Annual Report 2008

Key features

  • Estimated total attributable Mineral Resources increased to 237 million platinum ounces from 187 million platinum ounces
  • Total attributable group Mineral Reserves increased to 42 million platinum ounces from 40 million platinum ounces
  • Conversion of the old order mining right at Marula in January 2008
  • Conversion of mining right at Impala post year-end
  • Granting of the mining right for Afplats' Leeuwkop Project in April 2008
  • Exploration activities following the recently acquired prospecting rights by Afplats over the farms Kareepoort and Wolwekraal culminated in an increase in the Inferred Mineral Resource estimate, as did the progression of the Tamboti exploration project to Inferred Mineral Resource status
  • Board approval of the 17 Shaft project at Impala Platinum and the commensurate increase in Mineral Reserves

Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves

The reporting of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves for Implats' South African operations is done in accordance with the principles and guidelines of the South African Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (SAMREC Code). Zimplats, as an Australian Securities Exchange-listed company, reports its Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves in accordance with the Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (JORC Code), as does Mimosa. The definitions contained in the SAMREC Code are either identical to or not materially different from international definitions. Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves, unless otherwise stated.

The mining operations of Implats and its associated companies exploit platiniferous horizons within the two largest known deposits of platinum group minerals in the world, namely the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe. Mining mostly takes place as underground operations focusing on relatively narrow, mineralised channels with the specific methods adapted to suit the local geology and morphology of the mineralised horizons.

Exploration review

Implats' exploration strategy remains two-pronged with both brownfields and greenfields exploration undertaken; the primary focus is brownfields prospecting. The bulk of offshore greenfields exploration continues in conjunction with third parties. In addition to the exploration focus on primary platinum group mineral targets, attention is also being given to potential nickel targets in southern Africa.

Brownfields exploration

Exploration around current mining operations at Impala in Rustenburg, Marula and Zimplats continued in support of life of mine operations, feasibility studies and growth opportunities. At Rustenburg, a large 3-D seismic survey of the deeper portion of the mining right and prospecting right areas will commence early in FY2009. At Afplats, exploration began at the prospecting right areas on the farms Wolwekraal and Kareepoort, and portions of the farm Hartebeestpoort. Infill drilling at the Leeuwkop project of Afplats is also being conducted.

Greenfields exploration in South Africa

Surface drilling continued at the Tamboti project on portions of the farms Tweefontein and Kalkfontein, and the farm Buffelshoek adjacent to the Two Rivers mine. Exploration also continued at the grassroots Paradys project, which is a joint venture with Endulwini Resources and targets the Paradys diapiric antiform structure in the eastern Bushveld.

A new prospecting right for the Springbok project, situated south of Bela-Bela, was awarded recently to Implats. Exploration at this project will begin early in FY2009.

Other southern African exploration

Segwagwa project, Botswana: Implats continues to fulfil the terms of the agreement with Health Hive (Pty) Ltd, with respect to the Masoke and Segwagwa intrusions in south-eastern Botswana. Favourable geophysical anomalies were soil sampled and drill tested. Sample results are awaited.

Tete project, Mozambique: The licences around the Tsangano intrusion in Tete Province were stream and soil sampled. Follow-up work is in progress.

Other: Implats recently concluded a strategic exploration alliance with Australian junior, Impact Minerals.

Offshore projects

Highbank Lake project Canada: Limited drilling undertaken during the year to test areas with favourable potential for the development of PGE mineralisation failed to yield significant results. Geological interpretation is ongoing.

Amikoq project, Greenland: During the year, Implats entered into an option and joint venture agreement with Nuna Minerals with respect to the Amikoq intrusion in south-western Greenland. Exploration activities commenced recently.

Ambodilafa, Madagascar: Implats continued to participate with Jubilee Platinum over the Ambodilafa intrusion. Drilling and down-hole geophysics continued during the year. PGE mineralisation grading 3.99g/t (3PGE+Au) over 0.89m was intersected in one borehole in the western portions of the intrusion.

Other: Post year-end, Implats concluded joint venture agreements with Xstrata and Wallbridge on two projects in the Sudbury Basin, Canada.

Attributable Mineral Resources

Attributable Mineral Resources inclusive of Mineral Reserves – as at 30 June 2008

 OrebodyCategoryTonnage (millions)Grade (g/t) 5PGE+AuImplats % ownershipAttributable
Pt ounce
(millions)
ImpalaMerenskyMeasured134.66.7810016.7
  Indicated98.07.0110012.6
  Inferred90.67.6810012.7
 UG2Measured122.28.8710016.6
  Indicated81.78.8210011.0
  Inferred68.09.061009.4
  Total595.17.93 79.1
MarulaMerenskyMeasured18.25.80731.3
  Indicated13.75.94731.0
  Inferred17.26.28731.4
 UG2Measured28.29.94732.4
  Indicated22.09.87731.9
  Inferred3.58.88730.3
  Total102.28.01 8.3
Afplats      
  LeeuwkopUG2Indicated54.86.35743.9
   Inferred128.95.89748.6
Imbasa Inferred70.05.65603.6
Inkosi Inferred97.35.89494.3
Kareepoort / Wolwekraal Inferred43.46.00742.9
  Total394.45.92 23.4
Two RiversMerenskyIndicated18.73.55450.5
  Inferred3.93.36450.1
 UG2Measured14.85.52450.5
  Indicated41.74.46451.2
  Inferred8.14.68450.3
  Total87.24.42 2.7
TambotiMerenskyInferred119.24.051008.6
 UG2Inferred160.27.0110016.0
  Total279.45.75 24.6
ZimplatsMSZMeasured137.93.8986.97.1
  Indicated674.03.9086.934.7
  Inferred1 071.03.7986.953.5
  Total1 882.93.84 95.2
MimosaMSZMeasured43.14.27501.4
  Indicated26.93.78500.7
  Inferred15.04.09500.5
  Inferred (Oxides)6.63.95500.2
  Inferred N Hill48.73.90501.4
  Total140.34.01 4.1
Grand total  3 481.5  237.4

