Situation update at Northam Platinum
Northam Platinum Limited advises that production remains suspended at its platinum mine in the Limpopo Province, after the tragic death of nine employees at the mine on Monday 20 September 2004 as a result of a fire some 2,100 metres underground.
The fire was detected at a conveyor belt used for transporting both ore and waste materials between 13 and 14 levels. The people affected by the fire were working in a development end on 14 level. The cause of the fire is currently the subject of an inquiry.
Production at the mine will be restarted when all the parties involved in the preliminary investigations are satisfied that operations may resume safely.
Since the duration of the disruption to production cannot be accurately determined at this time, it is not yet possible to estimate the total production loss. However, losses of an average 7 500 mill tonnes per day may be anticipated, equivalent to 1 050 oz (3PGE + Au).
Once underground production resumes, management will be in a better position to indicate where and how, if possible, it may be able to make up for lost production.
Further detail on the situation at Northam will be issued once it becomes available. Shareholders are accordingly advised to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s shares on JSE Securities Exchange South Africa.
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