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Southern Africa

Exploration

Given the present constrained economic situation, Implats has reviewed its exploration strategy. Overall expenditure is reduced with focus being limited to current operations.

Bushveld Complex in South Africa

Exploration on and around the Impala mining area focused on infill drilling required to support the feasibility study at the 19 Shaft block. Drilling results were incorporated into the 3D seismics model to refine the detailed structural interpretation of this shaft block. Drilling was completed at 20 Lower Shaft block and commenced at 20 Shaft on the farm Boschkoppie as part of an agreement with RBPlats. Drilling of geotechnical boreholes in preparation for shaft sinking continued at 18 Shaft. Elsewhere at least one borehole was drilled on each of the RBR JV prospecting areas, comprising portions of the farms Doornspruit and Roodekraalspruit, and the farms Diepkuil and Klipgatkop. Drilling in support of ongoing mining operations was conducted at 11C Shaft and 14 Decline Shaft.

 

Resource and Reserves

  Mineral resource and mineral reserve statement 2013

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At Marula one borehole was drilled on the lower portion of an extension of the Driekop mining right as part of the agreement with the Anglo Platinum/ARM joint venture and three boreholes were completed on the Marula portion of the farm Hackney. One borehole was completed at Afplats on the Kareepoort/Wolvekraal extension. In the Imbasa/Inkosi area, drilling continued and an additional eight boreholes were completed. At the Tamboti Project eight boreholes were drilled on Portions 4, 5 and 6 of Kalkfontein in conjunction with Two Rivers and in fulfilment of prospecting right obligations.

Great Dyke in Zimbabwe

Zimplats consolidated the exploration work completed in 2012 with aCompetent Person’s report on the resources north of Portal 10 by consultants, AMEC Mining and Metals Africa. This new mineral resource estimate incorporating the results of the latest drilling was compiled to prepare the way for a significant expansion into this northern area. The Zimbabwean government has, however, gazetted its intention to compulsorily acquire this ground and Zimplats subsequently submitted an objection to this notice.

At Mimosa further trenching was conducted to firm-up on the position of the sub-outcrop to the south of the Bloreshaft block. Assay results for boreholes drilled in the North Hill and South Hill areas for oxide ore evaluation in the previous year were received and have been incorporated in this year’s mineral resource and ore reserves estimation.

Offshore projects

Offshore exploration activity continued at a reduced level in line with the worldwide contraction of exploration funding and activity. Implats’ main geographic focus was Canada where, in conjunction with Wallbridge Mining, HTX Minerals and Northern Shield Resources, Implats continued to explore for PGMs in the Sudbury Basin, the Mid Continental Rift area around Thunder Bay and the Labrador Trough respectively.

The Wallbridge/Implats Joint Venture confirmed the downdip extension of the Milnet 1 500m zone. HTX continued its evaluation of previously identified Mid Continental Rift type targets. Seven boreholes (1 567m) returned disappointing results. Three remaining targets will be tested in the first half of 2014. At Hele, ajoint venture with HTX, six boreholes (1 403m) were drilled to test previously identified gravity, soil gas geochemistry and aeromagnetic targets. No significant mineralisation was intersected. In northern Labrador, Northern Shield carried out an extensive surface whole rock geochemistry programme using grab and sawn channel sampling. The work confirmed the presence of previously identified PGM mineralisation and resulted in several new PGM discoveries to extend the strike length at the Idefix property to 1 300m. Drill testing of this mineralisation is scheduled for the first quarter in 2014.

Elsewhere Implats maintained a watching brief on exploration developments worldwide and numerous exploration and potential mining opportunities were reviewed. A full review of the PGM exploration potential of Brazil was also concluded.