Eastern Platinum subsidiary Barplats Mines has signed a project framework agreement with South Africa’s Advanced Beneficiation Technologies (ABT) to complete an independent feasibility study for a tailings retreatment plant in the African country.

The feasibility study will focus on the development and construction of a new modular plant to process the platinum group metals (PGM) of the tailings redeposited at the Zandfontein tailings dam located at South Africa’s Crocodile River mine.

The plant is expected to have an initial processing capacity of between 20,000 tonnes and 50,000 tonnes a month.

Barplats and ABT to sign joint venture agreement

Eastern Platinum said that the study will be followed by the signing of various agreements, including a joint venture agreement with ABT, as well as the sourcing of funding.

Eastplats CEO Diana Hu said: “We are very pleased to sign this Project Agreement with ABT and begin this Feasibility Study and the Project.

“This venture is a new potential revenue source for the Company without any additional capital funding obligations and an opportunity to recover PGMs from the tailings redeposited onto the Zandfontein Tailings Dam.”

As the intended operator, ABT will be responsible for the completion of the feasibility study, secure funding, manage the construction and commissioning, and operate the project.

Barplats will supply the material and related infrastructure for PGMs processing from the Zandfontein tailings dam as well as establish an appropriate offtake agreement for the project.

The project is expected to receive assessment and acceptance of the feasibility study in November 2020.

In April 2020, the Director-General Mineral Resources of South Africa issued an essential services order authorising Barplats Mines to operate its tailings retreatment project located at the Crocodile River Mine.