Northam Platinum will process 10-million tonnes of tailings that came with the purchase of the Aquarius Platinum Everest mine and concentrator plant, using the residue for not only financial benefits, but to prime the concentrator and to test a longer-term strategy at its Booysendal mining complex. The tailings, with a content of about 18% chrome and 0.8g-0.65g of platinum group metals (PGMs) a tonne, give Northam the chance to restart the long-mothballed concentrator and to iron out ramp-up niggles, leaving it ready to process more than 150,000 tonnes a month of freshly mined Merensky Reef ore at an 86% recovery rate in 2019. The R100m project to process the tailings dump in the renamed Booysendal South portion of the complex will occur in two stages, with chrome extracted first and tailings returned to the storage facility before being processed for a second time to extract PGMs. Booysendal’s chrome concentrate output will more than double from the current 300,000 tonnes a year. I...

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