Platinum Group Metals Ltd. Announces Diversified Japanese Trading Company Hanwa Co. Ltd. to Join Waterberg Joint Venture
VANCOUVER, British Columbia and JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Platinum Group Metals Ltd. (TSX:PTM) (NYSE American:PLG) (“Platinum Group” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that on March 8, 2018, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (“JOGMEC”) and Hanwa Co., Ltd. (“Hanwa”) signed a memorandum of understanding to transfer part of JOGMEC’s interest in the Waterberg Palladium, Platinum, Gold, Rhodium (“PGM”) and Copper, Nickel Project, located in the Bushveld Complex of the Republic of South Africa. The agreement is based on the result of a public tender held on February 23, 2018. The winner of the bidding was Hanwa, and JOGMEC will now start negotiation on the terms of the transfer with Hanwa. With a successful negotiation, Hanwa will secure the right to a supply of refined platinum group metals for exhaust emission catalytic converters, fuel cells for cars, and nickel and other metals for rechargeable batteries. This transaction will enable a potential significant stable supply of metals to Japanese industries. Hanwa is a leading global trading company headquartered in Tokyo Japan with over 3,000 employees and operations spanning steel, non-ferrous metals, metals and alloys, food, petroleum, chemicals, machinery, lumber and many other business sectors.
Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (“Implats”) recently paid $30M USD for a 15% interest in the Waterberg Project including a right of first refusal for concentrate offtake. Implats also acquired an option for a $166M USD acquisition and development commitment to earn a 50.01% controlling interest upon completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS). Platinum Group holds a 50.02% direct and indirect interest. The Waterberg DFS is expected to be completed in calendar H1 2019.
JOGMEC currently holds a 21.95% interest in the Waterberg Project and is planning to transfer a 9.755% interest to Hanwa. Upon completion of the transfer Hanwa will also acquire JOGMEC’s right of first refusal to certain metal produced by Implats from the Waterberg Project.
Current Platinum Group Element (“PGE”) probable reserves at the Waterberg Project (100%) are 12.3 million ounces, consisting of 61% palladium, 30% platinum, 8% gold and 1% rhodium plus 191 million and 333 million pounds of copper and nickel respectively. At a 2.5 gram per tonne (“g/t”) cut-off grade, probable reserves are comprised of 102.7 million tonnes at 3.73 4E g/t, consisting of 2.29 g/t Pd, 1.11 g/t Pt, 0.29 g/t Au, 0.04 g/t Rh, 0.08% Cu and 0.15%Ni. (See the technical report dated October 19, 2016 and filed on SEDAR titled “Independent Technical Report on the Waterberg Project Including Mineral Resource Update and Pre-Feasibility Study”.) Project reserves will be updated as part of the DFS. Much of the Waterberg Project area remains to be drilled and assessed. The Waterberg deposit remains open down dip and along strike.
R. Michael Jones CEO of Platinum Group Metals said, “We are very pleased to welcome Hanwa, a strong Japanese diversified company to the Waterberg Joint Venture. Hanwa’s experience in the global metals and industrial complex adds another dimension to our Joint Venture. We acknowledge that JOGMEC is satisfying its mandate and is following its stated desire to secure critical mineral supplies to Japanese companies and industry. The participation of Hanwa along with JOGMEC and Implats confirms the importance of the Waterberg Project.”
Hanwa is a Japanese trading company which supplies a broad spectrum of products, including steel, non-ferrous metals, metals and alloys, food, petroleum, chemicals, machinery, lumber and many other items, to an equally diverse range of customers. The company has solid positions in all of these businesses. As a trading company that performs many important roles, Hanwa will continue to enter more business fields in response to changes in the operating environment in order to meet the needs of customers.
About Impala Platinum
Impala Platinum Holdings Limited is one of the world’s foremost fully integrated producers of platinum and associated PGEs. The group produces approximately a quarter of the world's supply of primary platinum. Implats produced 1.44 million ounces of platinum and 2.91 million ounces of PGEs in FY2016. Implats’ operations are located on the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe, the two most significant PGE-bearing ore bodies in the world. In Southern Africa Implats is structured around five main operations namely Impala, Zimplats, Marula, Mimosa and Two Rivers with headquarters based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), an incorporated administrative agency established by the Japanese government, plays a key role in ensuring a constant and stable supply of oil, natural gas, coal, geothermal energy and mineral resources to support industries and citizens in Japan through a wide range of activities relating these resources.
About Platinum Group Metals Ltd.
Platinum Group is focused on, and is the operator of, the Waterberg Project, a bulk mineable underground deposit in northern South Africa. Waterberg was discovered by the Company. Waterberg has potential to be a low cost dominantly palladium mine and Impala Platinum recently made a strategic investment in the Waterberg Project.