WESIZWE Announces Date for Official Project Launch
07 June 2011
“The date that has been set provides the benchmark against which future project delivery milestones will be measured. With the financial resources from the capitalisation programme now available, Wesizwe can start in earnest with mine development,” said Acting Joint CEO, Arthur Mashiatshidi.
The equity portion (US$227 million) of the funding transaction concluded in May 2011 with Jinchuan and CADFund (the Chinese consortium) as well as Micawber (a special purpose empowerment vehicle) was recently converted to local currency at favourable exchange rates and is now in Wesizwe Platinum banking accounts.
Mashiatshidi added: “The launch date is a critical milestone in the life of the project and will capitalise on the early works programme executed before the official launch date. Resourcing of both the Wesizwe Platinum Owner’s Team and that of the EPCM contractor is an important part of this preparation, as is the establishment of project systems for procurement, financial management and quality assurance, amongst others.”
TWP have been appointed EPCM contractor for the first 12 months of mine development – from July 2011 to June 2012 – with the option of renewing this over the entire life of project execution. The scope of this work will include all project critical activities that will enable the project to start pre-sink preparation on the main and ventilation shafts in the first half of 2012.
Some of the key contracts to be awarded in the short term are the civils contract, which will be appointed within four months to do the collaring on the main and ventilation shafts following the box cut excavations; while the shaft sinking contractor is expected to be appointed within six months from the start date.
Other activities on the critical path include a complete refurbishment of all the winders which have been purchased and are currently being stored at the Wesizwe Platinum site, and securing final approval for bulk services, being water and electricity.
Wesizwe has paid the national energy supplier, Eskom, the requisite deposit of approximately R58 million and has provided the required performance guarantees of around R31 million which will enable Eskom to commit to provide permanent power supply to the mine in line with the requirements of the project.
Furthermore, Wesizwe Platinum and its 26%-owned associate company, Maseve (in partnership with Platinum Group Metals – PTM), are collaborating in the processes of securing bulk water supply to the two mines. The companies are continuing their discussions with the Magalies Water Authority and other stakeholders in order to derive maximum advantages from a synergistic approach to the infrastructure needs of both parties.
“Internally, we are finalising our structure with a view to bringing in specialist skills as required over the next 12 to 18 months,” said Mr Jianke Gao, the CEO designate of Wesizwe who will take over in the position once he has secured an appropriate work permit.
A number of board and management changes were announced in May 2011following the conclusion of the transaction which resulted in the Chinese consortium becoming 45% shareholders in the Company. These changes saw both Arthur Mashiatshidi and Jacques De Wet stepping down from their former positions but both remain with the company in advisory roles on financial, management, regulatory and corporate governance issues.
“The Board and management team are committed to ensuring that shareholders realise full value from one of the best undeveloped PGM assets in the country through the responsible and professional development of a world-class mining operation,” said Dawn Mokhobo, Chairman of Wesizwe.
7 June 2011