MOKOPANE, SOUTH AFRICA – Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF) Executive Co-Chair Robert Friedland and President Marna Cloete are pleased to announce that the company's South African subsidiary, Ivanplats, has concluded stream-financing agreements with Orion Mine Finance and Nomad Royalty Company for a US$200 million gold-streaming facility and a US$100 million palladium- and platinum-streaming facility for its world-scale Platreef palladium-rhodium-platinum-nickel-copper-gold project in Limpopo Province, South Africa.
The proceeds will be used to advance the first phase of Platreef's mine development, with commercial production expected in 2024. The definitive feasibility study for Platreef's phased development plan, which will provide updated production forecasts for the initial mine and subsequent expansion, is nearing completion with release expected in Q1 2022.
Ivanplats also has signed documents relating to offtake arrangements for 100% of Platreef's Phase 1 platinum-group-metals (PGMs) concentrate production, which is expected to be more than 40,000 tonnes per year containing six payable metals, including palladium, rhodium, platinum, nickel, copper and gold.
The offtake arrangements are with Northam Platinum Limited and Heron Metals Pty Ltd., a joint venture in which Trafigura Pte. Ltd. ("Trafigura"), a Singaporean registered company, has a majority shareholding. Northam Platinum is an independent, fully empowered, integrated PGM producer, with primary operations in South Africa including the wholly owned Zondereinde Mine and metallurgical complex, and Booysendal Mine. The Trafigura Group is one of the world's leading independent commodity trading and logistics houses.
The terms of the proposed offtake with Heron Metals / Trafigura are based on a non-binding indicative term sheet and are subject to negotiation and execution of definitive documentation for a concentrate sales agreement.
"The stream financing agreements, which represent a small fraction of Platreef's incredible resource base, and accompanying offtake arrangements are critical milestones in the progression to commercial production for Ivanplats. They provide funding for a significant portion of the mine's initial phase of development, as well as a long-term home for our PGM, nickel and copper concentrates," said Marna Cloete, Ivanhoe Mines' President.
"Advancing Platreef to production also marks another step in Ivanhoe Mines' journey to become the world's next major, diversified mining company; one with top ESG credentials and an industry-leading portfolio of tier-one assets.
"The Platreef Mine is very scalable, and we see the first-phase, 700,000-tonne-per-annum operation as only our starter mine – one that will establish a strategic production foothold on South Africa's Bushveld PGM Complex, and support potential future expansions of this unique orebody, which contains 59 million ounces of platinum, palladium and rhodium plus gold (3PE+Au) in indicated resources and a further 94 million ounces in inferred, in addition to significant quantities of nickel and copper, at a cut-off grade of 1 gram per tonne 3PE+Au.
"Future expansions to 12 million tonnes per annum and beyond, as demonstrated in previous studies, would position Platreef among the world's largest and lowest-cost nickel and PGM mines, producing more than 24,000 tonnes of nickel and 1.1 million ounces of palladium, rhodium, platinum, and gold per year; and help feed the demand for critical electric minerals that the world needs as it transitions to a net-zero future.
"The phased development approach has worked extremely well at Kamoa-Kakula and we consider it to be the optimal strategy to accelerate our growth and diversification across commodities, and maintain a healthy balance sheet. The mineral endowment at Platreef is enormous and we fully intend to continue expanding the mine with the construction of Shaft 2, with the team working hard on opportunities to accelerate its availability for hoisting. We are passionately focused on being part of the solution as the world transitions to clean, renewable energy.
"We also are very pleased to conclude a three-year collective agreement with our employees that values and respects their expertise, their contributions during the pandemic, and their role in building the world's next great mine."
Watch a new video showcasing Platreef:https://vimeo.com/653933836/681b732b3e
Electrician, Mefika Khumalo (left); and Fitter, Agnes Maupye, about to commence with shaft equipping activities.
Fitter Rudolf van Wyk inspecting the Shaft 1 headframe.
Ivanplats secures US$200 million gold stream financing and US$100 million palladium and platinum stream financing
Ivanplats has entered into a gold, palladium and platinum stream financing with Orion Mine Finance, a leading international provider of customized financing to mining companies, and Nomad Royalty Company, a precious metals royalty company, in which Orion Mine Finance is a significant shareholder (Orion Mine Finance and Nomad Royalty Company, together, the "Stream Purchasers"). This transaction will fund a large portion of the Phase 1 capital costs, with initial production scheduled in 2024.
Under the stream agreements, Orion Mine Finance will provide a total of US$225 million in funding, and Nomad Royalty Company will provide US$75 million in funding. The stream facilities are a prepaid forward sale of refined metals, with prepayments totaling US$300 million, available in two tranches with the first prepayment of US$75 million to be paid following the closing of the transaction and US$225 million to be paid upon satisfaction of certain conditions precedent.
