Big platinum play moves into listing position

MINERAL Securities executive chairman Keith Liddell is briefing the company’s backers in London this week as one of the mining house’s key investments, unlisted Platmin, readies itself to join the AIM exchange by the middle of the year.
Big platinum play moves into listing position Big platinum play moves into listing position Big platinum play moves into listing position Big platinum play moves into listing position Big platinum play moves into listing position


Liddell told that the listing would be accompanied by a small raising to pay for the completion of the $US15 million feasibility study at Platmin's flagship Pilanesberg project on the western limb of South Africa's famed Bushveld.

Pilansberg is seen as a potential 150-200,000 ounce per annum PGM producer (65% of which will be platinum) with an 18-year mine life, with the operation comprising three to four open pits and a concentrator.

Liddell indicated a dual-listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange was possible, and said a larger fund raising would be undertaken as development of Pilansberg reaches financial close next year.

He wouldn't be drawn on the potential cost of the operation ahead of the feasibility numbers.

Aside from Mineral Securities, which holds around 17% of Platmin, African Lion, Lonmin and CDC are major investors in the company, with CDC being the single largest shareholder.

Mineral Securities hopes to raise its interest in Platmin.

"We're in the market to increase our stake, [but] I think all the easy stock has been taken now," Liddell said.

"We started up Mineral Securities for a chunky platinum investment … and this is the one.

"It's a classic investment for us, coming into an unlisted company, taking it to market, and then through the market your exit strategy starts to get defined over time - we like to exit when it's in production and bedded down, and then there is always a trade sale potential."

Platmin's managing director is Ian Watson, formerly the MD at independent miner Northam Platinum and currently a non-executive director at International Ferro Metals. International Ferro recently listed on London's AIM following an initial public offering that raised £80 million.

Prior to working with Northam, Watson was consulting engineer at Gold Fields of South Africa, responsible for providing technical advice to the group's gold, platinum and base metals mines, including Kloof, Driefontein, Northam and Black Mountain.

Aside from Pilanesberg, Platmin's portfolio includes the Grootboom, Loskop, M'Phatlele projects, with total resources of 21.7 million ounces of which nearly 18Moz are inferred - 129.8 million tonnes grading 4.3PGM (3PGE plus gold).

Liddell said an updated resource for Pilanesberg was due this month, while pilot plant testing was underway.

Platmin is also mining a trial boxcut to extract about 40,000t of ore for pilot plant testing as well as a campaign through one of the local concentrators. All the major platinum producers have concentrators and smelters in the area including Lonmin.

The Platmin portfolio was put together by David Twist and Rudolph De Bruyn over a period of six years. It is understood the two have since sold down most of their interest in the company.