Abridged Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve statement

 

This section serves as the annual update of the Group Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves and informs shareholders and potential investors of the status of Group mineral assets.

     
 
Key features

The main features relating to Implats’ Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves as at 30 June 2011 relative to 30 June 2010 are:

  • Estimated total attributable Mineral Resources increased by 2.4 million platinum ounces to 228 million platinum ounces
  • Total attributable Group Mineral Reserves decreased by 1.9 million platinum ounces to 35.0 million platinum ounces
  • Material restatement of Mineral Reserves at Marula, in line with a new mine plan
  • Additional work resulted in updated estimates for Impala, Afplats, Two Rivers, Zimplats and Mimosa
  • Steady progress is being made to convert Mineral Resources across the Group from the inferred category to an indicated and measured status  
 
     
Attributable platinum ounces, net of depletion, corporate activity and additional work (Moz Pt) 
30 June 2007       Resources   187   2%, Afplats included  
    Reserves   40.0   8%, Afplats included  
30 June 2008       Resources   237   27%, Tamboti added  
    Reserves   42.0   5%, 17 Shaft included  
30 June 2009       Resources   230   3%  
    Reserves   37.4   12%, Afplats excluded  
30 June 2010       Resources   225   2%, mostly depth cut-off  
    Reserves   36.9   - no material changes  
30 June 2011       Resources   228   1%, mostly increase in widths  
    Reserves   35.0   5%, mostly Marula mine plan  

 

Summary

The reporting of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves for Implats’ South African operations is done in accordance with the principles and guidelines of the South African Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (SAMREC Code). Zimplats, as an Australian Securities Exchange-listed company, reports its Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves in accordance with the Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (JORC Code), as does Mimosa. The definitions contained in the SAMREC Code are either identical to or not materially different from international definitions. Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves, unless otherwise stated.

The Company has grown the Mineral Resource portfolio and related platinum production significantly in the past 12 years since the Group mineral asset portfolio was extended beyond the Impala mineral rights area. Implats and its associated companies continue to exploit platiniferous horizons within the largest known deposit of platinum group minerals in the world, namely the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and also the second largest worldclass deposit namely the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe. Mining mostly takes place as underground operations, focusing on relatively narrow mineralised horizons with the specific mining methods adapted to suit the local geology and morphology of these mineralised horizons. The Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves are geographically spread but are dominated by the Mineral Resources at Impala and Zimplats.

Integrated Mineral Resource Management at Implats

Key Mineral Resource Management (MRM) areas, including exploration, geology, geostatistical modelling, mine-survey, sampling, MRM systems and mine planning have been integrated as a functional grouping over the past five years. The MRM function is the custodian of the mineral assets of the Group and specifically strives to grow these assets in terms of both Resources and Reserves, and to unlock value through a constant search for optimal extraction plans which yield returns in line with the corporate and business objectives. The Group MRM function also strives to develop strategies and actions that are equal to best practice in the platinum industry.

The main objective of the MRM function is to add value to the organisation, through:
  • Appropriate investigation, study and understanding of the orebodies
  • Accurate and reconcilable Mineral Resource and Reserve estimates
  • Integrated and credible short-, medium- and long-term plans
  • Measured and managed outputs
  • Sound management information systems.
Functional liaison, co-operation and auditing have been imbedded in the MRM function throughout the Group. Specific focus is given to standardisation and the development of protocols to govern the MRM function. The Group accordingly remains committed to:
  • Continuously improving the management of Mineral Resources and related processes, whilst addressing skills development and retention
  • Optimal exploitation of current assets, together with growth of the Mineral Resource base by leveraging and optimising existing Group properties, exploration and acquisitions, including alliances and equity interests with third parties
  • The legislative regime that governs mineral rights ownership
  • The transparent, responsible disclosure of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves in line with the prescribed codes, SAMREC and JORC, giving due cognisance to materiality and competency.