Under the terms of the US$200 million gold stream agreement, the Stream Purchasers will receive an aggregate total of 80% of contained gold in concentrate until 350,000 ounces have been delivered, after which the stream will be reduced to 64% of contained gold in concentrate for the remaining life of the facility. The expected life of this facility will extend from the effective date of the stream agreement until the date when 685,280 ounces of gold have been delivered to the Stream Purchasers. The Stream Purchasers will purchase each ounce of gold at a price equal to the lower of the market price of gold or US$100 per ounce.
Under the terms of the US$100 million palladium and platinum stream agreement, Orion Mine Finance will receive an aggregate total of 4.2% of contained palladium and platinum in concentrate until 350,000 ounces have been delivered, after which the stream will be reduced to 2.4% for the remaining life of the facility. The expected life of this facility will extend from the effective date of the stream agreement until the date when 485,115 ounces of palladium and platinum have been delivered to the purchaser, which will pay for each ounce at a price equal to 30% of the market price of palladium and platinum.
The conclusion of the stream agreements allows Ivanplats to focus efforts on finalizing the senior debt facility for up to US$120 million. Societe Generale and Nedbank were appointed as mandated lead arrangers for the project debt facility in early 2021. Both the gold stream facility, and palladium and platinum stream facility, will be subordinated to any senior secured financing.
The senior debt facility is anticipated to be used only after the stream facilities are fully drawn. Ivanplats remains flexible to raise additional debt or equity at a later date, and has pre-agreed with the Stream Purchasers the intercreditor arrangements for any future senior debt. While the stream facilities are guaranteed by Ivanplats and secured over the assets and Ivanhoe's shares of Platreef, there is no recourse to Ivanhoe Mines.
Members of the Orion and Nomad teams with members of Platreef's mine development team at the foundation for the Shaft 2 headframe that is under construction.
Ivanplats arranges offtake for Platreef's Phase 1 production
Ivanplats has signed documents relating to offtake for 100% of Phase 1's PGM concentrate production of at least 40,000 tonnes per year, based on standard commercial terms for PGM mines in South Africa. This reinforces the high quality of Platreef's PGM concentrate, which contains six payable metals including palladium, rhodium, platinum, nickel, copper and gold.
Ivanplats has finalized a PGM concentrate sales agreement with Northam Platinum for 50% of concentrate production from Phase 1 at Platreef, which totals approximately 20,000 tonnes per year. The agreement is in place for a period of ten years, and Ivanplats retains the option to reduce the volume by 5,000 tonnes to an annual total of 15,000 tonnes.
Ivanplats also has signed a non-binding indicative term sheet with Heron Metals, a Trafigura joint venture, relating to the sale and purchase of 50% of the PGM concentrate production from Phase 1 at Platreef, which equals approximately 20,000 tonnes per year, and would also be in place for a period of ten years. Under the proposed terms, Ivanplats retains the option to reduce the volume by 5,000 tonnes to an annual total of 15,000 tonnes. Ivanplats may also elect to receive a provisional payment of 90%, five days after the month of delivery. The final terms of the offtake with Heron Metals remain subject to negotiation and execution of definitive documentation.
Shaft 1 changeover to a production shaft advancing rapidly
As part of the phased development plan, Platreef's 996-metre-deep Shaft 1 will be used to initially access the high-grade Flatreef orebody that has an average thickness of 26 metres – massive when compared to the typical, approximately one-metre-thick reefs being mined elsewhere on South Africa's Bushveld Complex. The remarkably thick Flatreef orebody also is flat-lying, which is ideal for safe, bulk-scale, mechanized mining and processes optimized for maximum ore extraction.
Shaft 1 has three development stations that will provide underground access to Flatreef, on the 750-, 850-, and 950-metre levels. The current focus is on equipping the 950-metre level station with rock-handling and mining infrastructure. The 950-metre level is the lowest mining level, where skip loading will take place – initial lateral development will start from this station.
Shaft 1 will be used to initially access the high-grade Flatreef orebody, with lateral development to commence from the 950-metre-level station.
Changeover construction of the 996-metre-deep Shaft 1 is progressing to plan and is on schedule for commencement of rock hoisting early in 2022.
The 850-metre-level station with all shaft steelwork in place. Following the establishment of a rock-pass system from the 750-metre level to the 950-metre level, development will commence towards the high-grade Flatreef orebody on the 850-metre level.
After the 950-metre level is completed, the higher stations will be provided with rock-tipping and ore-pass infrastructure, with the equipping expected to be completed in early 2022.
The changeover construction at Shaft 1 is progressing to plan and on schedule for commencement of rock hoisting, also early in 2022. All materials, consumables and equipment for the shaft changeover have been procured and all designs completed. The changeover work is being done by Platreef's experienced owners' team with a focus on safety, and a full quality assurance and control system is in place.
The winder that was used to sink and equip Shaft 1 will be the permanent rock, personnel and material winder following the shaft-equipping phase. The shaft will be equipped with two 12.5-tonne skips with a fixed man and material cage installed above the skips in both compartments, an optimization that will allow for an increase in hoisting capacity which will be discussed in the forthcoming definitive feasibility study.
