Northam is an independent, fully empowered, mid-tier, integrated PGM producer with two primary operating assets, Zondereinde and Booysendal platinum group metal (PGM) mines in the South African Bushveld Complex. The Zondereinde lease area is also the location for Northam’s metallurgical operations, which include a smelter and base metals recovery plant. Northam Chrome Proprietary Limited (Northam Chrome) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northam Platinum.
Assets and resources
- The Zondereinde mine is an established, long-life operation which produces approximately 280 000oz of refined PGMs annually. The mine is located on the northern end of the western limb of the Bushveld Complex near the town of Thabazimbi. Zondereinde has a life of mine (LoM) in excess of 20 years.
- The shallower mechanised Booysendal UG2 North mine is located near the town of Mashishing (formerly Lydenburg) on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex. The mine came into production on 1 July 2013 and has now ramped up to full production of some 160 000oz per annum. The 105Moz orebody at Booysendal lends itself to brownfields expansion opportunities, which are currently being established on the property. These include a deepening project at the existing UG2 North mine and the development of the Booysendal Merensky North mine on the property.
In June 2015, Northam acquired the Everest platinum mine (now incorporated into Booysendal South) from Aquarius Platinum (South Africa) Proprietary Limited (AQPSA), contiguous to the Booysendal lease area. The integration process with the existing Booysendal operation has begun, which will allow the group to begin extracting value and developing the new Booysendal South mine.
Northam Chrome is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northam. Northam Chrome produces chrome from Zondereinde mine’s UG2 tailings.
In FY2016, Northam acquired a 20% interest in SSG Holdings Proprietary Limited, a company providing security services to both the operating mines. A further 10% interest was acquired subsequent to year end.
The company holds a 7.5% interest in another PGM mining operation in the Bushveld Complex, the Pandora joint venture (JV), in partnership with Anglo American Platinum Limited and Lonmin plc.
Northam also owns a 50% interest in the Dwaalkop JV and a 51% initial participatory interest in the Kokerboom JV exploration project in the Northern Cape.
The group milled a total of 4.2Mt (Zondereinde: 2.0Mt, Booysendal North: 2.2Mt) in FY2016 to produce 13 591kg of metal, which has been processed to realise sales revenue of R6.1 billion (FY2015: R6.0 billion) – an increase of 1.0% year on year. The higher production volumes are largely due to Booysendal ramping up to steady-state production.
At 30 June 2016, Northam held a combined resource base of 200.3 million ounces (Moz) – 24.5Moz in the reserve category – with a mining life of more than 50 years.
Group structure as at 30 June 2016