Notes:

  • Attributable Mineral Resources as expressed in platinum ounces are based on Implats’ equity interest; tonnage shown is total estimates prior to applying the percentage ownership.
  • Estimates for Impala and Zimplats increased relative to the previous reporting period mostly as the estimates for support and stability pillars are no longer subtracted from the Mineral Resource estimate; this is now standard for all areas.
  • Results of prospecting conducted to date at the Tamboti project led to its inclusion in the Inferred Mineral Resource category.
  • Mineral Resource tonnage and grades are estimated in situ. Mineral Resources for the Merensky Reef are estimated at a minimum mining width and may include mineralisation below the selected cut-off grade. Mineral Resource estimates for the UG2 Reef reflect the chromitite channel widths only and do not include any dilution. Mineral Resource estimates for the Main Sulphide Zone (MSZ) are based on optimal mining widths.
  • These are summary estimates, and inaccuracy is derived from the rounding of numbers.

Attributable Mineral Reserves

Attributable Mineral Reserve estimates as at 30 June 2008 are as follows:

  OrebodyCategory Tonnage (millions)Grade (g/t) 5PGE+Au Implats % ownershipAttributable
Pt ounces
(millions)
ImpalaMerenskyProved21.14.551001.8
  Probable134.44.5810011.3
 UG2Proved22.15.021001.7
  Probable129.94.931009.8
  Total307.54.7610024.5
MarulaUG2Probable38.05.28731.7
AfplatsUG2Probable49.34.67742.6
Two RiversUG2Proved10.74.46450.3
  Probable28.93.86450.7
  Total 39.54.02451.1
ZimplatsMSZProved65.73.5686.93.1
  Probable162.63.6386.97.8
  Total228.43.6186.910.9
MimosaMSZProved18.43.86500.5
  Probable16.93.55500.4
  Total35.43.71501.0
Grand total  698  42

Notes:

  • Attributable Mineral Resources as expressed in platinum ounces are based on Implats’ equity
  • interest; tonnage shown is total estimates prior to applying the percentage ownership.
  • These are rounded summary estimates.
  • The Mineral Reserves quoted reflect anticipated grades delivered to mill.

Reconciliation

A high-level reconciliation of total Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves for the Implats group of companies is shown below:

Total Mineral Resources platinum ounces (million) – inclusive of Mineral Reserves

 2007Depletion
- mined
Growth and changeTotal
2008
Attributable Pt ounces per Implats
ownership
Impala71.41.59.278.179.1
Marula11.60.1(0.1)11.48.3
Afplats32.50.04.036.523.4
Two Rivers6.10.10.06.02.7
Tambali0.00.024.224.224.6
Zimplats88.70.118.4107.095.2
Mimosa8.20.10.28.34.2
Total218.51.955.9272.5237.4

Notes:

  • Depletion ounces were adjusted by mine call and concentrator factors.
  • Potential impact of pillar losses was taken into account.
  • Major changes relate to increases at Impala and Zimplats as estimates for support and stability pillars are no longer subtracted from the Mineral Resource estimate; the addition of Kareepoort and Wolwekraal at Afplats, the inclusion of Tamboti as an Inferred Mineral Resource and the change in mining width from 1.95m to 2.0m at Mimosa.

Total Mineral Reserves Pt ounces (million)

 2007Depletion
- mined
Growth and changeTotal
2008
Attributable Pt ounces per Implats
ownership
Impala20.81.35.024.524.5
Marula2.50.10.02.41.7
Afplats3.60.00.03.62.6
Two Rivers2.50.10.02.41.1
Zimplats12.90.1(0.3)12.510.9
Mimosa2.00.10.01.91.0
Total44.31.74.747.342

Notes:

  • Depletion ounces were adjusted for global concentrator factors.
  • Major changes relate to the upgrade of the 17 shaft black to the Mineral Reserve category and the re-estimation of Zimplats’ Mineral Reserves.

Various Competent Persons, as defined by the SAMREC and JORC codes, contributed to the summary Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve figures quoted in this report. These statements reflect the estimates as compiled by teams of professional practitioners from the various operations, shafts and projects. These were reviewed and signed off by the Implats' signatory below:

J J Vermaak

Pr.Sci.Nat. Registration No. 400015/88
(Consulting Geologist, Implats, the Competent Person has 22 years' experience in the evaluation and exploitation of PGM-bearing deposits.)

The Competent Person for Two Rivers' Mineral Resources and Reserves is Mr PJ van der Merwe, a full-time employee of ARM.

The Competent Persons for Zimplats are Messrs A du Toit and S Simango, full-time employees of Zimplats.

Implats and Aquarius Platinum jointly signed off the Mimosa estimates; the competent person from Aquarius in this regard is Mrs FH Cilliers.

Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Statement 2008

A more detailed breakdown of Implats’ Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves is provided in the report entitled, Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Statement: Supplementary Information as at 30 June 2008 (PDF - 1.9MB). This report is available electronically in the annual report section of the Implats’ website, www.implats.co.za, and may be downloaded as a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Reader. This report is also available on request from the Implats’ offices at the addresses given at the back of this report.

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Implats - Annual Report 2008

 | Forward-looking statements