Published On: 20 May, 2021Categories: Archived

As part of the mine’s first generation social and labour plan (SLP), some R18 million has already been invested in the upgrading of the Garatau Community Access Road.

BURGERSFORT – South Africa-focused platinum developer, Nkwe Platinum Limited and its sole shareholder the Zijin Mining Group, a leading Chinese gold company, launched the opening of the Garatau Platinum Mine on Thursday, May 13. The event was held at Mandagshoek.

“The celebrations was attended by Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha, local mayors, the magoshi , members from Chinese Business Group (CBG),deputy minister of Police Cassel Mathale and the MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism in Limpopo Thabo Mokone.”

Mining operations at Garatau are due to begin at the end of this month with the construction of the box-cut, which will make way for the decline shaft development towards the end of this year.

The processing capacity of Garatau is anticipated to average 3.6 million tonnes of ore per annum, once full capacity is achieved in a few years’ time. The life of mine is estimated to be in excess of 29 years and once fully operational will employ some 2500 people.

“The mine will offer jobs, training and education. It will develop, infrastructure and provide financial and social upliftment to the local communities, the municipal district and the Province of Limpopo”, noted MD and CEO of Nkwe Platinum Limited, Mr Zhiyu Fan.

Zijin Mining Group will have USD700 million of estimated investment as per Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) to be utilised for the mine, to be drawn in tranches upon the completion of certain milestones. Nkwe Platinum Limited is expected to rank amongst 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 for the benefit of all”, noted Fan.

“As part of the mine’s first generation social and labour plan (SLP), some R18 million has already been invested in the upgrading of the Garatau Community Access Road”

The upgraded road connects the HC Boshoff Hospital to the Ga-Makwae village and has been used by the local communities since December 2020. Nkwe Platinum Limited has further invested over R14.5 million into Adult Training and Education, Learnership Programs and Bursaries, which have benefited the surrounding mining community.

In October 2020, the second generation SLP was approved, which will see further local economic development (‘LED’) projects in the form of clean water supply to the local mine communities over the next few years. The water supply project has already commenced with the supply of water tanks and re-equipping of water boreholes.

As a priority, Nkwe Platinum Limited will employ people from the local communities for all projects where possible and will continue to provide bursaries and learnership programs 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”, concluded Fan”

Premier Mathabatha said the economy of Fetakgomo Tubatse will improve, with the new mine.

“This project is envisaged to create no less than 6 000 jobs (direct and indirect combined) for the local communities.

This alone will contribute significantly towards our efforts of reducing the unemployment rate and fighting poverty.

The economy of this area shall never be the same again. Beyond the significance of job creation, this project is estimated to contribute over 40 Million US Dollars [at the current platinum price] in taxes for our economy. This is indeed a massive contribution.”

Publication: Lowvelder

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