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Ivanhoe completes Platreef shaft sinking

Ivanhoe Mines has completed the sinking of Shaft 1 at its Platreef platinum group metals project in South Africa.
Ivanhoe completes Platreef shaft sinking Ivanhoe completes Platreef shaft sinking Ivanhoe completes Platreef shaft sinking Ivanhoe completes Platreef shaft sinking Ivanhoe completes Platreef shaft sinking

Ivanhoe Mines has completed sinking the Platreef Shaft 1, in South Africa

The shaft has reached a final depth of 996m after work started in 2016, with final level development expected to be completed by July.

The company is in the planning stages for reconfiguring the shaft for rock, personnel and material hoisting.

Underground mine development work will now focus on construction of the 996m level station at the bottom of the shaft, which is expected to be completed ahead of schedule by the end of July. A new auxiliary winder is scheduled to be delivered to Platreef later this year and will be used for equipping the shaft.

The company is preparing an updated definitive feasibility study, which is expected to be finalised in the September quarter and will update project economics for current metal prices, which have moved significantly since the 2017 DFS, foreign exchange rates, updated capex and development progress to date.

The Platreef 2017 DFS assumed metal prices of US$1,250/oz platinum, $825/oz palladium, $1,300/oz gold, $1,000/oz rhodium, $7.60/lb nickel and $3.00/lb copper.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Andrew Mikitchook said the updated DFS would also include a PEA to provide the first guidance on converting Shaft 1 from ventilation to production, to allow an accelerated start of production at a lower capex. Future expansion would still reach production levels outlined in the project's 2017 DFS.

"We are continuing to monitor the Shaft 1 development and will be looking for details from the updated feasibility to update our Platreef mine plan and capex assumptions," Mikitchook said.

Ivanhoe shares (TSX: IVN) have gained 5% to C$3.63 in the past 12 months, capitalising it at $4.4 billion (US$3.2 billion).