mine site, although national electrical supplies are reported to be limited due to low water levels at the Inga Dam hydroelectric station, the country's main power generating facility.
Pumping rates at Kipushi averaged 2,591 cubic metres per hour during June 2013, resulting in an average lowering of the water level of 1.6 metres per day. Accelerated dewatering is planned through the installation of Vogel pumps in Shaft 5, refurbishment of water pipes and progressive lowering of pumps as water levels descend. The target for dewatering to the bottom of the ramp decline at 1,270 metres below surface now is expected to be met during Q1 2014.
Geological relogging of existing drill cores on the Big Zinc Deposit is complete and modelling is underway to plan underground diamond drilling to validate and expand the historical resource estimate included in the September 2012 Kipushi Technical Report prepared by IMC Group Consulting Ltd., which is available on www.sedar.com. Independent consultant MSA Group of South Africa has been appointed to prepare an updated resource estimation of the Big Zinc Deposit to NI 43-101 standards following completion of the confirmation drilling program.
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