Lateral mine development on the 950-metre level toward the Flatreef ore body is expected to begin in Q2 2022. The initial development will use battery-electric M2C drill rigs and 14-tonne load haul dumpers being manufactured by Epiroc, a leading mining equipment manufacturer, at its facilities in ?rebro, Sweden. The partnership with Epiroc for emissions-free mining equipment is an important first step towards reducing the carbon footprint of the mine, with learnings to be employed across Ivanhoe Mines' operations.
The battery-electric mining fleet is expected to arrive on site in early 2022. Ivanplats plans to install solar photovoltaic cells to recharge the electric fleet's batteries.
The contract for the initial mine development has been adjudicated and is in the final stages of negotiation. Newly designed rock chutes on surface will connect the conveyors feeding the concentrator plant and the waste rock area; from there the waste rock will be crushed and used as cemented backfill underground for maximum ore extraction, as well as for protection berms to contain storm water and reduce noise emissions.
The waste-rock conveyor from Shaft 1 is progressing to plan with all mechanical and electrical orders well advanced. Delivery of the stacker is planned for February 2022 and the complete waste conveyor load-out system is expected to be fully operational shortly thereafter.
Pilot drilling of the first main ventilation shaft will commence in 2022, after which it will be reamed to its final diameter of 5.1-metres, providing the main return airway for the Phase 1 development. On completion, this ventilation shaft also will serve as a second egress from the mine.
Crew constructing the new waste-rock conveyor system at Platreef's Shaft 1 headframe. A second conveyor system also will be installed to feed the concentrator plant with high-grade ore from underground mining.
Manufacturing and assembly of a battery-electric, mechanized drill rig at the Epiroc facilities in ?rebro, Sweden (a Boomer M2C drill rig) that will be used for underground development. Delivery is expected early in 2022.
Members of Platreef's mine development crew preparing to go underground. Their work currently is focused on completing the equipping of Shaft 1 as Platreef's initial production shaft.
Shaft 2 headframe construction well underway, with plans to accelerate completion
Early surface construction for Shaft 2 began in 2017, including the excavation of a surface box-cut to a depth of approximately 29 metres below surface, and construction of the concrete hitch for the 103-metre-tall concrete headframe (headgear), which will house the shaft's permanent hoisting facilities and support the shaft collar. The Shaft 2 headframe construction, from the hitch to the collar level, is progressing well with completion expected in May 2022.
With the possibility of increased hoisting capacity at Shaft 1, the mining and engineering teams, in conjunction with leading consultants, is evaluating changes to the sinking methodology for Shaft 2 to significantly accelerate the availability of the shaft for hoisting, compared to the previously released preliminary economic assessment.
Aerial view of current progress at Platreef, with the Shaft 2 headframe construction site on the right, and the headframe for Shaft 1 on the left.
Platreef's 103-metre-high main Shaft 2 superimposed on the right, will be constructed from the hitch to the collar (at surface). The headframe for Shaft 1 is on the left.
Ivanplats launches inaugural cadetship program for local youthIvanplats launches inaugural cadetship program for local youth
Ivanplats recently launched its first cadetship program, providing opportunities to 50 local youth every year. The program seeks to enhance gender diversity, with 54% of the learners being female; and offers a national certificate in health and safety, as well as mining competencies, such as utility vehicle operations.
In collaboration with South Africa's Murray & Roberts Training Academy, Ivanplats established a training facility in Mokopane, which will include e-learning, equipment simulators, and professional coaching. Cadets will be instructed in underground mining and engineering, and prepared for skilled jobs like those that will be needed at Platreef.
"We are committed to mining in a responsible way, where sustainable benefits are actively shared with our neighbours and local communities," explained Dr. Patricia Makhesha, Ivanhoe Mines' Executive Vice President, Sustainability and Special Projects. "Skill development and education efforts like the cadetship program nurture talented, local workforces; and prepare many bright, young women and men for skilled opportunities in South Africa's mining industry, which is set to play a very important role in supplying minerals critical for the world-wide transition to clean energy.
"Ivanplats is excited about the community-training facility in Mokopane, and welcoming our inaugural cadet class. Platreef will be proudly developed under strong partnerships and alongside local communities. Our culture is the heartbeat of the organization and is rooted in a deep commitment to the sustainable development path.
Ivanplats Senior Human Capital Manager, Jacques Malan, welcoming the new cadets from Mokopane local communities.
Construction of the concrete foundation for Platreef's Shaft 2 headframe. Shaft 2 will have a finished and concrete-lined internal diameter of 10 metres, and be sunk to a final depth of 1,104 metres below surface.
Equipment Operator Evelyn Mafafo, a member of Platreef's mine development team. Ivanhoe has prioritized an increase in the number of female employees at all of its mine development projects.
