"We are very pleased to be granted a mining right in a positive PGM market, providing the opportunity to move forward to the next steps in mine financing, construction and development," president and CEO R Michael Jones said.
The company (TSX: PTM) is aiming for first ore production in April 2023 and steady-state production from January 2027, according to a recent presentation.
It said the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy had granted an initial 30-year mining right, which could be renewed for further periods.
PTM continues to control the project with a 50.02% interest, after joint venture partner Impala Platinum walked away from the chance to gain a controlling stake in June 2020.
The company said its near-term objects were to establish construction funding and offtake arrangements and now the mining right was granted, consult with local communities then start pre-construction work.
A 2019 definitive feasibility study projected the mine, with a US$874 million price tag, would produce 420,000 4E ounces (palladium, platinum, gold and rhodium) a year at steady state.
The company pointed out the current basket price of Waterberg PGMs was about $2,100/oz 4E and the DFS had estimated a life-of-mine cash cost of $640/oz.
It had said in January the project value had more than doubled from the DFS post-tax NPV8 of $982 million to more than $1.98 billion using recent spot prices.
"We see a role for PGMs to play in many aspects of the transition to new sustainable and more efficient energy technologies," Jones said.
PTM operates Waterberg on behalf of Impala, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), Hanwa and BEE partner Mnombo Wethu Consultants.
It had raised $12 million in an at-the-market offering in November at an average price of $2.21, then raised a further $2.5 million in December as major shareholder Hosken Consolidated Investments moved to maintain its 31% stake.
PTM shares shot up to a one-year high of C$8 in December, well above the March low of $1.25 during the COVID-19-induced sell-off.
They closed up 2.9% yesterday to $5.35, capitalising it at $386 million (US$302 million).