South Africa

Volspruit Project

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Mine TypeOpen Pit
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Copper
  • Palladium
  • Nickel
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotVolspruit Project, located at the south of the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex, is a shallow PGE-Ni-Cu deposit likely to be developed as an open- cast operation. Optimisation studies are underway on the project.

Volspruit Project Summary of the 2023 year’s activity:
- Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) released in October 2022, with initial Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) focusing on North Pit only.
- Further work in 2023 focused on increasing value through metallurgical testwork, additional assay information for full PGE suite, and reinterpretation of the South Body.
- Updated MRE for combined North and South resources, including rhodium (initially excluded) expected in Q1 FY2024, with the PEA expected in Q3 FY2024.
- The permitting requirements continue for the Water Use Licence, amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment and authorisation of the Social and Labour Plan.


Iolite Trading 16 (Pty) Ltd. 26 % Indirect
Sylvania Platinum Ltd. 74 % Indirect
Silvania Platinum Ltd. owns the mining rights for PGM projects in the northern end of the Bushveld Complex, which includes Volspruit.

Deposit type

  • Magmatic


Deposit Type
The Volspruit Reef has provisionally been classified as a disseminated, PGE-Cu-Ni, syn-genetic, ortho-magmatic deposit within the Lower Zone of the RLS. The deposit has been linked to a series of partially developed ultramafic magmas which progressively increase in Cu, Pt, and Pd towards the top of cyclic unit 10 and the first six metres of cyclic unit 11. Hulbert (1983) observed a sharp increase in iron (Fe) and oxygen fugacity (ƒO ) upwards 2 through cyclic units 10 to 11, which led to the conclusion that the Volspruit Reef was formed as a result of a younger more evolved magma intruding the Lower Zone and mixing with the ultramafic unit 10 magmas to provide the means for sulphur saturation and precipitation of PGMs alongside base metals in cyclic unit 11.

The North Body deposit is displaced by a north-south trending fault termed the Magoga Fault, which has thrusted the deposit downwards towards the east. The deposit can be sub-divided into two main structural domains: a northern domain (North Body) and a southern domain (South Body). The northern domain represents a flat-lying and sub-cropping body that is overlain by subsequent cyclic units or regolith. The southern domain is the largest, deepest domain and appears as a graben structure bounded by inward stepping faults along its periphery.

The Volspruit Reef mineralisation is predominantly interstitial disseminated to net-textured sulphide assemblages hosted within olivine and chrome bearing pyroxenites. The sulphide mineralisation within this horizon, in decreasing abundance, consists of pyrrhotite, pentlandite, chalcopyrite and cubanite, where the only noted platinum group mineral within this zone is sperrylite (Hulbert, 1983). Sulphide assemblages reach their peak modal abundance at approximately 3 wt.% of the whole rock composition. Mineralisation is predominantly hosted by fine-grained equigranular orthopyroxenites with minor olivine- and chrome- bearing occurrences.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.



Steady state mining production is designed and planned to feed the mills with a capacity of 150,000 tonnes per month (ktpm).

Detailed concentrator design and cost estimates will be completed in future, allowing for a Pre feasibility Study and Ore Reserve declaration.

The business case is built on delivering and selling concentrate to a third-party smelter approximately 320 km away from the project location.

Recoveries & Grades:

CommodityParameterAvg. LOM
3E (Pt, Pd, Au) Recovery Rate, % 65.7
3E (Pt, Pd, Au) Head Grade, g/t 2.13
3E (Pt, Pd, Au) Concentrate Grade, g/t 69.8
Copper Recovery Rate, % 64.1
Copper Head Grade, % 0.06
Copper Concentrate Grade, % 1.97
Nickel Recovery Rate, % 56.2
Nickel Head Grade, % 0.17
Nickel Concentrate Grade, % 4.87


CommodityUnitsAvg. AnnualLOM
Copper k lbs 13,635
Nickel k lbs 33,662
All production numbers are expressed as metal in concentrate.

Operational metrics

Annual ore mining rate  ....  Subscribe
Stripping / waste ratio  ....  Subscribe
Waste tonnes, LOM  ....  Subscribe
Ore tonnes mined, LOM  ....  Subscribe
Total tonnes mined, LOM  ....  Subscribe
Tonnes milled, LOM  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study.

Production Costs

All-in sustaining costs (AISC) Platinum Equivalent USD  ....  Subscribe
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) 3E (Pt, Pd, Au) USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Palladium USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Platinum USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Nickel USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Copper USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Gold USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study / presentation.

Operating Costs

OP mining costs ($/t mined) ZAR 41 *  
Total operating costs ($/t milled) ZAR  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Sustaining CapEx $M ZAR  ......  Subscribe
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Total OpEx $M ZAR  ......  Subscribe
Operating margin, %  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 12.5% $M ZAR  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax payback period, years  ......  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Dec 22, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Oct 24, 2022
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Dec 22, 2023

Aerial view:


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