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Sibanye-Stillwater increases PGM production as USA project takes off

Sibanye-Stillwater has announced that on Friday 29 September 2017, it commenced with production from the Blitz project, at it’s operations in Montana, in the United States of America.

The completion of a secondary escape-way system at the Blitz 10 stope block, concluded the final infrastructure required for the production to begin.

According to the mining giant, Blitz is expected to reach full production of approximately 300 000oz (2E) by late 2021/early 2022, increasing total 2E PGM production from the US operations by more than 50% to approximately 850 000oz. The increased production from Blitz is expected to further reduce unit operating costs of the US operations.

“Initial ore intersected and excavated from the Blitz project, is of a significantly higher grade than the average Stillwater Mine combined proven and probable 2E reserve grade of 19.55g/tonne. This is an indication of the quality of the Blitz project,” said Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater.

“Approximately 1 360 tonnes of ore that was excavated during development and stockpiled on surface, will now be processed. Based on muck sampling along the entire 36 metres of ore width intersected within the stope block, the initial cut delivered ore with an estimated average 2E grade of 39 g/tonne.”

Froneman added that the first production from Blitz is more than three months ahead of schedule and the operations continue to deliver as anticipated.

“Initial ore intersected and excavated from the Blitz project, is of a significantly higher grade than the average Stillwater Mine combined proven and probable 2E reserve grade of 19.55g/tonne. This is an indication of the quality of the Blitz project,” he said.

“Delivery of low cost, production growth into a robust price environment, supported by long term palladium fundamentals in our view, is what underpinned our decision to acquire Stillwater. The early commissioning of Blitz has confirmed our view that the US operations will deliver significant value to Sibanye-Stillwater in future,” concluded Froneman.

 

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