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Gold/Mining/Energy : SOUTHERNERA (t.SUF)

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To: The Osprey who wrote (6945)8/27/2002 10:39:14 AM
From: Gord Bolton  Read Replies (1) of 7235
Quotes and Charts


Attention Business Editors:

SRK Completes Positive Phase 2 Feasibility Study for Messina Platinum

Phase 2 Resource Increases by 12 Percent to 6.3 Million Ounces

Shares Issued and Outstanding: 51,580,800

TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - SouthernEra Resources Limited announced today
the successful completion of the Bankable Feasibility Study for its Messina
Phase 2 Project on the Doornvlei property by SRK Consulting, a leading
international engineering consulting group. The Doornvlei property is 100
percent owned by Messina Limited, which in turn is 70.4 percent owned by
SouthernEra Resources Limited.
Doornvlei is located on the Bushveld Igneous Complex, a geological
formation well known for its production of Platinum Group Metals (PGM's) as
well as chromite ores. The project is located about 12 kilometres to the east
of Messina's 100 percent owned Voorspoed Mine, which is currently under
development and in early production, and immediately adjacent to the newly
acquired Dwaalkop property. The PGM reefs are continuous over these three
properties - Voorspoed (Phase 1), Doornvlei (Phase 2) and Dwaalkop.
The Bankable Feasibility Study estimates an after tax internal rate of
return (IRR) of 22.6 percent with a net present value (NPV) of US$73.3 million
at a 10 percent discount rate for the Messina Phase 2 Project. The expected
annual average production rate is approximately 173 000 ounces of 5PGM+Au at
an average estimated operating cost of US$107 per ounce over the life of mine,
after netting out nickel and copper by-product credits. The metal splits for
the two reefs are as follows:

Platinum 53.7% 39.5%
Palladium 27.4% 36.9%
Rhodium 2.8% 6.2%
Iridium 1.4% 2.5%
Ruthenium 6.9% 13.0%
Gold 7.8% 1.8%
Platinum / Palladium Ratio 1.96: 1 1.07: 1
Platinum / Rhodium Ratio 19.18: 1 6.37: 1

The peak capital requirement for the project is US$84.7 million, which is
estimated will be paid back approximately 5 years after production start-up.
The expected operating mine life is 23 years with full production of 120,000
tonnes per month to be achieved by mid-2005 following a 24 month construction
SouthernEra President and CEO Patrick Evans stated: "We are proving, step
by step, that the Messina Project in its various phases will make SouthernEra
one of the world's leading and most profitable producers of PGM's. Once we
have achieved full production from Phase 2, PGM production from Messina will
total approximately 400,000 ounces per year at a cash production cost of
approximately $100 per ounce."
At an annual production rate of 173,000 ounces, average annual net
revenues (inclusive of base metal revenue and net of smelter and refining
charges) are estimated at US$64.7 million based on an average price of $374
per ounce of 5PGM's+Au. Metal prices used for the Bankable Feasibility were
based on London Metal Prices at August 16, 2002. The following table
summarises the metal prices and expected annual metal output.

Metals Feasibility Prices Annual Output
Platinum $556 per ounce 76,800 ounces
Palladium $320 per ounce 58,200 ounces
Rhodium $740 per ounce 8,700 ounces
Iridium $280 per ounce 3,700 ounces
Ruthenium $125 per ounce 18,900 ounces
Gold $312 per ounce 6,700 ounces
Nickel $6650 per tonne 1,670 tonnes
Copper $1473 per tonne 1,000 tonnes