Ivanplats' COVID-19 readiness initiatives prioritize vaccination campaign and risk mitigation
The medical, safety and management teams at Ivanplats actively monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Protocols are continuously reviewed and optimized based on available data and public health guidelines; as a result, Ivanplats has implemented several measures to prevent and mitigate the escalation of infections and the impact on operations.
Those measures include the mass testing of all employees, contractors and visitors, provision of transport to employees and a vaccination rollout. By the end of November 2021, a total of 5,212 COVID-19 tests had been conducted.
In support of the National Department of Health's national vaccine rollout strategy, Ivanplats launched an on-site COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Approximately 86% of the Platreef Project's employees and contractors working on site have at minimum received their first vaccine dose.
Rigorous testing, physical distancing, wearing face masks, frequent hand washing, and contact-tracing measures remain in place to protect the safety and health of the workforce and community members. The project's preventative measures are at the highest international standards. Following a COVID-19 risk assessment review, Ivanplats is currently developing a mandatory vaccination policy, which it intends to implement in early 2022.
As previously reported, there have been some recent Omicron-variant infections among employees and contractors working at the Platreef Project; all people infected to date have either been asymptomatic or experienced very mild symptoms. The rate of infection observed across the workforce has been over four times higher in unvaccinated individuals.
The department of health has approved a COVID-19 quarantine facility in the local village of Masodi for Platreef employees and contractors who cannot safely isolate at home. The current occupancy is zero.
Nurse Edith Manamela (left) administering a COVID-19 test on Surveyor Akila Mokwena prior to commencing his shift.
Shaft Sinking and Construction Manager Apie Pretorius was among the 86% employees and contractors who have received their COVID-19 vaccinations.
In anticipation of the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, Platreef has introduced an electronic facial-recognition and fever-screening system at all access points to ensure effective screening and control.
Lawrence Monama sanitizing the shared spaces at the Shaft 1 bank area.
Kamoa-Kakula monthly update to be issued within the week
Ivanhoe Mines also announces that the November progress update for the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo is expected to be issued within the next week.
About the Platreef Project
The Platreef Project is owned by Ivanplats (Pty) Ltd (Ivanplats), which is 64%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines. A 26% interest is held by Ivanplats' historically-disadvantaged, broad-based, black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) partners, which include 20 local host communities with approximately 150,000 people, project employees and local entrepreneurs. Ivanplats reached Level 4 contributor status in its most recent verification assessment on the B-BBEE scorecard. A Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corporation, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, and Japan Gas Corporation, owns a 10% interest in Ivanplats, which it acquired in two tranches for a total investment of $290 million.
The Platreef Project hosts an underground deposit of thick, platinum-group metals, nickel, copper and gold mineralization on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex in Limpopo Province – approximately 280 kilometres northeast of Johannesburg and eight kilometres from the town of Mokopane.
On the Northern Limb, platinum-group metals mineralization is primarily hosted within the Platreef, a mineralized sequence that is traced more than 30 kilometres along strike. Ivanhoe's Platreef Project, within the Platreef's southern sector, is comprised of two contiguous properties: Turfspruit and Macalacaskop. Turfspruit, the northernmost property, is contiguous with, and along strike from, Anglo Platinum's Mogalakwena group of mining operations and properties.
Since 2007, Ivanhoe has focused its exploration and development activities on defining and advancing the down-dip extension of its original discovery at Platreef, now known as the Flatreef Deposit, which is amenable to highly-mechanized, underground mining methods. The Flatreef area lies entirely on the Turfspruit and Macalacaskop properties that form part of the company's mining right.
Qualified Persons and NI 43-101 Technical Report
In December 2020, Ivanhoe Mines filed a new National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) technical report titled "Platreef Integrated Development Plan 2020" with an effective date of December 6, 2020 (Platreef IDP20).
The Platreef IDP20, which includes the Platreef 2020 FS and Platreef 2020 PEA, was independently prepared by OreWin Pty Ltd. of Adelaide, Australia; Wood plc (formerly Amec Foster Wheeler) of Vancouver, Canada; SRK Consulting Inc. of Johannesburg, South Africa; Stantec Consulting International LLC of Phoenix, USA; DRA Global of Johannesburg, South Africa; and Golder Associates Africa of Midrand, South Africa.
These technical reports include relevant information regarding the effective dates and the assumptions, parameters and methods of the mineral resource estimates on the Platreef Project cited in this news release, as well as information regarding data verification, exploration procedures and other matters relevant to the scientific and technical disclosure contained in this news release in respect of the Platreef Project.
Other scientific and technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Stephen Torr, P.Geo., Ivanhoe Mines' Vice President, Project Geology and Evaluation, a Qualified Person under the terms of NI 43-101. Mr. Torr is not considered independent under NI 43-101 as he is the Vice President, Project Geology and Evaluation of Ivanhoe Mines. Mr. Torr has verified the technical data disclosed in this news release.
