Eastern Platinum Limited

Eastern Platinum Limited

August 11, 2005 12:07 ET

Eastern Platinum Ltd.: Update on Development Program at Mareesburg

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 11, 2005) - Eastern Platinum Ltd. (TSX:ELR)(TSX:ELR.WT) -

- Metallurgical Recoveries Over 87%

- Full Feasibility Study to Commence

Mr. Ian Rozier, President of Eastern Platinum Ltd. ("the Company") is pleased to provide an update on the project development currently ongoing at the Mareesburg PGM deposit on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. On Mareesburg, the UG2 Chromitite deposit represents an almost continuously outcropping, flat-lying mineral resource at shallow depth amenable to a combination of open-pit and underground mining to a maximum depth of 220m below surface.

The Company is very pleased with the results of the confirmatory geological, assay, and metallurgical test program and the efficient and cost effective manner in which it has been conducted. Progress highlights include:

- Airborne magnetic survey and digital terrain model completed

- 5950m of diamond drilling completed

- Assay results consistent with previous technical programs and reporting

- Metallurgical recoveries over 87%

- Full feasibility study to commence August 2005

- No concentrator to be built on site

Diamond Drilling

Gondwana Drilling CC, a black economic empowerment company, was awarded the drilling contract and diamond coring commenced in November 2004. By mid July 2005, approximately 5950 metres of core drilling were complete: 3150m are in 37 "mother holes" and 2800 m are in 100 deflections (secondary boreholes drilled from the same collar position as the mother holes). In total 137 reef intersections have been achieved.

The entire reef package (the UG2 - UG2A chromitite interval) has been intersected as normal reef in 122 of the 137 intersections. Of the remainder, seven intersected so-called "pothole" structures with thin reef development, six intersected only the UG2A Chromitite and 2 encountered dolerite (diabase) dykes.


A total of 2419 samples have so far been submitted for 3PGE+Au (fire assay), Ni and Cu analysis to Set Point Laboratories of Johannesburg, which carries an ISO 17025 accreditation for the relevant assay procedures and techniques. Results have been received for all 2419 samples, which represent 95 geologically complete and representative reef intersections. All assay results are as expected and compare well with the results from previous drilling by Impala and Samancor reported in the Company's NI43-101 submitted to the TSX in May 2004.

Metallurgical Test-work

Eurus Mineral Consultants have been contracted to direct the Phase I metallurgical recovery tests presently being undertaken by SGS-Lakefield Laboratories on selected diamond drill cores and trench samples. The initial work is nearing completion and will advance to a Phase II metallurgical study involving tests on bulk composite samples.

Material from a total of 19 reef intersections from 13 boreholes and three trench samples, were submitted for bench-scale testwork. To obtain near-surface reef material for metallurgical recovery tests on weathered/oxidized ore, three shallow trenches (approximately 3m deep and in total 40m in length) were excavated to expose the multiple reef environments. These samples represent three likely metallurgical domains: shallow reef (outcrop to 30m below surface) in the western, open-pit area; moderate-deeper reef (over 30m below surface) in the west; and deeper reef (over 30m below surface) in the eastern part of the deposit.

To date, 24 standard flotation tests have been conducted on 12 core and one trench sample to characterize metallurgical response and determine the variability of the deposit. Excluding the trench sample, average laboratory rougher concentrate recovery (representing samples from 8m to 220m depth) is 87.7% 3E+Au, 78.8% Cu and 37.7% Ni. These tests entailed single stage milling and flotation tests (MF1) and more detailed tests are currently being conducted to ascertain the higher anticipated recoveries attainable from a standard South African UG2 double stage (MF2) milling and flotation circuit used by the major PGM producers. One other very positive outcome of this test work is that the degree of alteration and/or oxidation is lower than is normally associated with other shallow Bushveld PGM deposits.

Pre-Feasibility Studies

With the acquisition of the Spitzkop PGM project (see News Release dated November 1, 2004 and February 3, 2005), as well as the potential to enter into toll treatment contracts with other operators in the area, a concentrator will not be required at Mareesburg. This will result in a significant reduction in project capital costs to put the Mareesburg deposit into production. The economic impact of this change is presently being evaluated.

Future Work Program

The ongoing program is on schedule and on budget. With the successful results of the confirmatory assay and metallurgical program at Mareesburg, the Company anticipates commencing a full feasibility study on the project in August 2005. The full feasibility contemplated will likely be completed by February 2006 within the original budget of ZAR14 million (Cdn$2.5m). Five orientated diamond core holes will be dedicated for rock mechanics and pit slope design parameters.

The Qualified Persons having prepared the contents of this news release are Mr. John W.J. Davenport, B.Sc. (Geology) Cape Town; M.Sc. (Applied) McGill; Pr.Sci.Nat; F.Aus.IMM (CPGeo); FGSSA; MGSA; and Mr. Ian Rozier, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc., P.Eng.

Contact Information

  • Eastern Platinum Ltd.
    Mr. Ian Rozier, M.Sc., P. Eng.
    President & CEO
    (604) 685-6851
    Vanguard Shareholder Solutions Inc.
    1205-1095 West Pender Street
    Vancouver, BC, V6E 2M6
    (604) 608-0824 or Toll free: 1-866-358-0824