BURGERSFORT – Zijin Mining Group and its subsidiary, Nkwe Platinum, hosted its groundbreaking ceremony of the Garatau Platinum Mine last Friday.
The monumental event was attended by the CEO and managing director of Nkwe Platinum, Zhiyu Gary Fan, the CFO of Nkwe Platinum, Scott Li, and several employees of the mine.
At about 11:00, the PPE and all necessary machinery were ready as the team proceeded to the drilling site.
With safety and Covid-19 protocols being adhered to, the groundbreaking was ready to be conducted. Garatau’s symbolic first bucket of earth was dug up by SANY, a world-leading construction and mining equipment manufacturer and supplier, kick-starting the construction of the box-cut, which will make way for the decline shaft development towards the end of this year.
Nkwe Platinum has also formally announced the completion of the high security fence which encloses an area of approximately 100 hectares, with the goal of protecting the area on which further mining activities will be conducted and further mining infrastructure installed. The construction of the medium security fence, which will cover an area of approximately 400 hectares, has already commenced.
Additionally, the construction of the mine site office has been completed and is currently being occupied by key mine employees. The processing capacity of Garatau is anticipated to average 3,6 million tons of ore per annum, once full capacity is achieved in a few years’ time. The life of the mine is estimated to be in excess of 29 years and once fully operational, will employ some 2 500 people.
“We are pleased with the commencement of the Garatau Platinum Mine’s activities, as it brings us one step closer to our commitment in infrastructure development as well as economic and social upliftment of the surrounding local communities, the municipal district and the province of Limpopo,” said Fan.
Zijin Mining Group will have $700 million of estimated investment as per a bankable feasibility study to be utilised for the mine, to be drawn in tranches upon the completion of certain milestones.
Nkwe Platinum is expected to rank among the top ten platinum suppliers in the world after the project goes into full production.
“We believe that the development of enterprises is closely related to the sustainable development of our surrounding communities. Through education, medical treatment, industrial support, infrastructure construction and disaster relief, we can develop and work together in a mutually beneficial and harmonious way to the benefit of all,” said Fan.
Garatau Platinum Mine was first launched on May 13.
As a priority, Nkwe Platinum said it would employ people from the local communities for all projects where possible, and will continue to provide bursaries and learnership programmes for students from the mining community, provide community donations to alleviate poverty and provide support to the local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We look forward to the support from all our stakeholders, including our local communities, national, provincial and local government and regulatory authorities,” said the CEO.
The general manager of SANY Southern Africa, Samuel Zhang, said they have rendered services to several mining houses and companies all over the world.
“With over 30 years of experience, we look forward to deliver value to customers, employees, shareholders and the public by offering high-quality products and services,” he said.