SOURCE: Platinum Group Metals Ltd.

March 07, 2005 13:10 ET

Merensky Reef Grade Increase in Independent Estimate

VANCOUVER, BC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 7, 2005 -- Platinum Group Metals Ltd. (TSX-V: PTM) (OTC BB: PTMQF) announces that its independent qualified person ("QP") has now completed a review of the resource estimate for the south-eastern property area of the Western Bushveld Joint Venture. An increase in the grade on the Merensky Reef from an earlier Anglo Platinum estimate (February 17, 2005) is reported. The Merensky Reef remains the focus of PTM's exploration and development plans in the Joint Venture area. The Merensky Reef is actively being mined as the primary orebody at the adjacent, Anglo Platinum operated, Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine which lies 1000m to the southeast of the resource area. The resource estimate for the UG2 Reef has decreased from the earlier estimate. A specific type of high grade Merensky Reef has been identified and correlated on the Joint Venture property as a result of the detailed work completed with the QP.

Anglo Platinum Corporation reported in their 2004 annual report (PTM Press Release, February 17, 2005) inferred resources totalling 21Mt grading 5.88 g/t on the Merensky Reef (3.96 million ounces) and 13.0 Mt grading 4.25 g/t on the UG2 Reef (1.77 million ounces) for the south-eastern property area. The independent Qualified Person has now provided the following estimate: Independent QP Estimate, March 7, 2005 -- Inferred Resource (CIMM, definitions)

Merensky Reef: 15.41 Mt at 7.92 g/t- 4E (platinum, palladium, rhodium, and gold), 3.93 M oz 4E

UG2 Reef : 10.05 Mt at 2.52 g/t- 4E (platinum, palladium, rhodium, and gold), 0.82 M oz 4E

The estimate includes dilution to a minimum of 1 metre mining width on both the Merensky Reef and UG2 Reef. Estimated geological losses of 30% have been factored into the estimate. The resource includes mineralization from approximately 100 to 600 metres deep. A specific facies or reef-type, namely the Harzburgitic Merensky Reef, has been identified in the resource area and is above the average grades for the Merensky Reef. This facies has been confirmed in PTM's recently commenced in-fill drilling program in the resource area and the assay result from this additional intercept is pending.

The Merensky and UG2 reefs also have been intercepted in holes to the north of the resource area that the QP did not include in the resource estimate at this time as a result of the drill intercept density in these areas. These results include drill hole FG34 with an average of 9.16 g/t 4E over 1.15 metres on the Merensky. The value for the UG2 Reef is still pending. FG34 is located about 1500 metres from the nearest point of the declared resource area. A second PTM drill rig has commenced drill testing in this area with the objective of increasing the inferred resources as soon as possible.

The independent resource update results in a total of 4.74 million ounces 4E for the project compared with 5.87 million ounces estimated by Anglo Platinum for the same area. The estimates by the QP and Anglo Platinum were developed using independent approaches and different data sets. Since Anglo Platinum operates the adjoining mine it was able to consider a broader statistical data set and regional information when assessing the resources for the Joint Venture Project area. It is anticipated that drilling currently underway will both increase the calculated resource and the confidence interval of the resulting estimate.

The resources reported by Anglo Platinum were subject to the SAMREC code and were the subject of an independent audit. The PTM resource estimate report will be filed in satisfaction of Canadian National Instrument 43-101 standards. In keeping with industry practice in South Africa the breakdown of 4E elements was not specifically assessed in the Anglo data set, however, the QP makes the following estimates of the 4E breakdown based on PTM's assay data on the edge of the resources area and regional experience on the reefs which is as follows: MR: Pt 64.00%, Pd 27.45%, Rh 4.80% and Au 3.75% and for UG2: Pt 59.15%, Pd 29.55%, Rh 10.50% and Au 0.80%.

Drilling on the Western Bushveld Joint Venture Project by PTM continues with three objectives: 1) to increase the level of confidence on the known resources adjacent to the BRPM platinum mine, 2) to increase the calculated resources on the project and 3)to explore along strike and up-dip of the Styldrift platinum project.

PTM and Anglo Platinum each hold a 37% interest in the joint venture, with BEE partner Africa Wide Mineral Prospecting and Exploration Company (Pty) Limited holding 26%.

Qualified Person, Quality Control and Assurance

E. H. Siepker MSc Pr. Sci. Nat. (Reg. No. 400094/84) assisted by C. J. Muller BSc (Hons) Pr. Sci. Nat. (Reg. No. 400201/04) ("QP") are both registered professional scientists and both of them have in excess of 20 years experience in the field of precious metal/planar tabular orebody evaluation. Both QP's reviewed the project and have independently assessed the merits thereof. All material available has been reviewed, inspected and utilised in the resource estimation.

Comments pertaining to FG34 have been scrutinised by W. J. Visser BSc (Hons), Pr. Sci. Nat. (Reg. No. 400279/04) who is the Exploration Manager for PTM (RSA) (Pty) Limited. Mr W Visser has in excess of 15 years experience on similar deposits and has amongst others, held the position of Resource Manager for major RSA companies.

About PTM

PTM is based in Vancouver BC, Canada and is focused on the exploration and development of platinum and palladium projects in Canada and South Africa. PTM is exploring on significant mineral rights in the Northern and Western Bushveld Platinum Complex of South Africa including the large scale joint venture with Anglo Platinum Corporation in the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex. PTM is also the largest mineral rights holder in the area surrounding Canada's only primary platinum and palladium mine near Thunder Bay, Ontario and is drilling a new platinum and palladium discovery within layered intrusions in this region. PTM has a second active joint venture with Anglo Platinum near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

On behalf of the Board of
Platinum Group Metals Ltd.
"R. Michael Jones"

R. Michael Jones
President and Director
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of this news release, which has been prepared by management.

Note to U.S. Investors: Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20F, File No. 0-30306, available at our office: Suite 328-550 Burrard Street, Vancouver BC, Canada, V6C 2B5 or from the SEC: 1(800) SEC-0330.

Platinum Group Metals Ltd.
Fax: (604) 484-4710

Web Site:

SEC Form 20F, File No. 0-30306
No. 05-101

Contact Information

  • For further information contact:

    R. Michael Jones, President
    or John Foulkes, Manager Corporate Development
    Platinum Group Metals Ltd., Vancouver
    Tel: (604) 899-5450 / Toll Free: (866) 899-5450

    Larry Roth
    Roth Investor Relations, NYC
    Tel: (732) 792-2200