About Ivanhoe Mines
Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its three principal projects in Southern Africa: the development of major new, mechanized, underground mines at the Kamoa-Kakula copper discoveries in the Democratic Republic of Congo and at the Platreef palladium-rhodium-platinum-nickel-copper-gold discovery in South Africa; and the extensive redevelopment and upgrading of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium-silver mine, also in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kamoa-Kakula began producing copper concentrates in May 2021 and, through phased expansions, is positioned to become one of the world's largest copper producers. Kamoa-Kakula is being powered by clean, renewable hydro-generated electricity and is projected to be among the world's lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of metal produced. Ivanhoe Mines has pledged to achieve net-zero operational greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) at the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine. Ivanhoe also is exploring for new copper discoveries on its Western Foreland exploration licences in the Democratic Republic of Congo, near the Kamoa-Kakula Project.
Investors: Bill Trenaman +1.604.331.9834 / Media: Matthew Keevil +1.604.558.1034
Cautionary statement on forward-looking information
Certain statements in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" or "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the company, the Platreef Project, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such statements can be identified by the use of words such as "may", "would", "could", "will", "intend", "expect", "believe", "plan", "anticipate", "estimate", "scheduled", "forecast", "predict" and other similar terminology, or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. These statements reflect the company's current expectations regarding future events, performance and results, and speak only as of the date of this news release.
The forward-looking statements and forward-looking information in this news release include without limitation, (i) statements regarding the funding and drawdown under the stream agreements, (ii) statements regarding the offtake arrangements and that the offtake arrangements with Trafigura remain subject to negotiation and execution of definitive documentation; (iii) statements regarding the establishment of the senior project debt facility, and its term and conditions, (iv) statements regarding the timing of the first draw of the streaming facility and that the senior project debt facility would only be utilized after the streaming facility is fully drawn; (v) statements regarding the acceleration of Shaft 2 development or commissioning; (vi) statements that Platreef is scheduled for production in 2024; (vi) statements that the definitive feasibility study for phased expansion is expected early 2022; (vii) statements that changeover construction at Shaft 1 is progressing to plan and is on schedule for commencement of rock hoisting early in 2022; (viii) statements that lateral mine development on the 950-metre level toward the high-grade Flatreef ore body is expected to begin in Q2 2022; (ix) statements that the battery-electric mining fleet is expected to arrive on site in early 2022; (x) statements regarding the expected scheduling around the sinking of Shaft 2. In addition, all of the results of the Platreef IDP20, Platreef 2020 PEA and Platreef 2020 FS constitute forward-looking statements and forward-looking information.
All such forward-looking information and statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by Ivanhoe Mines' management in light of their experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors management believe are appropriate in the circumstances. These statements, however, are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information or statements including, but not limited to, unexpected changes in laws, rules or regulations, or their enforcement by applicable authorities; the failure of parties to contracts to perform as agreed; social or labour unrest; changes in commodity prices; unexpected failure or inadequacy of infrastructure, industrial accidents or machinery failure (including of shaft sinking equipment), or delays in the development of infrastructure, and the failure of exploration programs or other studies to deliver anticipated results or results that would justify and support continued studies, development or operations. Other important factors that could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements also include those described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the company's most recently filed MD&A as well as in the most recent Annual Information Form filed by Ivanhoe Mines. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information or statements. Certain of the factors and assumptions used to develop the forward-looking information and statements, and certain of the risks that could cause the actual results to differ materially are presented in the "Platreef Integrated Development Plan 2020", available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Ivanhoe Mines website at www.yqwhq.cn.
This news release also contains references to estimates of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. The estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves is inherently uncertain and involves subjective judgments about many relevant factors. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The accuracy of any such estimates is a function of the quantity and quality of available data, and of the assumptions made and judgments used in engineering and geological interpretation, which may prove to be unreliable and depend, to a certain extent, upon the analysis of drilling results and statistical inferences that may ultimately prove to be inaccurate. Mineral Resource or Mineral Reserve estimates may have to be re-estimated based on, among other things: (i) fluctuations in platinum, palladium, gold, rhodium, copper, nickel or other mineral prices; (ii) results of drilling; (iii) results of metallurgical testing and other studies; (iv) changes to proposed mining operations, including dilution; (v) the evaluation of mine plans subsequent to the date of any estimates; and (vi) the possible failure to receive required permits, approvals and licences.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of the company believes are reasonable assumptions, the company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, the company does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this news release.
