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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Platinum Group Metals: Latest News: July 31st 2007


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:: Platinum Smelting Technology set for Launch

A new breakthrough in the platinum smelting process is close to going commercial, it has been revealed.

Braemore Chief Executive, Hamish Bohannan, has said that the smelting of high-chrome platinum group metal concentrates will begin at the Randburg facility in South Africa during the third quarter of 2007.

Speaking at the Capital Resources mining conference in Botswana, he explained that the new breakthrough would easily be able to cope with the chrome content in platinum group metal ore, meaning future smelting operations will be faster and more efficient, reports Mining Weekly.

Mr Bohannan added that the new technology, to be used by Braemore subsidiary Independence Platinum and Mintek, would be able to provide a cheaper way for the growing number of platinum juniors entering the market to refine their platinum.

The increased smelting capacity will be welcomed in South Africa, as the country is suffering from a significant under-resource of smelters as more and more platinum production operations begin across the country. Earlier this month Mr Bohannan suggested that at least five more processing plants are needed in South Africa to keep up with demand.

The new technology has already been tested at Randburg, north of Johannesburg,, reaching an output of 30,000 tonnes without any significant complaints from local homeowners, Mr Bohannan added. This demonstrates the environmentally-friendly nature of the new technology, he concluded.




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