Bengwenyama Breakthrough: Southern Palladium’s PGM Project Hits 85% Recovery, Unveiling Potent Market Potential

  • Metallurgical Success: Initial tests at Bengwenyama project show 80-85% PGM recovery rates with concentrate grades of 130-250g/t.
  • Mining Operations: Focus on UG2 Chromitite Reef extraction, using conventional methods, aligning with industry standards on the Eastern Limb.
  • Upcoming Milestones: Scoping Study scheduled for January 2024 release, offering key metrics like NPV, cost estimation, and annual production figures.
By Lethabo Ntsoane

Southern Palladium Limited, a key player in the platinum group metal (PGM) sector, has unveiled encouraging results from the initial metallurgical test work at the Bengwenyama PGM project, situated on the Eastern Limb of the renowned Bushveld Complex in South Africa. The findings indicate significant potential for the recovery of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) with a focus on palladium and rhodium.

Metallurgical Test Work Highlights

Conventional Methods Show Promise

Preliminary, unoptimized testing has demonstrated that the Bengwenyama UG2 Reef can be effectively treated using conventional methods. This aligns with industry standards and the practices commonly used across the Bushveld Complex.

High Metallurgical Recoveries

The metallurgical recoveries from the UG2 Reef range between 80% and 85%, with concentrate grades ranging from 130 to 250g/t (4E). These promising results position the Bengwenyama project competitively within the industry.

Chromite Concentrate and Market Potential

In addition to strong PGM recoveries, the test work has shown that a marketable chromite concentrate can also be obtained. This dual-product potential enhances the economic viability of the project.

Mining Operations and Process Plant Design

Underground Extraction Focus

Initial mining operations at Bengwenyama will concentrate on the underground extraction of PGMs from the high-grade UG2 Chromitite Reef.

Conventional Process Plant Design

The process plant design is based on a conventional MF2 flow sheet, comprising primary and secondary milling and flotation. The design aims to obtain a flotation concentrate with a marketable content of 7E PGM.

Chrome Concentrate Production

Apart from PGMs, the process will also produce chrome concentrate using conventional spirals, providing an additional revenue stream.

Metallurgical Testing Details

Sample Characteristics

The test work utilized a composite sample with a total mass of approximately 32kg, featuring a 4E head grade of ~7.95g/t.

Upcoming Studies and Releases

Scoping Study

A scoping study for the Bengwenyama project is currently underway and is scheduled for release in January 2024. This study will present key metrics, including net present value (NPV), cost estimation, and annual production figures.

Mineral Resource Update

An updated Mineral Resource report is in its final stages and will be released shortly. This report is expected to provide further insights into the project’s resource potential.

Conclusion

Southern Palladium’s Managing Director, Johan Odendaal, expressed optimism, stating, “Significant progress has been achieved in understanding the metallurgy of the UG2 orebody. We believe there should be strong commercial interest in sourcing concentrate of this quality from PGM smelters in South Africa.”

As the Bengwenyama project advances, investors and stakeholders eagerly await the upcoming Scoping Study and Mineral Resource update for a more comprehensive view of the project’s potential and economic viability in the global PGM market.

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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted: Email: lethabo@rateweb.co.za Twitter: @NtsoaneLethabo