南非波特希特斯 — 艾芬豪礦業 (TSX: IVN; OTCQX:IVPAF) 執行聯席董事長羅伯特·弗里蘭德 (Robert Friedland) 及總裁瑪娜·科洛特 (Marna Cloete) 今天欣然宣布，公司的南非子公司Ivanplats 已就其位于南非林波波省的普拉特瑞夫 (Platreef) 世界級鈀-銠-鉑-鎳-銅-金礦項目與獵戶座礦業金融集團 (Orion Mine Finance) (以下簡稱"獵戶座") 及 Nomad Royalty Company簽訂2億美元的黃金金屬流及1億美元的鈀-鉑金屬流融資協議。
此外，Ivanplats簽署與普拉特瑞夫 I 期100% 產量包銷協議相關的文件，預計年產超過4萬噸鉑族金屬精礦，包含6種計價金屬：鈀、銠、鉑、鎳、銅和金。
Ivanplats分別與Northam Platinum Limited和Heron Metals Pty Ltd.簽署包銷協議，Heron Metals Pty Ltd.是Trafigura Pte. Ltd. (以下簡稱"托克"）的合資企業，Trafigura Pte. Ltd. 注冊在新加坡，持有Heron Metals多數股權。Northam Platinum 位于南非瀑布城，是一家獨立的綜合鉑族金屬生產商，主要在南非從事業務，包括其全資擁有的Zondereinde礦山和冶煉項目以及Booysendal礦山。托克是領先國際的獨立商品貿易和物流公司。
"普拉特瑞夫礦山擁有巨大的發展潛力，我們以 I期70萬噸/年產能作起步，將在南非布什維爾德鉑族金屬成礦帶建立戰略性生產據點，并于日后進行擴建以充分開發這獨特的礦產資源，含有5,900萬盎司的鉑金、鈀、銠及黃金 (3PE+Au) 的探明資源和額外9,400萬盎司推斷資源，以及大量鎳和銅金屬 (以邊界品位1克/噸3PE+Au計算)。"
"卡莫阿-卡庫拉 (Kamoa-Kakula) 分期開發方案的實施極為理想，我們認為這是加快商品擴產和多元化的最佳策略，并有助于我們保持穩健的財務狀況。普拉特瑞夫蘊藏著巨大的礦產資源，我們將會建設2號豎井以全力推進礦山的擴建計劃，現場團隊正努力奮進以求加快實現其作為提升設施的可能性。我們正積極地全力發展成為世界邁向清潔和可再生能源未來的解決方案之一。"
電工Mefika Khumalo和裝配工Agnes Maupye準備就緒開展豎井裝配工作。
裝配工Rudolf van Wyk 在檢查1號豎井的井架。
Ivanplats已就黃金、鈀及鉑金屬流融資與獵戶座及Nomad Royalty Company 達成協議。獵戶座是世界領先的金融集團，為礦業公司提供定制化的融資。Nomad Royalty Company是一家擁有貴金屬特許使用權的公司，獵戶座是該公司的大股東之一 (獵戶座及Nomad Royalty Company統稱為"金屬流買方")。交易將為I期大部分的資本開支提供資金，項目將于2024年實現首產。
根據金屬流協議，獵戶座將為項目提供總計2.25億美元的資金，Nomad Royalty Company則會提供7,500萬美元的資金。金屬流融資是指買方以預付金額購買預售的精煉金屬，預付款總額為 3 億美元，分兩期支付，第一期預付款7,500萬美元將于交易結束時支付，剩余的2.25億美元將在滿足若干先決條件后支付。
根據 2 億美元黃金金屬流協議的條款，金屬流買方將獲得精礦所含黃金的80%，直至交付量達35萬盎司，其后將減少至協議剩余有效期生產精礦所含黃金的64%。協議有效期將從金屬流協議的生效日期，直至向金屬流買方提供的交付量達685,280盎司黃金當日結束。金屬流買方將按相等于黃金市價或100美元/盎司 (以較低者為準) 的價格購買每盎司黃金。
根據 1 億美元鈀-鉑金屬流協議的條款，金屬流買方將獲得精礦所含鈀及鉑金的4.2%，直至交付量達35萬盎司，其后將減少至協議剩余有效期相關產量的2.4%。協議有效期將從金屬流協議的生效日期，直至向金屬流買方提供的交付量達485,115盎司鈀和鉑金當日結束。金屬流買方將按相等于鈀及鉑金市價30%的價格購買每盎司鈀及鉑金。
獵戶座和 Nomad 團隊成員以及普拉特瑞夫礦山開發團隊的成員在施工中的2號豎井井架地基前。
Ivanplats 與 Northam Platinum已就普拉特瑞夫I期50%鉑族金屬精礦產量完成了一項銷售協議，總計約2萬噸/年。協議有效期10年，Ivanplats保留減少5,000噸至每年15,000噸的選擇權。
