Platinum Group expands Western Bushveld project

Vancouver — The resource at the Western Bushveld project in South Africa has increased markedly.

Joint-venture partners Platinum Group Metals (PTM-V) and Anglo American Platinum (AAPTY-Q) report that the inferred resource now stands at 21.1 million tonnes grading 5.9 grams combined platinum-palladium-rhodium-gold per tonne in the Merensky Reef, and 13 million tonnes grading 4.5 grams platinum-palladium-rhodium-gold in the UG2 Reef.

Historically, Merensky Reef’s precious metals are divided roughly between platinum (63%), palladium (28%), rhodium (4.5%) and gold (4.5%). UG2 Reef precious metal mineralization is typically 59% platinum, 29% palladium, 11% rhodium and 1% gold.

The 58% increase in the resource is mainly due to the acquisition of new data, and to ore-block modeling by Anglo.

PGM is earning a 37% stake in the project, and Amplats already has 37%. The remainder is held by a black economic empowerment group. PGM is spending $7 million on exploration over five years to earn its interest.

In northwestern Ontario, PGM has been exploring the Seagull project, where drilling has encountered a new platinum-bearing horizon. Hole 17 returned a 0.65-metre intersection (from 379 metres) grading 2.38 grams platinum, 2.65 grams palladium, 0.19 gram gold, 0.18 gram rhodium, 0.39 gram osmium, 0.34 gram iridium and 0.08 gram ruthenium per tonne, plus 0.51% copper and 0.3% nickel. That interval was in a broader, 3.2-metre zone averaging 0.19% copper and 0.2% nickel, with 2.5 grams total precious metals. This recently tested mineralization is hosted by a basal peridotite sequence of the ultramafic intrusive.

Resampling of previous drill hole 5 has delivered the highest grades yet encountered on the project. A 0.6-metre intercept (from 735 metres depth) in the basal peridotite zone averaged 3.5 grams platinum, 3.9 grams palladium and 0.25 gram gold per tonne, plus 0.4% nickel and 0.8% copper.

PGM is earning a half-interest in the Seagull project from East West Resource (EWR-V) and Canadian Golden Dragon Resources (CGG-V); PGM can vest that interest for $7.5 million in exploration expenditures and payments of $750,000 over five years. An additional 20% can be earned by completing a bankable feasibility study and arranging development financing.

PGM has 37.9 million shares outstanding and recently traded at $1, giving the company a $38-million market capitalization.


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