South African-based operating and capital cost estimates were converted
at an exchange rate of R10.5 = US$1.00 for 2002, increasing to
R11 = US$1.00 by the end of 2003 and this rate was maintained over
the remainder of the project life.
The previous Phase 2 resource estimate was 15.180 million tonnes at a
grade of 5.81 grams per tonne of 5PGE+Au (2.83 million ounces) in the
Indicated category, plus an additional 15.030 million tonnes grading 5.80
grams per tonne (2.80 million ounces) in the Inferred category. As part of the
Bankable Feasibility Study, SRK re-estimated the Phase 2 resource using the
histogram method, which assigns a global mining grade and width. The mining
widths selected, excluding dilution, were 1.05 metres for the Merensky Reef
and 2.0 metres for the UG2. Although the reefs outcrop at surface on Phase 2,
the resource tonnage has been estimated from 100 metres below surface to 1 000
metres and by applying a bulk density of 3.2 tonnes per cubic metre for the
Merensky reef and 3.8 tonnes per cubic metre for the UG2 reef.
SRK has applied a 25 percent geological loss for both reefs at Phase 2,
in close concordance with common industry practice. Incorporating the
abovementioned mining widths, SRK estimates the Merensky resource is 11.89
million tonnes at a grade of 4.47 grams per tonne (5PGM+Au). The corresponding
UG2 values are 26.9 million tonnes at 5.35 grams per tonne. This 6.3 million
ounce resource, at an average grade of 5.08 grams per tonne, has been placed
in the Indicated category in terms of South Africa's SAMREC Code of reporting
of mineral resources and mineral reserves, which conforms to the requirements
of Canada's National Instrument 43-101 and the equivalent United Kingdom code
for reserve and resource classification. Comparing the SRK resource to the
previous estimate, total 5PGM+Au resources have increased by 12 percent.
SRK has estimated a mining reserve by discounting the new resource
tonnage for mining layout losses and diluting the resource grade. The mining
layout calls for an extraction of 78 percent, including shaft pillars.
Dilution has been added at 0.20 metres to the stoping width for both reefs
giving 19 percent and 10 percent dilution for the Merensky and UG2 reefs
respectively. Further tonnage increases at the expense of grade have been
included to account for all development dilution. The effects of all these
additions resulting from dilution and subtractions for pillars is to lower the
resource tonnage by 21.4 percent for Merensky reef and 29.5 percent for the
Accordingly, the reserves for Phase 2 are 11.12 million tonnes at 3.69
grams per tonne for the Merensky reef and 20.85 million tonnes at 4.81 grams
per tonne for the UG2. This total reserve of 4.5 million ounces at an average
diluted grade of 4.42 grams per tonne has been classified in the Probable
Reserve category. The Independent Competent Person in respect of the Phase 2
reserve and resource statement is Dr. Anthony Martin, B.Sc., D.Phil. of SRK
Both the Merensky and UG2 reefs will be mined at a combined rate of
120 000 tonnes per month. The sublevel open stoping mining method has been
proposed, as it is the safest and most practical for this environment. A total
of 11.12 million Merensky and 20.85 million UG2 reef tonnes will be mined over
a life of 25 years, resulting in a total production tonnage of 31.97 million
The development strategy is to first access the ore bodies by means of
two decline ramp systems, each of which will cater for one half of the
3.7-kilometre strike available at Phase 2. The top three levels (175 metres,
250 metres and 325 metres) will be mined via the declines, with reef being
trucked up to surface for processing in the plant. The portion of the ore body
between 400 metre level and 700 metre level will be accessed via a vertical
shaft to 700 metres, the sinking of which will begin in Year 5 and will be
operational by Year 7. The shaft will then be deepened in Years 14 and 15 in
order to access the remainder of the resource between 700 and 1 000 metres.
The project reserves, those above 1 000 metres, are depleted in project Year
25. Potential exists however, to extend the project life beyond this date, by
considering resources below this level.
The plant has been designed as a two-stage milling and flotation (MF2)
type plant capable of treating 120 000 tonnes of ore per month at a UG2:
Merensky feed ratio of 65:35. A single flotation will be produced as a filter
cake and will be transported by road for smelting and refining. The average
life of mine head feed grade is 4.42 grams per tonne 5PGM+Au resulting in an
average plant recovery of 84 percent. Concentrate production will be
approximately 2 400 tonnes per month, based on a mass pull of 2 percent.
Subject to the securing of the necessary government permits and the
conclusion of financing, the Company plans to commence development of the
Messina Phase 2 in January 2003. It is expected that the mine will be in full
production by mid 2005.
SouthernEra Resources Limited is an independent producer of platinum
group metals and diamonds. The Company also has an extensive PGM and diamond
exploration program. The common shares of SouthernEra are traded on the
Toronto Stock Exchange (SUF) and the London Stock Exchange's AIM (SRE).


For further information: please contact - SouthernEra Resources Limited
- Patrick C. Evans, President and CEO; or Dr. Sally Eyre, Vice President
Corporate Affairs, Telephone: (416) 359-9282, Fax: (416) 359-9141,
SOUTHERNERA RESOURCES LIMITED has 74 releases in this database.


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