Sibanye-Stillwater announces the first production from the Blitz project in the US
Sibanye-Stillwater is pleased to announce that on 29th September 2017, it commenced production from the Blitz project, at Sibanye-Stillwater's operations in Montana, in the USA.
The completion of a secondary escape-way system at the Blitz 10 stope block, concluded the final infrastructure required for the production to begin.
Approximately 1,360 tonnes of ore that was excavated during development and stockpiled on the surface, will now be processed. Based on muck sampling along the entire 115-ft of ore width intersected within the stope block, this initial cut delivered ore with an estimated average 2E grade of 1.15 oz/ton (39 g/tonne).
Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater, commenting on the developments at the Blitz project said: “The integration of the US operations since acquisition in May 2017, has been pleasing. The operations continue to deliver as anticipated and the first production from Blitz is more than three months ahead of schedule. Initial ore intersected and excavated from the Blitz project is significantly higher grade than the average Stillwater Mine combined proven and probable 2E reserve grade of 0.57 oz/ton (19.55 g/tonne) and is an indication of the quality of the Blitz project.”
Blitz is expected to reach full production of approximately 300,000oz (2E) by late 2021/early 2022, increasing total 2E PGM production from the US operations by more than 50% to approximately 850,000oz. The increased production from Blitz is expected to further reduce unit operating costs of the US operations.
“Delivery of low cost, production growth into a robust price environment, supported by long-term palladium fundamentals in our view, is what underpinned our decision to acquire Stillwater. The early commissioning of Blitz has confirmed our view that the US operations will deliver significant value to Sibanye-Stillwater in future”, said Froneman.