Northam Platinum Limited 3

Northam is a mid-tier platinum group metals (PGMs) producer with two primary operating assets, Zondereinde and Booysendal, in the South African Bushveld Complex. Northam also has other, joint venture interests.

Northam’s primary products are platinum, palladium and rhodium. The primary consumers of these PGMs are the motor-manufacturing and jewellery industries.1

Northam is listed on the JSE.

Operations

Zondereinde

  • Location: Near the town of Thabazimbi, in Limpopo.
  • Type of mine: Underground mine.
  • Current status: Operational.
  • Size: Mining right covers 76.25 km2.2
  • Life of mine: Current life of mine stands at more than 30 years, post the acquisition of the Tumela resource from Amplats.3

Booysendal

  • Location: Near the town of Mashishing (formerly Lydenburg) on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex, in Mpumalanga.
  • Type of mine: Shallow underground operations.
  • Current status: Operational.
  • Size: Mining right covers 179.86 km2.4
  • Life of mine: Approximately 25 years.5

Eland Platinum Mine

On 30 January 2018, Northam announced that the acquisition of the Eland Platinum mine (first announced in February 2017) had become unconditional.6 Eland, which was previously owned by Glencore Operations (Pty) Ltd, has been on care and maintenance since 2015.7

  • Location: Near Brits, in the North West province.
  • Type of mine: Opencast.
  • Current status: Care and maintenance.
  • Size: No publicly available information on size of the mining right.
  • Life of mine: No publicly available information on the life of the mine. Northam has indicated that it plans to reopen the mine, but there is no confirmed statement as to when this will occur.8

Joint ventures

Dwaalkop9

  • Ownership structure: Dwaalkop is a 50:50 JV between Northam (through its wholly owned subsidiary Mvelaphanda Resources) and Western Platinum Limited (a subsidiary of Lonmin).
  • Location: Northern portion of the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex, Limpopo.
  • Type of mine: Exploration with potential for underground mining operations.
  • Current status: Exploration. 
  • Size: No publicly available information on size of prospecting right.
  • Life of mine: No publicly available information on life of mine.

Kokerboom

  • Ownership structure: Northam has a “51% initial participatory interest” in the project. It’s not clear from publicly available information who the other partner(s) is.10
  • Location: 8 separate prospecting rights covering vast area of the Northern Cape.
  • Type of mine: Exploration phase.
  • Current status: Exploration.
  • Size: Prospecting rights cover 10 000 km2.11
  • Life of mine: No publicly available information on intended life of mine.

Disposal of assets

Sale of interest in Pandora mine to Lonmin

On 15 May 2017, Northam announced the sale of 7.5% interest in Pandora to Lonmin’s Eastern Platinum Limited.12 The conditions precedent for this sale were completed in December 2017, and the sale was finalised.13