VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Recently minted Sibanye-Stillwater has successfully extended the platinum group metals (PGM) mineralisation at the Blitz project, in Montana – a brownfield extension of the existing Stillwater mine.
The company announced on Friday that mineralised ore at the Blitz project had been intersected in a development end on the 5300 E level and ten-stope block area of the project, sampling a grade of 79 g/t over the full intersection width of the orebody, totalling 3.8 m.
This reflects a significantly higher grade than the compliant proven and probable reserve grades for the Stillwater mine, including the Blitz project, as at December 31, of 19.55 g/t.
“The Blitz project was recognised as an important driver in the Stillwater transaction and the first intersection of the ‘JM Reef’ in this area is an important milestone. This has confirmed the geological modelling undertaken to date, and underpins our confidence in the potential of this orebody,” CEO Neal Froneman commented.
Sibanye-Stillwater advised that all rock from this initial ore intersection is currently being stockpiled. Project development is continuing, with establishment of the infrastructure required to start with first production from the Blitz project currently under way.
The Blitz project is expected to lift output from the US PGM operations by about 300 000 oz/y of palladium and platinum, once operating at a steady state slated for end of 2021 to early 2022.
The increased output from Blitz is also expected to reduce unit operating costs of the Stillwater mine, the South African company advised.