Exploration overview

Implats exploration strategy remained essentially unchanged from the previous year i.e. focus on brownfields evaluation drilling at or adjacent to existing mining operations combined with low level greenfields exploration activity both locally and offshore. The focus of all exploration was on primary platinum group metal targets.

BROWNFIELDS EXPLORATION

Exploration around current mining operations at Impala, Zimplats, Marula and Mimosa comprised mainly evaluation drilling in support of life-of-mine planning, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, resolution of local geological problems and growth opportunities. Some enhanced processing of the 3D seismic volume was undertaken at Impala.

GREENFIELDS EXPLORATION

In Southern Africa greenfields exploration focused on target generation in conjunction with our strategic alliance partner, Impact Minerals.

Offshore, greenfields exploration focused on Canada in conjunction with our strategic alliance partners HTX Minerals and Wallbridge. The former focused on target generation in the Mid Continental Rift area around Thunder Bay whilst Wallbridge continued drilling on the Milnet and Parkin project to further delineate mineralisation intersected in the previous financial year. We continue to maintain a watching brief on exploration developments offshore and screen potential exploration plays presented by junior exploration companies.

Pertinent reporting criteria

  • Implats developed a Group-wide protocol for the estimation, classification and reporting of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves in 2010 to enhance standardisation and to facilitate consistency in auditing. This protocol is updated annually on a needs basis and specifically guides the classification of mineral resources
  • Mineral Resource tonnage and grades are estimated in situ. The Mineral Resources for the Merensky Reef are estimated at a minimum mining width, and may therefor include mineralisation below the selected cut-off grade
  • In order to provide further transparency average widths are included in the detailed tabulations in 2011
  • Mineral Resource estimates for the UG2 Reef reflect the channel widths only and do not include any dilution; the estimates only reflect the main chromitite layer
  • Note that the UG2 channel widths in the case of Impala and Marula are narrower than a practical minimum mining width
  • Mineral Resource estimates for the Main Sulphide Zone are based on optimal mining widths
  • Mineral Resources are reported inclusive of Mineral Reserves, unless otherwise stated
  • Mineral Resource estimates allow for estimated geological losses but not for anticipated pillar losses during eventual mining
  • Mineral Reserve estimates include allowances for mining dilution and are reported as tonnage and grade delivered to the mill
  • Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimates in this abridged summary reflect only the Resources and Reserves attributable to Implats, the comprehensive report illustrates the details for each operation.

Implats recognises that the Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve statements are based on projections and that estimates may vary if additional information becomes available or specifically if assumptions, modifying factors and market conditions change materially. To that effect independent third-party reviews are undertaken every second year on a Group-wide basis. The next review is scheduled for 2012; during 2011 independent third-party reviews were restricted to the Leeuwkop project and at Portals 5, 6 and 7 at Zimplats. At Leeuwkop no material issue was raised and the third-party work at Zimplats resulted in minor adjustments to some estimates.

Attributable Mineral Resources

Attributable Mineral Resources inclusive of Mineral Reserves as at 30 June 2011

           
            Attributable ounces  
    Orebody   Category   Tonnes   6E grade   Pt   4E  
        Mt   g/t   Moz
Impala  
(100% attributable from Impala,49% attributable from Impala/RBR JV) 
  Merensky   Measured   132.3   7.06   17.0   26.9  
  Indicated   93.3   6.18   10.5   16.6  
  Inferred   87.1   6.08   9.6   15.3  
UG2   Measured   133.4   8.87   18.3   31.6  
  Indicated   60.9   8.61   8.1   14.0  
  Inferred   48.7   8.47   6.4   11.0  
Total     556   7.49   69.9   115.5  
Marula  
(73% attributable) 
  Merensky   Measured   25.0   4.55   2.0   3.4  
  Indicated   5.6   4.54   0.4   0.8  
  Inferred   7.2   4.46   0.6   1.0  
UG2   Measured   23.2   10.07   2.9   6.4  
  Indicated   8.8   10.22   1.1   2.5  
  Inferred   4.8   10.29   0.6   1.4  
Total     75   7.29   7.6   15.4  
Afplats  
(74% attributable from Leeuwkop, Kareepoort and Wolwekraal, 60% from Imbasa, 49% from Inkosi) 
  UG2   Measured   49.7   6.61   5.2   8.5  
  Indicated   35.9   6.14   3.5   5.7  
  Inferred   140.1   6.15   13.6   22.3  
           
