Waterberg JV Resources, the operating company of the Waterberg Joint Venture (JV), has entered into an agreement with the Capricorn district municipality, in Limpopo, to jointly develop a water supply management plan to increase the water supply and infrastructure capacity for both the local community and the Waterberg mine.
The Waterberg JV is owned by Platinum Group Metals (PTM), with a 37.05% stake; Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, with a 21.95% stake; black economic empowerment partner Mnombo Wethu Consultants, with a 26% stake; and Impala Platinum, with a 15% interest.
PTM holds a 49.90% interest in Mnombo and, therefore, holds a 50.02% interest in the Waterberg JV.
The Capricorn municipality has identified ground water resources as proximal to the newly discovered Waterberg bulk mineable palladium/platinum/gold and rhodium project.
At the mine’s prefeasibility stage, independent specialists identified potential water resources for both the mine and local communities.
An earlier, well executed work and drilling programme conducted by the Capricorn municipality also identified both potable and high mineral unpotable water resources in the district.
Work by the Waterberg JV has also identified some potable water resources, with the unpotable water now being targeted for industrial use. Potable water could then be prioritised for communities, PTM said on Tuesday.
The miner further highlighted that, working together, the parties can ensure the best value and use of the district’s water resources, including for communities, businesses and the Waterberg mine.
The Waterberg JV has the requisite skills, expertise and resources to provide water supply solutions in the Capricorn municipality and to implement an agreed water management plan, PTM said.
“We see this as an important step in the development of a large-scale palladium mine in [the] municipality to the benefit of all stakeholders, including shareholders, communities and all levels of government,” PTM CEO R Michael Jones commented.
Capricorn executive mayor John Mosima Mpe added that the municipality is “very pleased to see the potential for responsible, efficient and effective management of water in the region to the benefit of all its people”.
“We are focused on the economic benefits of job creation and water delivery in our area while being mindful of being good caretakers of all the resources in the region for all stakeholders. We look forward to working cooperatively with the Waterberg JV company,” he added.
The Waterberg project is a large-scale mine development in the north limb of the Bushveld Complex that will use modern, safe and fully mechanised mining.
The thickness of the orebody allows for a change from conventional narrow reef mines in South Africa.
The prefeasibility study envisaged a 19-year mine life, with a definitive feasibility study currently in progress on the large-scale reserves. The definitive study is expected to be completed in the first part of 2019.