Limpopo community files High Court application to block PTM Waterberg Project permit

Platinum Group Metals (PTM) said a group from the Kgatlu community had launched a High Court application to set aside an earlier ministerial decision which dismissed an appeal against the grant of an environmental permit to the Waterberg Mine project.

The appeal was previously dismissed by the departments of environment, forestry and fisheries, and minerals and energy resources because it was filed late. The Kgatlu wanted to know why the relevant ministers of those departments took that decision.

The Kgatlu community lives near the Waterberg Mine project which is located in South Africa’s Limpopo province. PTM said it believed that all requirements specified under South Africa’s National Environmental Management Act, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and other applicable legislation had been complied with.

“The Waterberg mining right currently remains active, was notarially executed by the DMR on April 13, 2021 and has been filed for registration,” it said in an announcement.

The path to development for PTM’s Waterberg Project has not been smooth. Last year, Impala Platinum (Implats) passed on its option to become the project’s lead shareholder despite the project containing significant amounts of palladium.

However, the president and CEO of PTM, Michael Jones said he was confident of attracting a new lead project developer for the Waterberg Project.

“This is a global market. We are very confident of getting the partners together,” he said.

Implats, which will retain a 15% stake in the project following an earlier investment, indicated it would follow its rights when the development took off.

Nonetheless, the difficulty in building new projects only heightens concerns among platinum group metal buyers regarding future supplies of the metals, especially given their increasing demand amid decarbonisation of the drive-train and evolution in hydrogen technology.

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