           
Total     226   6.25   22.3   36.6  
Two Rivers  
(45% attributable) 
  Merensky   Indicated   17.3   3.17   1.0   1.6  
  Inferred   4.7   2.99   0.3   0.4  
UG2   Measured   5.7   5.49   0.5   0.8  
  Indicated   21.0   4.33   1.4   2.4  
  Inferred   0.5   5.66   0.0   0.1  
Total     49   3.94   3.1   5.4  
Tamboti  
(100% attributable) 
  Merensky   Inferred   141.1   4.11   10.2   17.3  
UG2   Inferred   177.6   6.65   16.9   31.9  
Total     319   5.52   27.1   49.2  
Zimplats  
(87% attributable) 
  MSZ   Measured   125.2   3.85   7.2   14.7  
  Indicated   602.7   3.85   34.9   70.6  
  Inferred   933.0   3.78   51.4   107.4  
Total     1 661   3.81   93.6   192.7  
Mimosa  
(50% attributable) 
  MSZ   Measured   30.2   4.07   1.8   3.7  
  Indicated   21.9   3.82   1.2   2.5  
  Inferred   17.2   3.86   1.0   2.0  
Total     69   3.94   4.0   8.2  
All     Total     2 954   4.96   228   423  
Notes
  • These are summary estimates, and inaccuracy is derived from the rounding of numbers
  • The largest proportion of the Group’s attributable Mineral Resources originates from the MSZ; on a 4E ounce basis some 47% of the attributable Mineral Resources are hosted by the MSZ
  • Platinum contributes some 54% of the combined 4E Mineral Resources
  • 51.4% of the attributable Mineral Resources are in the measured and indicated categories; this compares favourably with 48.9% in 2010.

Attributable Mineral Reserves

Attributable Mineral Reserves estimates as at 30 June 2011 are as follows:

            Attributable ounces  
    Orebody   Category   Tonnes   6E grade   Pt   4E  
        Mt   g/t   Moz
Impala  
(100% attributable) 
  Merensky   Proved   11.5   4.50   0.9   1.5  
  Probable   119.1   4.62   10.0   15.9  
UG2   Proved   14.3   4.77   1.1   1.8  
  Probable   130.9   4.72   9.6   16.5  
Total     276   4.67   21.6   35.7  
Marula  
(73% attributable) 
  UG2   Proved   1.9   4.68   0.1   0.2  
  Probable   18.6   4.70   1.1   2.4  
Total     21   4.70   1.2   2.7  
Two Rivers  
(45% attributable) 
  UG2   Proved   4.3   3.96   0.3   0.5  
  Probable   13.3   3.40   0.7   1.2  
Total     18   3.54   0.9   1.7  
Zimplats  
(87% attributable) 
  MSZ   Proved   48.6   3.58   2.6   5.3  
  Probable   143.1   3.60   7.8   15.7  
Total     192   3.59   10.4   20.9  
Mimosa  
(50% attributable) 
  MSZ   Proved   9.5   3.82   0.5   1.1  
  Probable   6.1   3.61   0.3   0.7  
Total     16   3.74   0.9   1.8  
All     Total     521   4.21   35   63  
Notes
  • Attributable Mineral Reserves as expressed in tonnes, platinum and 4E ounces are based on the Implats equity interest
  • These are summary estimates and inaccuracy is derived from the rounding of numbers
  • The Mineral Reserves quoted reflect anticipated grades delivered to mill
  • The Mineral Reserves are reasonably spread between the different reefs; the Merensky Reef contributed the smallest proportion of the Group’s attributable Mineral Reserves
  • Platinum contributes some 56% of the combined 4E Mineral Reserves
  • Movement in the Mineral Reserves from FY2010 is set out here.

