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Sylvania Platinum to sell SA iron ore assets

Sylvania Platinum, the platinum group metals producer with tailings retreatment operations and shallow mining exploration interests in South Africa, said on Friday that it planned to sell its South African iron ore assets.

The magnetite iron ore assets are held by the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, SA Metals (formerly Pan Palladium), and are located on the northern limb of the bushveld complex in the North West province.

A decision to dispose of the assets comes after an 18-month strategic review of the company’s position and its next stage of production growth.

“The board of Sylvania Platinum has decided to divest its iron assets in order to realise value for them independently and to allow the company to concentrate purely on the production expansion from its platinum group metals tailings dumps and the development of the Northern Limb platinum group metals and base metal surface mining operations,” the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

Sylvania currently has five platinum group metals tailings dumps in operation.

Selling the assets would also allow the company to fully focus on reaching its 2012 financial year production targets including the optimisation of two existing plants, Lannex and Mooinooi, as well as the development of the company’s sixth plant, Tweefontein.

Sylvania Platinum also expects to make significant progress at its Northern Limb near surface platinum group metals and base metal operations.

It intends to expand its low cost production portfolio by developing shallow, open pit mines on the Northern Limb and treat low grade material using existing technologies to create a platinum group metals product that can be sold to existing refineries with a base metals credit.

“Sylvania Platinum has had a number of quarters of record production growth from our platinum group metals operations. However, the next stage of our growth is of key importance as we significantly expand our platinum group metals dump operations and begin progress of our surface mining operation towards development,” said Sylvania Platinum’s chief executive Terry McConnachie. — I-Net Bridge

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