Ivanplats還與托克的合資企業Heron Metals已就普拉特瑞夫I期50%鉑族金屬精礦產量的買賣協議簽署非約束性指示條款書，產量相等于礦山十年期間每年生產約2萬噸/年。 根據提議的條款，Ivanplats保留可減少產量5,000噸至每年15,000噸的選擇權。 Ivanplats 可選擇在交付月后五天收取90%的臨時付款。 Ivanplats與Heron Metals的最終包銷協議仍需完成最終文件的談判和簽署。
1號豎井的廢石輸送系統正按計劃推進，所有機械和電氣訂單的進度順利。堆料輸送機將于 2022 年 2 月交付，其后，預計整個廢石輸送系統將于短期內全面運行。
c廠房生產和組裝的機械化電動鉆機 (Boomer M2C鉆機)，將用于礦山的地下開拓工程，預計于 2022 年初運抵現場。
2號豎井的早期地表工程已于2017年展開，包括地表以下約 29 米深的開口以及建造103米高的混凝土井架的地基。該井架將設有豎井的永久提升設施并將用于支撐井口。2號豎井井架 (從地基至井口) 的建設工程進度理想，預期2022年5月完工。
Ivanplats近日推出首個學員計劃，每年為50名當地學員提供學習機會。學員計劃旨在加強性別多樣化，其中54%的學員都是女性。計劃包括職業安全以及采礦技能 (例如操作工程車) 的國家認可證書課程。
Ivanplats 與南非的 Murray & Roberts 培訓學院合作，在波特希特斯建設培訓設施，包括網絡學習、設備模擬器和專業指導為學員提供培訓。學員將會接受地下采礦和工程方面的訓練，為日后從事技術工作做好準備，比如普拉特瑞夫所需的工種。
艾芬豪礦業可持續發展與特殊項目執行副總裁帕翠莎·馬凱莎 (Patricia Makhesha) 解釋說﹕"我們致力以負責任的方式進行采礦作業，與我們的鄰居及當地社區積極共享可持續利益。通過技能培訓和教育，學員計劃將培養人才和當地的勞動力，并為有才干的年青男女做好將來從事南非采礦業熟練工種的準備，在礦產資源供應方面擔任重要的角色，促進全球走向清潔能源的轉型。"
設備操作員 Evelyn Mafafo是普拉特瑞夫礦山開發團隊的成員。艾芬豪在所有礦山開發項目中致力增加女性員工的人數。
為配合國家衛生部推行的全國疫苗接種計劃，Ivanplats 在礦山現場為員工接種COVID-19 疫苗，至今普拉特瑞夫項目約86% 的現場員工和承包商已接種了至少一劑疫苗。
護士Edith Manamela為測量員Akila Mokwena在輪班前進行COVID-19檢測。
普拉特瑞夫項目由 Ivanplats (Pty) Ltd. (以下簡稱 "Ivanplats") 持有，艾芬豪礦業持有Ivanplats公司64%的股權。由《全面提高黑人經濟實力法案》(B-BBEE) 的南非受益人持有項目26%的股權，這些受益人包括 20 個當地社區，約150,000 位居民、項目雇員和當地企業主。Ivanplats 在最近 B-BBEE 評分核實評估中達到 4 級貢獻者標準。另外，伊藤忠商事株式會社、日本石油天然氣和金屬國家公司和日本天然氣公司組成的日本財團通過 2 輪投資 (共 2.9 億美元) 持有 Ivanplats 10% 的股權。
在北翼，鉑族金屬礦化主要賦存在普拉特瑞夫層位，走向延伸30多公里。艾芬豪的普拉特瑞夫項目位于普拉特瑞夫南部，由Turfspruit及Macalacaskop兩個相連的礦權組成。最北部的 Turfspruit 礦權，鄰近且位于英美鉑金 (Anglo Platinum) Mogalakwena 礦山的走向延伸上。
自2007 年以來，艾芬豪重點推進勘查和開發活動，以圈定普拉特瑞夫礦體的深部延伸，目前已命名為 Flatreef 礦床，適合高度機械化的地下開采。整個Flatreef 礦區位于 Turfspruit 和 Macalacaskop 采礦權范圍內。
合資格人及符合NI 43-101 標準的技術報告
艾芬豪礦業于2020年12月提交一份名為 "2020年普拉特瑞夫綜合開發方案" 的加拿大礦產項目披露標準43‐101 (以下簡稱 "NI 43-101") 最新技術報告，該報告自2020年12月6日起生效 (以下簡稱 "普拉特瑞夫IDP20")。
普拉特瑞夫IDP20，包含2020年普拉特瑞夫可行性研究 (以下簡稱 "普拉特瑞夫2020 FS") 和2020年普拉特瑞夫初步經濟評估 (以下簡稱 "普拉特瑞夫2020 PEA")，由澳大利亞阿德萊德的OreWin Pty Ltd.、加拿大溫哥華的Wood plc (前為Amec Foster Wheeler)、南非約翰內斯堡的SRK Consulting Inc.、美國鳳凰城的Stantec Consulting International LLC 、南非約翰內斯堡的DRA Global以及南非米德蘭的Golder Associates Africa獨立編撰。
