The R900m that Northam Platinum has invested at its Zondereinde smelter is well spent, buying extra capacity for all its growth projects in SA and the US, opening the way for further third-party contracts and extending to 50 years its relationship with German metals group Heraeus. The R900m, which included a €20m cash injection from Heraeus, bought Northam a modern 20MW furnace from Tenova, a state-of-the-art drying system to ensure no water gets into the crucible, which could result in an explosion, and an air-atomiser to reduce a stream of slag to small pellets in a safe, cost-effective way ahead of them being returned to the furnace. The increased smelting capacity at Northam meant that it could now treat more third-party material. It was already processing concentrate from the Pallinghurst Resources platinum venture called Sedibelo and had just signed up two more streams of concentrate from unnamed parties, said Northam CEO Paul Dunne. Andre Mulder, manager of metallurgical oper...

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