Media Announcements

Wesizwe Platinum Appoints Shaft Sinking Contractor For Bakubung Platinum Mine

29 March 2012

Wesizwe Platinum Limited (Wesizwe) has today announced another significant step towards the development of its Bakubung Platinum Mine with the awarding of the shaft sinking contract to Aveng Grinaker-LTA Mining (Aveng Grinaker-LTA).

In September 2011, six companies were invited to tender as part of the shaft sinking enquiry for the Bakubung Platinum Mine (formerly known as the Frischgewaagd Ledig project): three companies were from South Africa, two Chinese and a Canadian corporation. The R1.64 billion contract has been awarded to Aveng Grinaker-LTA following a thorough technical and commercial adjudication process.

Wesizwe’s CEO, Mr Jianke Gao, said: “In selecting the successful contractor, the adjudication team considered the commercial offer, the contractor’s technical expertise and experience, as well as a number of other important factors which included the company’s ownership structures; systems and resources; and its safety, health and environment track record. This is undoubtedly the most significant milestone in the delivery of a world-class underground PGM mine and we are pleased that we are now able to move forward with the sinking of the shafts.”

The Bakubung Platinum Mine is located on the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex and site establishment has been underway since 2010. Preparatory work for the start of shaft sinking will be completed in August 2012, with the pre-sink on the ventilation shaft scheduled to start in June 2012.  Both the main and ventilation shafts are scheduled for commissioning in October 2018.

“Following a rigorous evaluation process, Aveng Grinaker-LTA has demonstrated the capacity and experience necessary to deliver the shaft sinking scope for the Bakubung Platinum Mine and we look forward to working with them,” added Jianke Gao.

Aveng Grinaker-LTA has been involved with the development of mines for the past three decades and has considerable shaft sinking experience with the ability to sink and equip both vertical and decline shafts through all types of rock formations.

Wesizwe’s Project Executive, Mr Jacob Mothomogolo, commented: “The site establishment work is well on track, with a commendable safety record to date. In February this year, the team achieved 500 lost-time injury (LTI) free days, which will set the mine standard for safety at the mine going forward.”

The pollution control dam 1 with a holding capacity of 23000 m3 was part of the initial site preparation work completed mid-2011. Work is advancing on the pollution control dam 2 which will double the capacity and will increase the holding capacity, which equates to around two thirds of the required capacity at full production. The site team has moved into the recently established site offices, security and access control is now in place on site and the access road to the site is almost complete.

“Temporary water and power supply has been established and the project team is working on securing permanent bulk services to the mine. In this area particularly, opportunities for collaboration are being explored with other mining companies in the area,” said Jacob Mothomogolo.

Jianke Gao concluded: “With mine development on track at the Bakubung Platinum Mine, there will be increasing opportunities for employment during the construction and commissioning phase of the project. Already a number of job opportunities have been filled by community members, and at the end of January 2012, 35% of the employees are from local communities, which far exceeds the 20% target agreed with the Department of Mineral Resources.” 

Wesizwe has formalised stakeholder processes to ensure more effective engagement with the community and government. Just a few of these examples include recent meetings held with the MEC for Economic Development in the North West, Ms. Tebogo Modise; the Mayor of Moses Kotane Municipality, Ms Fetsang Mokati-Thebe; and several Community Stakeholder Engagement Forum meetings.

29 March 2012

Sponsor: PSG Capital (Pty) Ltd

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