本新聞稿載有的其他科學和技術信息，已經由艾芬豪礦業項目地質及評估副總裁斯蒂芬·托爾 (Stephen Torr) 審閱和批核。托爾先生是符合NI 43-101 條款下的合資格人。由于托爾先生是艾芬豪礦業項目地質及評估副總裁，因此他并不符合NI 43-101 對獨立人士的界定。托爾先生已核實本新聞稿所披露的技術數據。
艾芬豪礦業是一家加拿大的礦業公司，正在推進旗下位于南部非洲的三大合資項目：位于剛果民主共和國的卡莫阿-卡庫拉 (Kamoa-Kakula) 銅礦和位于南非的普拉特瑞夫鈀-銠-鉑-鎳-銅-金礦的大型機械化地下礦山開發工程；以及同樣位于剛果民主共和國、久富盛名的基普什 (Kipushi) 鋅-銅-鍺-銀礦的大型重建和改善工程。
卡莫阿-卡庫拉銅礦項目于2021年5月實現銅精礦生產，未來將分階段進行擴建，預計將會成為全球最大規模的銅生產商之一?？?卡庫拉使用清潔、可再生的水電，并將成為世界上每單位金屬溫室氣體排放量最低的礦山之一。艾芬豪礦業已作出承諾，卡莫阿-卡庫拉銅礦將致力實現凈零運營溫室氣體排放 (范圍一和二)。同時，艾芬豪正在剛果民主共和國境內、毗鄰卡莫阿-卡庫拉項目的西部前沿 (Western Foreland) 探礦權內尋找新的銅礦資源。
投資者﹕比爾·特倫曼 (Bill Trenaman)，電話﹕+1.604.331.9834 / 媒體﹕馬修·基維爾 (Matthew Keevil)，電話﹕ +1.604.558.1034
該等陳述包括但不限于下列事項的時間點和結果﹕(i) 關于金屬流協議項下的資金和提款的陳述；(ii) 關于包銷協議的安排，以及與托克集團的包銷協議仍需完成最終文件的談判和執行的陳述；(iii) 關于項目的高級債務融資以及其條款和條件的陳述；(iv) 關于金屬流融資首次提款的時間點，以及項目高級債務融資僅在金屬流融資全額提取后才能使用的陳述；(v) 關于2號豎井將于2026年投產，并于2026年底開始礦石提升的陳述；(vi) 關于普拉特瑞夫將于2024年實現投產的陳述； (vi) 關于分期開發方案的最終可行性研究將于2022年初發布的陳述；(vii) 關于1號豎井轉換為生產井的工程按計劃正進行中，并將于2022年初開始礦石提升的陳述；(viii) 關于預計2022年第二季度開始在950米中段進行水平巷道開拓，向Flatreef高品位礦體推進的陳述；(ix) 關于電動采礦設備將于2022年初運抵現場的陳述；(x) 關于2號豎井將于2023年中開展鑿井工程，預計將于2026年底實現投產的陳述。另外，普拉特瑞夫IDP20、普拉特瑞夫2020 PEA及普拉特瑞夫2020 FS的所有結果均構成前瞻性陳述及前瞻性信息。
所有該等前瞻性信息和陳述乃基于艾芬豪礦業管理層就他們的經驗和對于過往趨勢、目前條件和預期未來發展的看法，以及管理層在此情況下認為恰當的其他因素而作出的某些假設和分析。然而，這些陳述涉及不同風險和不明朗因素以及其他因素，可能導致實際事件或業績與前瞻性信息或陳述所預測的有重大差異，包括但不限于有關部門實施的法例、法規或規章或其無法預計的修訂、合約各方未能根據協議履行合約、社會或勞資糾紛、商品價格的變動、基礎設施出現無法預計的故障或設施不足、工業事故或機械故障 (包括豎井鑿井設備)、或延遲開發基礎設施；以及勘探計劃或其他研究未能達到預期結果或用作證明和支持繼續研究、開發或運營的結果?？赡軐е聦嶋H業績與前瞻性陳述有差異的其他重要因素包括本公司最近提交的管理層討論與分析報告內以及艾芬豪礦業最近提交的周年信息報告內"風險因素"部分所指的因素。讀者請注意不應過度依賴前瞻性信息或陳述。用作編撰前瞻性信息和陳述的某些因素和假設，以及可能導致實際業績產生重大差異的某些風險均載于SEDAR (www.sedar.com) 及艾芬豪礦業網站 (www.yqwhq.cn) 內的"2020年普拉特瑞夫綜合開發方案"。
本新聞稿還載有礦產資源和礦產儲量估算的參考信息。礦產資源和礦產儲量估算未能確定，并涉及對許多有關因素的主觀判斷。礦產資源并非礦產儲量，并不顯示具有經濟潛力。任何該等估算的準確性是可用數據的數量和質量函數，并根據工程和地質詮釋的假設和判斷而作出，可能被證明是不可靠，在一定程度上取決于鉆孔工程結果和統計推論的分析，而最終可能證明是不準確的。礦產資源或礦產儲量估算可能需要根據下列因素作出重新估算﹕(i) 鉑金、鈀、黃金、銠、銅、鎳或其他礦產價格的波動；(ii) 鉆孔工程的結果；(iii) 冶金測試和其他研究的結果；(iv) 更改建議采礦作業，包括貧化；(v) 在任何估算日期后作出的采礦計劃評估；以及(vi) 未能取得所需準許、批準和許可證的可能性。