 

Reconciliation

A high-level reconciliation of the total Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves for the Group is shown below:

Total Mineral Resource estimate Pt ounces (million)

Inclusive of Mineral Reserves

  2010   Depletion   Other  
changes  
2011   Attributable  
Impala   71.2   (1.30)  3.1   73.1   69.9  
Marula   10.4   (0.10)  0.1   10.4   7.6  
Afplats   35.7   (0.00)  (1.4)  34.3   22.3  
Two Rivers   5.5   (0.21)  1.6   6.8   3.1  
Tamboti   27.1   (0.00)  0.0   27.1   27.1  
Zimplats   106.8   (0.26)  1.0   107.6   93.6  
Mimosa   7.9   (0.16)  0.4   8.1   4.0  
Totals   264.6   (2.04)  4.9   267.4   227.6  
 

Notes

  • Depletion ounces were adjusted by mine call and concentrator factors
  • Overall the comparison does not indicate material differences, the total estimate for 2011 is somewhat higher despite the depletion during the year
  • The positive variance at Impala can mostly be ascribed to additional information resulting in increased widths for the Merensky Reef
  • The negative variance at Afplats is the result of updated estimates following further exploration drilling at the prospecting right areas
  • The increased estimate at Two Rivers can be ascribed to the reassessment of the Merensky Reef Mineral Resource estimate; this now includes the complete Merensky Pyroxenite unit
  • The positive variance at Zimplats is the result of adjusting the Mineral Resource width in some areas
  • The small positive variance at Mimosa essentially resulted from the addition of the Far South Hill Mineral Resource.

 

 

Total Mineral Reserve estimate Pt ounces (million)

  2010   Depletion   Other  
changes  
2011   Attributable  
Impala   23.0   (1.15)  (0.3)  21.6   21.6  
Marula   2.6   (0.09)  (0.8)  1.6   1.2  
Two Rivers   1.9   (0.19)  0.4   2.1   0.9  
Zimplats   11.8   (0.22)  0.4   12.0   10.4  
Mimosa   1.8   (0.14)  0.1   1.7   0.9  
Totals   41.1   (1.78)  (0.3)  39.0   35.0  
Notes
  • Depletion ounces were adjusted for global concentrator factors
  • With the exception of Marula, the comparison does not show material differences over and beyond depletion
  • The negative variance at Impala is the net effect of a number of factors, the most relevant being re-classifying some UG2 correctly as a Mineral Resource prior to full capital approval
  • At Marula, the high variance is related to the restatement of the mine plan, limiting the extraction plan to a maximum depth of 4 levels. For more details on this, refer to the operational review here.
  • The increase at Two Rivers can in part be ascribed to the inclusion of the UG2 opencast area into the Reserves
  • The increase at Zimplats is the result of increased mining widths in certain areas.

Various Competent Persons, as defined by the SAMREC and JORC Codes, contributed to the abridged Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources figures quoted in this report. As such these statements reflect the estimates as compiled by teams of professional practitioners from the various operations, shafts and projects. Accordingly, the Group Executive: Mineral Resource Management, Seef Vermaak, PriSciNat Registration No 40015/88, assumes responsibility for the Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves estimates for the Group.

In addition, the following competent persons are appointed by the chief executive officer of the indicated entities:

  • The Competent Persons for the Two Rivers’ Mineral Resources and Reserves are Messrs PJ van der Merwe and M Cowell, full-time employees of ARM
  • The Competent Persons for Zimplats are Messrs A du Toit and S Simango, full-time employees of Zimplats
  • The Competent Person for Mimosa is Mr D Mapundu, a full-time employee of Mimosa.

A detailed breakdown of Implats’ Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves is provided in a separate report entitled, Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Statement 2011, which is available in the annual report section of the Implats website www.implats.co.za and may be downloaded as a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Reader. This information is also available on request from the Implats offices at the address given at the back of this report.