Bokoni is an operating mine located on the north-eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex, to the north of and adjacent to the Ga- Phasha Project. The Bokoni property consists of seven mining licences covering an area of some 15,000 hectares. On May 12, 2008, the DME granted Bokoni conversion of their "old order" mining rights to "new order" mining rights.
Current mining rates are approximately 80,000 tonnes per month (tpm), at an average grade of 4.3g/t. This production is split between the Merensky and UG2 reefs at 50,000 and 30,000tpm respectively, and once processed, produces approximately 150,000 4E ounces per annum. Bokoni is the only eastern limb operation with significant Merensky production, high in platinum value with a 2:1 platinum:palladium ratio and has a high UG2 reserve grade of 5.36g/t 4E.
Previous technical studies conducted by Anglo Platinum indicated that Bokoni's maximum value is achieved at a mining rate of 375,000tpm, comprising steady-state Merensky Reef production at 120,000tpm and steady-state UG2 Reef production of 255,000tpm. The long-term growth plan for Bokoni is planned over two stages:
- Stage 1 (2009-2014) comprises an expansion of Merensky and UG2 Reef ore production to 160,000tpm, with Merensky Reef production being increased to 120,000tpm (primarily from the Brakfontein Merensky Reef decline shaft system), and UG2 Reef production being maintained at 40,000tpm (from the Middelpunt Hill UG2 Reef decline shaft system).
- Stage 2 (2016 onwards) contemplates further expansion of UG2 Reef production to 255,000tpm with Merensky Reef production remaining at 120,000tpm.
Both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 expansions at Bokoni are intended to access the Merensky and UG2 reefs from near surface to approximately 650m below surface. This presents a key technical and cost advantage, as there would be no need for significant refrigeration at these mining depths.
Atlatsa's plans for transforming Bokoni centre around creating a new business culture at the mine, reducing costs, increasing production, and implementing a diciplined approach to orebody management and grade control.
There is a significant opportunity for organic growth at Bokoni itself and by exploring synergies presented by the 26km continuous strike length between Bokoni and its neighbouring Ga-Phasha mineral property. Offtake agreements are in place with Anglo Platinum, and the company has an option to buy an interest in the Polokwane smelter complex.