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Amplats selling mining rights at Amandelbult to Northam Platinum for 1B rand

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. said Oct. 11 that its Rustenburg Platinum Mines Ltd. business agreed to sell certain mining rights within the Amandelbult property to Northam Platinum Ltd. for 1 billion South African rand cash. Amplats is an Anglo American Plc unit

The rights, which border Northam's Zondereinde platinum mine, comprise an area of Merensky and UG2 mineral resources containing about 16.7 million ounces of platinum group metals.

In addition to the cash payment, Northam will transfer the ancillary mineral resource on the northwest corner of the Zondereinde mine to Amplats.

"This area gives Anglo American Platinum flexibility for the placement of future mining infrastructure, including options for next generation replacement or expansion plans at Amandelbult," Amplats said.

"The transaction is mutually beneficial and allows us to exit resources for value which are outside of our life-of-mine plans and do not impact current mining or the future potential of Amandelbult," Amplats CEO Chris Griffith said in a statement.

Amplats will use the proceeds to further reduce net debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

The deal will allow Northam to extend the life of the Zondereinde mine beyond 30 years and reduce the average mining depth of the mine with associated potential savings.

"The acquired resource is of high quality, is well understood by Northam and allows us to better leverage the existing Zondereinde infrastructure," Northam CEO Paul Dunne said. "The additional resource also enables Northam to continue mining higher-grade Merensky ore for a longer period, with relatively low incremental capital expenditure."